How to deal when you’re still working on that degree and your significant other has theirs.
Staying in touch with someone after they graduate always takes extra effort — when that graduate is someone you’re dating, it’s even harder. You will long for the ease of finding them on campus and grabbing a meal in the cafeteria, being at the same place in life, discussing what crazy thing your friends did at a party over the weekend, and they will long to still be there with you. Relationships are all about give and take — you just need to know what to give and what to take.
I can’t imagine an easier time to be in a relationship than having both people being an undergraduate living on campus. Depending on the size of your campus, it is a quick jaunt down the street or a nice meander across a beautiful quad. You two could eat at the same cafeteria or run into each other between classes.
Breaking away from the convenience of sharing the same small world is hard. You need to plan things as opposed to running into them and making spur-of-the-moment plans. While you may do that with other friends, being in a relationship and adjusting to planning ahead can be a harder step than anticipated. It takes a little bit of time to change your ways and that is OK.
College is its own world. As much as we may pretend it isn’t, we get breaks in life by having a cafeteria, dorms and the general atmosphere. Usually graduates react to leaving that behind in one of two ways: They embrace it or pine for the past four years. Either way, they are starting a new place in their life. Dating someone who is living the same life you just left almost feels as if you’re slowly reverting back. They need to leave that mindset, and you need to embrace their future outside the collegiate walls. Soon you will also graduate and can appreciate every challenge they are currently coming across.
Some people say the weekends are one of the best parts of college. Whether you go to parties or play video games, you are able to relax and make memories with people you love. It keeps people from going insane during the week. That might not be how graduates are going to be spending their weekends. While some weekend traditions may stay the same, such as football, they might be missing the campus culture, especially if you have the same friend group. Be understanding, but don’t let it take away from your own college experience. Make time for them away from school if possible, but make sure you are able to have fun and create your own memories.
Relationships are hard; going through such a big change together is even harder. Take a deep breath and realize things will slowly start to find their own new groove. Every day is a step closer to a new normal. If the relationship is meant to be, with a little hard work, a lot of love and fun, you can make it through the adjustment.
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