Going Into College With A Boyfriend

The Pre-College Cuffing Stigma Couldn't Be More Wrong, I'm Happy I'm Not Single

If it's true love, your partner will not hold you back from having a good time because your happiness will bring them joy.

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To my surprise, I was asked well over five times if my boyfriend and I would continue being together when I went off to college. Without a thought, I replied "Of course" every time and would see their dumbfounded expression shortly after. The question felt bothersome and uncomfortable every time, but I was aware of why they were asking: teenagers entering college are often advised not to begin college "tied down" because for some reason, being in a relationship equates to a lack of fun in their minds.

Being that my boyfriend is six months younger than I am, he would be starting his senior year of high school as I entered my freshman year of college. The college I would attend, Stony Brook University, is an hour or so from his house, but can very well be more than two hours on a bad traffic day.

The commute is much too far for me to live at home, so we wouldn't be able to see each other every day like we were used to. Although this was a sad and scary thought, I never had a doubt that we'd be able to make it work.

I still cannot wrap my head around the misconception that having a boyfriend prevents me from having fun in college because I have my most enjoyable moments when he comes to visit me or when I read his cute texts throughout the day. Even if a certain event doesn't involve him, I still have a great time with my girlfriends who provide me with endless laughter and smiles.

If it's true love, your partner will not hold you back from having a good time because your happiness will bring them joy.

The only reason people say you can't have fun in college if you're in a committed relationship is that you can't hook up with other people. Many people feel as though that's what college is for, but newsflash, it's actually to receive an education. Everyone is different, but personally, I would much rather have one person in my life to devote my love to than wasting time on a bunch of little flings.

My boyfriend and I were very quickly able to find an effective way of making time for each other both in person and when we couldn't physically be together. I made a schedule to come home every other weekend, if possible, and if he is able, he visits me one day on the weekends that I don't come home.

Although I still miss my family very much on those weekends that I stay at college, his presence provides me with a sense of comfort and we always have a fun time to distract me from my homesickness. Throughout the week, we call each other every night over FaceTime to see each other's face and hear each other's voice.

Many of the friends I've made at college I was able to bond with because we missed our boyfriends back home. One of my good friends has created the exact same schedule that I have of going home every other weekend and seeing her boyfriend at school when she doesn't go home. My other friend suffers through the long train rides to go home and see her boyfriend every weekend. Although sometimes it takes sacrifices to see our significant others, we wouldn't want it any other way.

I don't know how I would've gotten through this semester without my boyfriend. He was my shoulder to cry on when I didn't do well on a test or had a fight with a friend. When I didn't think I could finish my homework because it was just "too hard," he would motivate me in various ways so that I'd get it done. Every time that I cried because I wanted to go home, he'd remind me that I'd soon be surrounded by all of the people that I love.

The idea that "distance makes the heart grow fonder" is proved to me every day as I FaceTime my boyfriend and yearn to launch through the screen so I can hug him. I never feel as though my relationship is a burden in any way, but I consider it to be one of the best things that's ever happened to me.

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Being A Military Wife Is Not The Same As Serving In Active Duty

It's about balance, and it's hard to find a happy medium between serving and supporting your spouse.

yahairas
yahairas
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I enlisted into the United States Air Force as a fresh-faced 18-year-old. I had just graduated high school and never experienced life on my own, away from what I knew and my loved ones and friends. The military was my first legitimate job. Thankfully, I knew independence since I had parents that ensured I knew how to handle myself. That does not mean I joined knowing everything there was to know. Far from it, actually, but that's OK.

My first and only duty station was Malmstrom Air Force Base. Before you think that Malmstrom is some exotic and foreign land, it's definitely not. My first base was in Montana. A very cold and unpredictable climate where you could experience beautiful summer sunshine one day and the next, find yourself running back up to your room to escape from the unexpected blizzard.

I was stationed in Montana as a security forces member (military police) for six very long years. During this time, I met some wonderful people as well as some people I know I would not mind never seeing again. I did a lot of my growing up at this location.

There were hard lessons that needed to be learned and experiences that I had to have in order to know what and what not to do in the future. Security forces is not the easiest or best job in the military. There are more challenges as a security forces member than most careers in the Air Force. There is the very likely chance of deployment into hostile locations where the member will face life and death challenges and have to make quick and ugly decisions and the schedule and duties are not ideal.

However, the good often outweighs the bad. The rewards for surpassing these challenges that seemed insurmountable at the time are some of the best in the world. I can say that the life lessons during my time in the service, no matter how uncomfortable it was at the time, is an experience of a lifetime. These challenges are unknown to the military spouse.

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Not long after separating from the military, I got married. We met while I was still in the military. My husband is still active duty in the Air Force, turning me into a military wife and dependent. It was a different role to take, knowing how many people in the military viewed military spouses. I found myself in a different bracket or tier than a lot of people. I was a military wife that was prior military. I understand the challenges my husband still undergoes in his enlistment because I knew the military life at one point. I did not have to be introduced into the military and the way it works blindly.

Throughout my enlistment, there were stories and jokes regarding military spouses, with emphasis on the military wife. Even now that I am no longer in the service, I still see memes on social media where military wives serve as a running joke. The jokes involving weight, attractiveness, infidelity or wives wearing the rank of their military spouse while attempting to utilize what power that rank may hold. Due to the stories I heard while I was in, I had a pre-conceived idea of what to expect as a military spouse. Some of the stories and jokes came from a center of truth. However, the stigma for a military wife would follow any and all military wives no matter the validity or lack thereof.

Photo of Yahaira Seawright at her Airman Leadership school graduation Yahaira Seawright

When I became a military wife, I wanted to make sure I did not fall under that stereotype. Becoming the dependent gave me something else to consider. It gave me the unheard side of those military spouses. There are so many challenges that we also face while being married to the military.

For example, we pick up and go at a moment's notice and often leave our careers behind if our spouses get moved. This makes it really hard to make friends and connections with other people. Plus, there's the reality that our spouses could lose their lives serving for our country.

A lot of the time, we become a single parent when our spouses are deployed. If we do go with, finding employment is really competitive and hard to do at all. It's hard on both of us because neither party will ever truly understand why things are done a certain way. Some things just aren't fair and that's a hard reality to deal with.

So, yes, the service of the military member is the military member's service, not ours. That fact does not mean we do not have our own sacrifices we made when we decided to marry into the military family.

The experience of the military member and the military spouse are two different sides, but they're both equally important.

yahairas
yahairas

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