In movies like Another Cinderella Story, The Kissing Booth, After, or virtually any coming-of-age film that centers around an 18-year-old girl about to graduate from high school, we often see the protagonist give a testament of true love, telling the audience no matter how much college may change her, she and her boyfriend will always stay the same. Super romantic, right?
Maybe it would be if real life was anything like that. Listen, I’m not saying that any relationship you have in college is doomed to fail. There are definitely couples out there who defy any of my presuppositions about college relationships and are extremely happy and successful together. But, in my personal experience, it’s nothing like the movies. College and relationships have a lot in common; they require time, energy, and commitment. This makes it hard to strike a balance between the two, and you have to end up prioritizing one or the other. This will only make the stress that comes with being a student more intense because you’re going to be stressing over your relationships at the same time.
I made the mistake of bringing a boyfriend to college once we came back from the pandemic. I was so confident that I would be able to make it work and constantly reassured myself that it would be nothing like the time I tried to bring a boyfriend to college freshman year. (Spoiler alert, it was exactly the same.) Sure enough, once the semester started, I started running out of free time. On top of getting a job and more involved with more clubs, I was taking more difficult classes as I was taking more major courses as opposed to gen-eds. I had less time to make phone calls with my boyfriend, which turned into fewer weekends he could visit, which turned into us hardly having time to talk. This led to us fighting about who was at fault for the lack of communication and ultimately led to a breakup that was sad but for the best.
The thing is, college is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You only really get to have the 4-year experience once, and that time is extremely valuable to me — my education is extremely valuable to me. Not to mention, you end up experiencing some of the most important self-reflection and growth you’ve had yet. A relationship greatly heightens the risk of falling behind or stunting that growth, and that’s not something that I think is worth it. Now I can admit that a lot of this is highly varied based on the individuals in the relationships. It was my decision to invest more effort into my own personal growth and school rather than dedicate myself to the relationship, but that’s the point I’m trying to make. If you find yourself struggling to prioritize school or your relationship, I advise focusing on school for the time being. That boyfriend can come back when you are ready and you have already done a lot of your growing up. The phrase, “if you love something set it free” applies: if it was meant to be, it will be.
So consider breaking up with your boyfriend. Not ’cause you’re bored though, but because it’s possible that he’s what’s holding you back from being the best possible you.