I’ve always thought going to college single was a no brainer. You wouldn’t have to worry about who you danced with at a party, if the guy or girl at the coffee counter was flirting with you or making sure you kept in contact with your boyfriend or girlfriend. But as I watch many of my friends struggle with the idea of leaving their boyfriend or girlfriend behind as they go onto college while their high school sweetheart remains in high school, I started to wonder if it’s really that simple.
What if they’re your first love? What if it really is meant to be and if you break up with them now you lose your chance with them forever? Or what if they’re holding you back from your future goals? Or from the full college experience because all you can do is think about them and worry about them.
After speaking to friends who are going through this dilemma, I have found there are pros and cons to both trying to make it work and calling it quits. Essentially, whether or not you choose to stay with your high school boyfriend/girlfriend, it’s a decision that both of you should seriously discuss and make together.
Making it work: Pros
1. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend back home forces you to focus more on your school work and less on that guy or girl across the hall. Rather than thinking about your date on Friday night, you’ll have more time to think about that exam on Tuesday.
2. You have more opportunity to work on building new friendships instead of trying to form relationships. In lieu of dates you can have a girls night or a night with the guys where you don’t have to worry about what outfit to wear or who’s going to pay for the movie. Just have fun.
Making it work: Cons
1. If you spend all your time thinking about or talking to your significant other back at home, the new friends you’re making at college will begin to feel neglected and begin to stop asking you to hang out with them because you keep saying no.
2. Having a boyfriend/girlfriend back home can be just as distracting as dating on campus. Between all the phone calls and texts and being homesick, it can become overwhelming.
Calling it quits: Pros
1. You’re less stressed. You don’t have to worry about how often you should call or keep in contact or when you should go back home and visit. You can play by your own rules.
2. No commitment. You’re free to talk to, flirt with and dance with whomever you please without worrying about getting in trouble when you get back home.
Calling it quits: Cons
1. Whether you’ve been dating the person for a week, a month or a year, you’ve grown close to this person and letting him or her go will be hard. You’re not only dealing with a change of scenery but a recent breakup with someone you really cared about.
2. The freedom to date can be distracting as well as scary if you’ve just come out of a long-term relationship. Between all the work you’ll get from your classes, a possible work-study and your extracurricular activities, dating can become just another added stress.
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