When I first considered going to university, people began with the typical questions and statements: “Do you really think you and your boyfriend will last?”, “University is a lot of pressure on a relationship!”, or “There will be so much temptation when you start university!”
Things like this will leave anyone with fear about what university will do to their relationship! As for me, at the time I was in a seven-month relationship with a guy I loved a lot. We had spent all summer happy as Larry. But with university around the corner, I think it is safe to say that we were both feeling a little anxious. However, there is hope! I am still in this relationship, we are now two years strong and growing up together through this crazy student life.
But that is not to say that it has been easy, there have been many trials along the way. Here are some things to consider during the transition:
Look at your relationship
When we are in our little love bubbles, it is not always clear if we are in a relationship that serves us well. We look past how our partner makes us feel because we just love them so much. Looking at how you and your partner work together will help determine if you feel you are well suited. Here are some questions to help you decide:
Do they support you?
Do they respect you?
Do you trust each other?
Can you talk openly to your partner?
If you can answer "yes" to these questions, then things will be a lot easier. But do not get discouraged if this is not the case. Any relationship can be worked on to meet these goals. However, it will mean that you may have to take extra care with the next few steps, which can help to make your relationship even stronger.
Accept that things will change
Relationships change as you get older, but university will usually be the first time that this change has happened in our lives. To think that your relationship will be as easy as before could mean that fantasy will be broken when you arrive at university. Change is scary, but not always a bad thing. Your relationship will mature through this process. By accepting that it will change when you go to university, but that this is okay, means it can blossom into a mature and loving relationship.
In my opinion, this is the most important step of them all! In a relationship, you should feel safe enough to be vulnerable. Sharing your raw emotions with your partner, and having them comfort you, is important — especially in university when things are new and uncomfortable. Whether you feel lonely because you have not seen them or a little insecure about the beautiful girl in his class, it is okay! But what is important to remember is that you communicate these tricky feelings. As at the end of the day, the only person who will have the answers to those worries is your partner. This comes with stress too, and if you find you are taking your stresses out on them, communicate those feelings and find a solution together.
Although you may find it more convenient to just bury your feelings and carry on, these suppressed emotions will always come out in other ways, like anger, or sadness for (apparently) no reason. So lower the pride, bite your tongue and get talking about those uncomfortable feelings with your partner!
I should also add — how they respond will be an indicator as to how they feel about you. In a healthy relationship, you will be able to calmly discuss your worries and come up with healthy solutions. If your boyfriend or girlfriend becomes angry or does not want to communicate then you deserve someone who will support, love and cherish you instead.
Make time for dates
With balancing classes, friends, and your relationship, it can mean that you forget to put some love into your relationship. This can cause distance. What I would recommend is organising a date at least once a week where you can drop all your deadlines and stresses for a while and spend some quality time with them. This will bring you closer and remind you of the reasons why you fell in love with them in the first place. If you do not have the luxury of seeing each other in person, then go on a virtual date! This can be done through Skype, phone calls, etc.
These are just a few of the most important things to consider. Yes, there will be tears and challenging elements but work as a team, communicate and treat yourselves to a date. University is hard but with the right support and love then this transition will be made easier.
Amy is in her third year at Salford University. She studies TV and Radio and has a YouTube channel where she vlogs her day to day life.
Note: 'Student Blog' pieces highlight the student perspective on issues relating to ProtectED measures. Consequently, this article reflects the views of the author and not ProtectED.