Should you start university in a relationship?

Students who will be entering higher education may not know what the future holds for them, and that includes their partner if they are in a relationship. Should students work at making their relationship work, or become single and ready to mingle? Plenty of students ask the same question, every year, should I go to university in a relationship?

Arriving at university with a relationship has its advantages and disadvantages. The pros include having another person to confide in during the beginning of term when you may not have many friends, or not had the chance to have learned all of your housemate’s names yet. It is also beneficial to students who are suffering from feeling homesick and have another reason to travel home for. Although a relationship can help you to deal with the new anxieties and issues you may be dealing with within the first term, it won’t necessarily guarantee you will deal with it successfully. A relationship that started prior to university may act as a distraction for the student’s studies, mingling abilities and the adjustment of their new student life. It can make it more difficult to become settled and students may find themselves relying on their spouse about their struggles.

If your partner is also at university at another location, this situation can cause anxiety and worries about infidelity, or cause problems within the relationship – as the two institution’s timetables may not match up completely making it harder for the two involved to schedule Facetime/Skype or phone calls, – as well as visiting times. Whereas if a student’s partner is not at university, and is at your hometown working, for example, they may begin to resent you if you are not ‘free’ to talk or visit them, as well as envy you for your time at university.

Relationships usually include commitments already established, and students spending their time and efforts to these promises may find themselves not engaging fully in the experiences they could be having during university. Personal development can be affected as far as the distance between you both.

People, situations and relationships can change over time, and that can include your school friends, family and partner. Even if you manage to visit home every few months instead of the bi-annual visit (Christmas – because your mum made you – and the summer holidays) things will change while you are away whether you Facetime every day or not.

Students who are in denial, or who are attempting to keep their relationship alive may be sacrificing their personal development time and effort to stay with this person. University is an experience and a time for students to meet people, join societies and discover who they are as a person. Therefore, devoting an allotted time to a relationship can be detrimental to your experience, but also to the person you are in a relationship with, and there are plenty of people who have regrets starting university whilst still in a relationship

If you are thinking about entering higher education with your high school love still intact then think about all of those lost weekends, late night phone calls and hours of lost sleep due to arguments that will accumulate when you could be spending student nights with your housemates, gaining that first in your dissertation or making memories that you will tell anyone who will listen.

You may break up with your partner before, during or after university, and once the Ben and Jerry’s has been consumed, Dirty Dancing watched 34 times, and that weekend where you went out every night and you only remember shouting out “Tequila!” has occurred, you probably won’t even give them a second thought. Is your university experience worth more than that?

An important thing to consider before going to university is to realise that you are continually growing as a person, and university will undoubtedly change something, if not, a lot about you, whether it is directly connected to your studies or your location or even your housemates. This might mean that you won’t be suited to your partner several times during studying for a degree, and are you going to use all of that energy to deny that fact? Let yourself be you, and let your partner go before starting university.

Lastly, not all relationships will break down, there won’t be guaranteed infidelity or the notion of jealousy being discussed every day. Some students who start university can continue their relationship with their boyfriend/girlfriend, even if their partner isn’t in university themselves. However, the decision as to whether to stay or go should be considered seriously.

Having a boyfriend/girlfriend when entering university isn’t going to take your university away from your point blank, but it may alter how you will experience it, and as an average of £24,000 per tuition per degree, is your university experiences worth anything less?