As a senior in college, I face all of the typical uncertainties that come along with being in this stage of life. Where am I going to work next year? Am I going to have to move to live there? When do I even start to apply for this job? Am I even qualified to work a real job?
Unfortunately, I have one other big question to worry about that most of my peers don't have to take into consideration: will my relationship be OK after I graduate?
Unlike most of my friends in relationships, my boyfriend still has three years of school to go after I graduate. Although he's actually a year older than me, I am three years "older" than him when it comes to school. He took a few years off after high school to focus on playing hockey (ultimately earning him a scholarship for college, so who am I to complain about it...) and I set my mind to graduating college a year early. The result: a weird three year age difference.
It's true that "age is just a number" and "age-gap relationships work" but it's hard to picture our lives in the near future while we're both in such different stages of life. All of my energy has been absorbed by applying for jobs and fixing my resume while he's still in his college freshman mindset of wanting to make friends and explore campus. To say the least: it's absolutely frustrating.
It's tough to know that for the next three years we likely won't see eye-to-eye on every issue due to being in totally different places in our lives. While that scares me half to death and makes me question the direction that our relationship is heading, we're determined that no amount of school years between us will break us apart.
We're going to make it work.
It's all about us compromising. It means me choosing to stay closer to home initially until we're both ready to move away together to start our lives elsewhere. It means him having to start to settle down a little sooner than most of his friends so we can start our life together.
For us, these solutions are perfect. They mean that we don't have to lose each other.
I've heard it a million times: "right person, wrong time" and for a second, I may have even started to believe it. But the truth is, if it's the right person, there is no such thing as the wrong time because even if it's inconvenient, every second together is worth it. Even if it does add on another three years of me having to be a homework helper.
It's stressful not knowing what the future holds and having to trust that we love each other enough to make it work while we're both in different life stages. But at the end of the day, it's a reminder that life doesn't always have to exactly match my pre-planned schedule.
And even better, here's to another three years of frat parties.