The Boyfriend-Biochemistry Balance

College is all about balance. It’s basically a giant exercise in time management. Classwork alone can be a full time job, and that doesn’t include any extracurricular activities you might pick up along the way. I tend to carry a full schedule academically and otherwise. However, this year I unexpectedly picked up an additional time commitment: a relationship. For me, balancing my beloved but demanding biochemistry major, undergraduate research, along with my other commitments has been a somewhat daunting task at times.

One round of midterms in, I’m just starting to get used to balancing someone else’s schedule with my own. Upon reflection, I realized that I have many friends doing a great job of this already. I enlisted a handful of my male and female friends in relationships and asked them about how they make it work.

 

What’s your major?

Friend 1: Econ and Theology

Friend 2 (In a long distance relationship, attends another University): Accounting

Friend 3: Biology and Applied Computational Math and Statistics

Friend 4 (In a long distance relationship): Biochemistry

Friend 5: Mechanical Engineering

 

What are your biggest extracurricular commitments?

F1: My main extra curricular commitment is Army ROTC, and then some scattered other things like intramural sports and dorm activities.

F2 (LDR): Business organizations, visiting a retirement home once a week, heavily involved in church, alpha lambda delta honors society

F3: On campus job and Uplift group mentor (a mentoring program for underclassman biology majors), undergraduate research

F4 (LDR): Boxing, working as an EMT, Big/Little Sister volunteer program, Faith Life committee leadership within my dorm, undergraduate research

F5: President of an A Capella group, I have an engineering job off campus

 

How do you balance spending time with your significant other and your other commitments?

F1: I think we balance the time by just knowing that we each have academic priorities and other responsibilities that are important. We know each other’s schedule enough that there are times during the week when we can get together for dinner or just study or hang out for a little bit in between other things. And then the weekends usually offer more chance to spend time together, or if we plan on doing something we can set aside time in advance.

F2 (LDR): Honestly it’s really hard, but time management and prioritization and time management are huge. Being able to sacrifice certain things in order to do the things that are most important is difficult, but worth it.

F3: Finding activities that need to be/will be done anyway that we can do together, like eating lunch or studying.

F4 (LDR): Dedicate an hour a night, and know that that’s a taken hour. I build it into my schedule. We also do once monthly in person visits, alternating who drives to who so that the commitment is shared between us.

F5: Consider it a commitment like anything else. You have to make time for it, it’s just as much of a priority as anything else. Be transparent about schedules and when you’re busy, but also be intentional about making time for each other. Try to do things that interest both of you.

 

What do you think is the most important tip you can give for dating in college?

F1: I guess my advice would be just find someone who’s willing to appreciate the other obligations you have, and that even doing “regular” things like going to Mass or for a run can be nice ways to do things you need to do and spend time together.

Bonus comment: Just date someone awesome and it’s easy amirite?

F2 (LDR) : From a long distance standpoint, communication is the biggest thing. Setting up weekly FaceTime dates has been huge for us. We have a set day and time each week that we keep free so that we can have that consistent quality time together. Also being honest and open with what you need from the other person and being willing to give up some things for the relationship to work.

F3: Make sure to communicate your schedules so you can try to schedule some free time together. Even if it isn’t frequent, it’s nice to have time dedicated just for your significant other.

F4 (LDR): Make sure to make time for them. It’s easy to push off because you’re both super busy, but that’s not how a relationship works. Also, be accomodating of other person’s schedule as they should be of yours.

F5: Don’t let it take you away from your girlfriends! It’s easy to do, but those are important relationships too!

 

Ultimately, there were a few pieces of advice that I think are important to take note of:  employ frequent honest communication, treat your relationship like your other commitments, and be intentional about finding small ways to spend time together even when things are busy. My friends were all immediately and excitedly engaged in answering my questions, and it demonstrated to me that for them balancing their relationships has been not only doable, but rewarding.

Images 1, 2

Follow HCND on Twitter, like us on FacebookPin with us and show our Instagram some love!