A lot of people seem to think that university is one big holiday. They only look at the time that students spend in lectures and think that is the be all and end all of what is involved. What they may not realise is that student life is actually more like a full time job. Maybe even more so.
When you take into account not just lectures, but the recommended reading, the extra reading, assignments, group work and revising for the dreaded exams, students can expect to devote between 40 and 50 hours per week towards their degrees if they hope to achieve a good grade. If a student also wants to enjoy some social time or other recreational activities such as clubs and societies, then they will soon realise that there are not many hours left in the week.
This can pose many challenges for students, not least of all in the establishing and/or maintaining of romantic relationships. Whether you meet someone whilst at university, or you have a significant other back at home, it can be difficult to find the time for love and/or dating.
One of the most challenging relationships for students to maintain can be when they already have a partner who lives back at home, often hundreds of miles away from where they are studying. This poses many challenges for relationships and chief amongst them is trust.
Everyone has an idea about the sort of things that go on amongst university students. Now, these ideas may not be accurate, but the stereotypes do exist nonetheless and your partner back home may have insecurities about what is going to go on at the various parties and social events that you may be attending. Make sure that you reassure them constantly, if this is the case, and try not to act in a way that fans these flames (being out of contact for long periods, for example).
The other issue with long-distance relationships is finding time to actually spend with one another. When you return home for a weekend or for the holidays, you will no doubt have lots of friends and family that you want to check in and catch up with, and this may mean dividing time away from your girlfriend/boyfriend. One way to combat this is to involve your partner in your other activities by taking them with you when you visit the other important people in your life.
Other times they may visit you in your town or city of study. The problem with this is that it can leave your partner feeling like they do not fit in with your new life and new friends. Care must be taken that they are not left feeling isolated whilst you are socialising.
Long-distance relationships are challenging enough for non-students. However, with all of the extra demands on your time that studying brings, they become even more so. It can be difficult to find the spare time to devote enough of it to them, to make the relationship work, especially seeing as time together will mean travelling one way or the other as well.
Studies of people in long-distance relationships found that most of them expected to be living together within four years. So, if you don’t feel that you are in this relationship for the long-term them it may be worth reconsidering the status of said relationship.
But what about meeting someone new whilst at university? You don’t have the long-distance issue and you may even be on the same course, and so have plenty to talk about with one another. On the surface of it, it seems that it would be significantly easier to keep an on-campus romance blooming, doesn’t it? Well, maybe not.
The main problem with getting involved in a new relationship whilst at university are the demands that it will more than likely place on your time. You are going to want to go on dates and, if things go well, spend more and more time with one another. Needless to say that this is going to make it hard for you to divide your work/social time responsibly.
With a long-term relationship, the one thing that you have going for you, is that the distance makes impulsive visits very difficult. Not so with an on-campus relationship. Because of your constant proximity to one another (maybe even living in the same halls or on the same street), the temptation is going to constantly be pressing you to close the books and get some “quality time” together (interpret that phrase however you wish).
This means that you are going to need a lot of willpower to stay on point with your studies. However, staying on point with your studies means not having as much time for your new partner, which may harm the long-term prospects of the relationship.
Needless to say, whether you are trying to maintain an established, long-distance relationship, or you have met someone new whilst at university, romantic relationships are going to place a huge demand on your time. Only you can decide whether your time and work-ethic will allow this, but you should think carefully about these things when deciding what to do in this regard. After all, if things do not work out then going through a break-up will more than likely also have a detrimental effect on your studies. Good luck.
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