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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DePauw chapter.

As a bit of a late bloomer, I had my first relationship in college. There are a lot of things that circled my mind about expectations, realities, advice, and so much more. I want to share with all of my fellow late bloomers what I wish I would have known going into my first relationship and all the things I needed to hear leaving it. 

The Relationship

Take a chance, tell them how you feel. You might be rejected and that is okay. Rejection is a part of life. You learn and you grow.

2. Make Mistakes. 

1. Be Bold.

It’s okay to make mistakes, to say the wrong thing, to make a misguided choice. Not everything is going to be your picture-perfect fantasy. Both you and your partner deserve to be a little messy and make the wrong choices. What matters is how you make it up. You’re not always going to be in the right, and that is okay. 

3. Communicate!

I know it’s a cliche and everyone tells you to communicate, but it is so extremely important to communicate everything. Tell them your feelings, express your wants and needs, share what you like and what you don’t like. Communication truly is key. Breaking down those walls, feeling comfortable to tell them any and everything is so imperative to a successful relationship. 

4. Make Boundaries. 

Share your boundaries. It is okay to need alone time or to have multiple people or priorities in your life. Your significant other does not always need to be the number one priority. Set those boundaries and share your other priorities with your partner. 

5. Take it all in. 

Take in all the small things. I want you to experience everything. The feeling of excitement as you drive to your first date, the way it feels when they hold your hand, or when you catch them looking at you, or just simply being in their presence. Feel it ALL. Take every moment in, because those are the moments that you will remember. You will remember how giddy they make you feel and how much they make you want to smile. You want to hold on to the good moments, so make them last. 

The Break-Up

There is so much to say when it comes to the end of an important relationship in your life that it is hard to list it and put it in bullet points–but these are the ones that I think make the most impact. 

1. Time 

Everyone says it, and it’s hard to believe, but time really does heal everything. It isn’t going to be easy everyday and some days will be so unbearably hard. Someone close to me once said, “one day you will wake up and it will hurt a little less” and it will, it might be hard to see in the midst of the pain, but you will get through it. 

2. Growth 

Take this time to reflect and grow from this experience. Relationships are one of the biggest indicators of ourselves. We learn so much about ourselves when we enter and when we leave a relationship Take it in, reflect on every moment and use it to grow. 

3. Feel It 

Feel your emotions, it will be hard, but don’t shove it down. Talk about it, tell your best friend what hurts and what you miss. Expressing your feelings is the only way to move past it. Every time you talk about it or feel it, it truly will hurt a little less. 

Overall, EMBRACE it, embrace the good, and embrace the ugly. It will all work out for a reason. You’ve got this! And with that, I leave you with a wise quote from Dr. Taylor Swift during her NYU commencement speech, “Hard things will happen to us. We will recover. We will learn from it. We will grow more resilient because of it.” 

Lindsay is majoring in english writing and loves all things reading and writing. She is graduating in 2026. Her favorite things include Taylor Swift, plants, and coffee.