Relationships Of All Kinds Are Complicated

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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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs / Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out RedBubble for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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To The Girl Telling Herself She Doesn't 'Catch Feelings,' Stop Lying To Yourself

"Catching feels" is not synonymous with a sickness, but with embracing the human capacity to feel that we all too often neglect.

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We're all guilty of it. We think we have this incredible Great Wall of China protecting our vulnerability; however, we tend to overestimate its security with defense mechanisms that could potentially hurt us in the long-term, concerning the formation of future relationships.

We must let others in to embrace the process of falling for someone

If you're like me, constantly busy and preoccupied with life's demands (sometimes going days without proper inhalation and exhalation), we become almost numb and ignorant of our emotions, mostly as a result from not putting ourselves out there. But this lack of experience is wrongly mistaken for the notion of attachment resistance. It's OK to focus on yourself, but after a while, it is necessary and fun to reawaken those feelings and jubilant moods associated with falling for someone, because in the midst of life's madness, we often forget how to feel.

Do not attempt to avoid to "catch feels" like it's the plague

We're consistently bombarded with false advice from society to avoid "catching feels," or falling for someone, no matter the costs. Why is it suddenly so frowned upon to actually like someone you met? Why should we feel shame in wanting to continue a relationship with this person? Dating is evidently complicated in the 21st century, but don't let this make you try to consciously repress those newly-formed feelings since repression essentially leads to escalation. Embrace the feels because it's the human thing to do.

Loosen your wall's bricks with vulnerability

Some of our jerk-alert senses are more activated than others, mostly due to past experiences, but it's important to hammer into our heads that they're not all the same.

Stop lying to yourself. No matter how much you repress it, you will feel, you will get attached, and you will allow yourself to do this, despite what the norm is for what "dating" is today. Break off from your defense mechanisms and your wall will slowly follow. Remember: "catching feels" is not synonymous with sickness, but with embracing the human capacity to feel that we all too often neglect.

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