For high school graduates heading off to college, an age-old question arises: “to be or not to be?” It is a hard question, with many factors weighing into the ultimate decision. The only thing that is harder than answering the question is adjusting to the outcome.
Before coming to any decision, a couple must sit down and talk, because it is not fair to make a major choice for the both of you without a proper discussion. Ultimately, your relationship will take one of two routes: You break up or you commit to making it work. Below are a list of pros and cons that need to be considered before declaring their final verdict.
This is the option most often pushed by friends, but initially rejected by the couple.
Long-distance relationships in college can be emotionally taxing and impractical.
Stephanie Somerville, a former student at Texas Christian University, opted to end her relationship before beginning freshman year.
“We knew it wouldnʼt last because it would be too hard every time we had to say goodbye,” said Somerville.
Freshman year is supposed to be a fun time, and maintaining a long-distance relationship can detract from the experience.
Pros: Breaking up before school allows you and your significant other to truly enjoy college. It may not seem like it now, but once you start school and meet hundreds of new people it will be easier to move on than anticipated. You will not have to make the choice of hanging with new friends or Skyping with your boyfriend or girlfriend. You will also have one less distraction from your studies.
Kat Eisenerg, a senior at St. Maryʼs College of Maryland, said she realized that she and her boyfriend had to break up after a year in college.
“We werenʼt mature enough and hadnʼt had enough life experiences to have the kind of relationship we were trying to foster,” she said. “I think we both met new people and really discovered who we were and that we werenʼt really happy. College is full of the ‘new’ and sometimes that makes a person different.”
Cons: Breaking up with someone you love is never easy. You are going to miss your ex and may even find yourself wondering what could have been.
Best option for: Most people, honestly. We all mature into different people during college, and there is no guarantee who we are tomorrow will be in love with our boyfriend or girlfriend of yesterday.
This option is harder than deciding to break up. With it comes sacrifice and distraction. However, with it also comes familiarity, love and a best friend.
Pros: The major benefit of keeping your significant other in your life is the fact he or she can support you through all the changes you experience at college. Andrea Kate Diano, a junior at Fordham University, has been in a relationship with her boyfriend, Matt, for three years while he attends Northeastern University.
“At a time when people don’t know you quite as well as you’d wish, it’s comforting to have someone who knows you inside and out, that loves you no matter what at the end of the day,” Diano said. The unconditional support of your significant other is a great benefit that cannot be overlooked. Long-distance relationships can be fun with Skype dates, and the little time you do spend together is cherished.
Cons: Needless to say you will miss each other when you’re apart.
“There are a lot of sacrifices, time is definitely one,” Diano said. “It’s important to make time for one another throughout your day, as though they’re there and it’s difficult since they aren’t.”
Time is difficult to balance because you have a completely different schedule with new clubs, classes and friends. You do not want to ignore your boyfriend or girlfriend, but you also do not want to ignore your friends. Your school work is also an important priority.
Best option for: Strong and committed couples who trust each other. It is also for couples who are a bus or train ride away, who can see each other on a semi-frequent basis. If you have to fly to see them, it may not be worth it.
Ultimately, love is crucial part of a relationship — but so is practicality. If what you have is practical and you are happy and you are in love, then you’ve got it all.
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