I was talking to a friend of mine recently who is a senior in high school and is deciding where to go to college. It is looking like she will be going to a different school than her boyfriend and that has been making it extra hard for her.
There is a big stigma around the topic of going to college while dating someone else who is going to a different school.
One might feel pressured to break up with their partner even if they've been dating for a long time, because "you need to focus on yourself" and "you both will change a lot in college," or "they will hold you back from doing what you really want."
First of all, if in your current relationship you can't love each other AND focus on yourself and what you want, then you need to work on that whether you go to the same school or not. Second of all, if in your current relationship you don't let each other grow and change and support each other as life goes on, then that also is somewhat of a big issue. And finally, if your boyfriend or girlfriend truly loves you and wants to stay with you, they will NOT hold you back from what you want and, in fact, will help you get there.
I've heard of a lot of couples that broke up before college because they were so afraid of all of these things happening and only focusing on what could go wrong — when, in reality, there are actually a lot of good things that come from going into college in a committed relationship.
As we should all know, college brings an immense amount of freedom that a lot of people have never experienced before. Whether that is being able to sleep through class without your mom yelling at you, or being able to fully indulge yourself into the culture of drinking, parties, and hooking up with people you just met at the bar. College is full of freedoms that ultimately probably aren't the best ideas but are oh so tempting because everyone is doing it and they look like they are having a great time.
But I also think that if you happen to really be in love with someone and in a happy and healthy relationship with someone that is not going to the same college as you, why would you give that up for a couple random hookups that you probably won't remember?
Being away from each other is also probably the quickest way to figure out if you as a couple are willing to make time for each other despite the busyness that college brings. It allows for you to figure out if you and this person can grow and change but still be in love. If you can be away from each other and still manage to have fun and be yourself and grow as a person on your own while still loving each other, then that is always a promising sign that your relationship is becoming stronger and will keep getting stronger through the hard stuff.
Now I am not saying that it is super easy and is all rainbows and butterflies. It is hard. And there have definitely been some ups and downs in my relationship. It takes little sacrifices like "okay I am gonna stay up 15 minutes later and make sure I can talk to Jack and ask him how his day was." And sometimes, it just feels like we're disconnected, which just comes with the distance, but you make time and build on your connection that comes from trust and support.
Also, there are some plus sides. Being in a committed relationship has allowed me to solely focus on making friends as I don't have to worry about all the drama that comes with looking for a relationship or worrying about if this boy likes me or not. I can just work on meeting new people and creating good friendships. It also always gives Jack and me a ton to talk about. We get to talk about our different classes and different things going on at our separate schools.
It's fun also to be able to meet each other's new friends and to show him Miami. And when we do get to see each other every few weeks, it's so nice and it feels a lot more special. You come to appreciate the time together a lot more when you haven't seen each other in weeks.
All in all, yeah, I do wish I could be with Jack more often, but going long distance has made our relationship stronger. We have been able to do our own things and grow and change yet still love each other at the end of the day, and I think that's pretty cool.
So don't be super scared about going to a different school than your significant other because if you're with the right person, you guys will be able to withstand the distance and it could do a lot of positive things for your relationship.
Song of the Week: "I Can Only Imagine" - MercyMe