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Sex + Relationships

Transitioning from High School to College: Relationship Edition

As a freshman, there are so many things to get used to when transitioning from high school to college — getting to know a new city, adjusting to college classes, and making new friends can be a lot. Another transition that is very difficult is the change from being in a high school to a college relationship. The shift from seeing your significant other every day to going weeks without seeing each other can be very emotionally taxing and hard to get used to. Here is my story and advice on how I was able to make that change with my relationship.

Before high school ended, I saw my boyfriend almost every day in high school — we hung out after school very often, worked together, and were in the same friend group. Reflecting back on this now, it is almost crazy how much time we spent together, and I really did take that for granted. We were able to go on dates all the time, and we never had to carve out special times or days that we would hang out or even be able to FaceTime.

When I got to college, I wasn't really nervous about the separation because we still were going to school in the same city and our schools are very close to each other. I never thought about the challenges that would come with going to college, and I thought I had it all figured out (spoiler: I did not have it all figured out). I soon came to realize that this was not the case at all, and it was very hard to navigate the relationship — we had different schedules, greater workloads than ever, and we were both just generally busier.

[bf_image id="f6tz2jmrfzn8p6m9s63tr87v"]

My boyfriend and I are not long-distance, but at the beginning of college, sometimes it felt like it. We had been dating for almost two years when college started, and we had been through a lot together, but this was different. Before we started communicating about this distance, it was very frustrating, and we both felt some tension between us. It would sometimes feel like I was very alone even though I was in this relationship, while he did not feel like this at all.

These feelings bring me to my first piece of advice: communicate. It sounds so simple, but it is so important to be open about how you feel to your partner. If you think they are not wanting to talk to you as much, or if you do not feel like a priority anymore, you need to be open! In my relationship, things got so much better when I told my boyfriend that I needed to talk to him more or when I felt lonely. It can be scary, but they are probably feeling similarly!

My next piece of advice is to schedule times to talk to each other. If you are long-distance, scheduling FaceTimes or eating meals together can be really helpful! It is also important to schedule dates and to really put the effort into seeing each other. I know that it can get a lot with school and clubs and everything else that goes on in college, but if someone really wants to be with you, they will make time to hang out with you. 

[bf_image id="qdty5u-auxwhs-3casfm"] From my own experience, things improved a lot when my boyfriend and I decided we would try to FaceTime each other almost every day, even if it was a very short call. It was something I could look forward to every night, and he made time to talk to me, which really meant a lot.

My last piece of advice is to make sure that you are patient. This was the hardest part for me because, before college, we would talk constantly, and, especially during quarantine, we talked so much more than usual. It is so important that you are making time for each other, but also yourselves. It can be really hard when you wait around for someone to call or text you, and in order to help with this, it is important to focus on yourself! Pick up some hobbies, have a self-care night, or hang out with friends! You need to be your own person outside of your relationship, and it is important to remember that. I know sometimes all you want to do is talk to your significant other, but you both need time and space to be your own people. 

Remember that this transition is difficult, but it is also a learning experience. If you are able to get through this, then your relationship is really strong and you should be proud of yourself!

Don't be too hard on yourself. It is important to be patient and kind to yourself during this adjustment period in your life.

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Alice is a Boston University sophomore studying political science and environmental analysis and policy. She is passionate about politics, music, and fashion.
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