Relationships, Romantic Or Not, Are Complicated To Navigate As A College Student

Relationships, Romantic Or Not, Are Complicated To Navigate As A College Student

Every relationship, be it friendship, professional, or romantic, comes with its set of problems.

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First and Foremost

Relationships in general, when navigated right, can turn into awesome connections in your life. As much as I want to say I've had these great connections a lot, I haven't.

But bad experiences with people can become learning lessons. It's important to set standards for yourself on who you let in and who doesn't deserve to be let in. Your boundaries, your rules, your well-being. Please remember that and value your relationship with yourself above all else!

Friends

In college, making friends is probably one of the hardest things ever. Maybe not for some people, but I think a majority of people can relate.

It's great if you come to college with friends and people you already know. If you don't, I hate to break it to you, but it's terrible. I mean, maybe if you're an extrovert who intentionally seeks out connections with random people in the dining halls or in class, you'll be okay. It's great if you're among the hundreds of students who join sororities and fraternities, gaining exceptional friendships overnight.

If you're not one of those people, you might be like me: an introverted and shy person who'd rather keep to herself than put herself out there. I don't say any of this to rag on people who are different. Rather, I say this because I'm expressing how hard it was for me to make friends.

For me, coming to college was like high school but worse. It was unfortunate that my randomly picked roommate didn't have an interest in hanging out with me. Aside from that, I didn't want to join any clubs in fear that I wouldn't fit in.

Also, I overthought things way too much. I did see clubs and activities going on around campus I wanted to get involved in. I went so far as to say to myself, "Even if I do go, I'll look stupid for not going with any friends." I'd be a loner at an event dedicated to meeting new people and although that makes sense, my anxiety overtook and I always bailed.

Friendships don't come easy and they can heavily impact your college experience. I'm glad to say I've navigated my way through friendships and have some to lean back on. But it was very hard getting to this point.

Girlfriends and Boyfriends

This topic is complicated. When it comes to romantic relationships in college, it can either be great, terrible, in between, or a full range of explosive tendencies. Anything, anyone, anywhere... it all happens in weird and unpredictable ways.

Navigating these ways is hard and can be extremely uncomfortable. Many people in college have no sense of what they want or what they're looking for, and that makes things complicated.

For some, it's easy to connect with people you can relate to and form mutual relationships. But for others, it's hard because everyone in college is at different places in their lives. From high school sweethearts to people who've been single forever, college is messy. For me, I'd say my experience has been just that. Messy.

I've been in a relationship where long distance seemed to work out better than being close. Weird, right? I've been in a relationship that was the opposite as well. Nonetheless, romantic relationships in college can be stressful and may be distracting from what you're really at college for. Ultimately, it all depends on who you are, your standards, and how you see it. Go off of what works for you.

Teachers, Professors, and Advisors

The long-awaited rant about the relationships we form with the faculty in colleges has finally come to a start.

Everyone's experience with the faculty and teachers in their specific department may vary. It all depends. When it comes to how professors in college treat you, it can come across in many different ways. They can be extremely helpful and friendly, sometimes strict and unrelenting, nerdy know-it-alls, or unfortunately, ones that have no idea what they're doing. I've experienced my fair share of these types and it's been complicated to navigate.

I would like to say my current advisor is great and cares about how I'm doing in my classes, knows me well, and gives me advice about my future endeavors. But that's not the case. I've learned that it's up to me to ask him questions so that I don't end up making mistakes in my college career that might cost me. It sucks that I have to take this added responsibility on myself, but that's just how some advisors are. It strengthens me, yet points out a weakness among some faculty.

When it comes to professors, I've taken general education course with nicer and more well-informed teachers than the teachers in my department. But it's in a good way. The professors in my department are strict and very hands on. They make projects and assignments harder so that I'll be prepared for the real world, so I'll push myself, commit to hard deadlines and the frenetic environment of the entertainment industry.

I value the way they teach me because it boosts my confidence and delivers me constructive criticism on the daily. I'm in a space where my creative efforts are always being tested, and that encourages me to want to do better and succeed. It makes me more passionate about the field I'm in and the career I want to pursue.

While every professor has their strengths and weaknesses, I'm glad mine are where they are. Again, for others, it may be different. It all just depends and hopefully, you'll find a way to navigate it successfully.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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To The Boy I’ve Been Dating Since I Was 15, I Always Knew You Were My Forever

Thank you for showing me love when I thought I didn't deserve any.

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Hey you,

People assumed our "fling" would only last a few short months. It's what everyone assumes when your first love happens during your sophomore year of high school. Yet here we stand, three and a half years later, more together than we've ever been. Although we've had our ups and downs, we still managed to keep our relationship going and to remember why we're together in the first place.

Many say loving isn't easy, but you make it a walk in the park.

You respect me in more ways than one, and you make me feel beautiful, inside and out. For a long time, I never noticed the beauty and strength I have within myself. I didn't see what others would point out to me, and at times I still find it hard to acknowledge my worth. However, you came into my life at a time when I felt I had no one, and you helped me to see all I have to offer. You helped me to open my mind to the thought of loving myself for who I am, and although the road is long and I'm not completely there, you've made me see how worthy of love I truly am.

Having you as my best friend, along with being my boyfriend, is the most rewarding feeling in the world.

I think the reason we rarely fight or stay angry with each other is that we truly are best friends. We could spend all of our time in deep conversation about any topic in the world and still feel engaged and ready to hear more from one another. Every single day I learn something new about you and vice versa. We can be ourselves in each other's presence and have fun doing absolutely nothing exciting. I am easily annoyed by a lot of things, but you are not one of them. Being with you for hours, even if we just watch TV the entire time, never gets repetitive or boring.

You treated me with the respect I deserved before I even realized I was worthy of it.

In many ways, I don't respect myself. Whether it be body image or letting "friends" walk all over me, I let many thoughts and people control my life. You, however, were the saving grace I needed. You've shown me how I deserve to be treated and how I should think of myself. Often I wonder how I got so lucky to end up with someone who loves me unconditionally and who values everything I have to offer. I say all the time that I don't deserve your heart, your kindness, your love, but you always remind me that I do. And I'm starting to realize that you're right; I deserve every bit of love, kindness, and respect that you have to offer. I can only hope that I award you with the same love and selflessness you give me every single day.

Three and a half years with someone may seem extremely long, but I feel as though we've been together a lifetime. It's hard to remember a time when you weren't right there beside me, and I would never want to imagine a future without you in it. There are so many more laughs, adventures, and memories to be made with you, and I only hope that I can be at least half of the person you are.

Thank you for pulling me out of the darkness. Today, tomorrow, and always.

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