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Unpopular Opinion: Starting College With a Significant Other Isn’t A Bad Thing

“Don’t go to college with a boyfriend.” 

“You don’t want to feel tied down like that.” 

“It will never last.”

“But don’t you want to be able to have FUN?”

 

I have heard all of these phrases from friends, family, coworkers and even strangers when talking about my decision to start my freshman year of college with a boyfriend. And, not only did I start college with a boyfriend, I started college with a boyfriend who lives almost 900 miles away. 

Everyone told me I was crazy. But I am here to tell you the three reasons why I think starting college with a significant other is actually really great.

No Pressure

Family is ruthless. And though somewhat outdated, my parents and grandparents all seemed to think that college is a place to find a future spouse. For some people, maybe it is. But for others, not so much. 

Entering college with a significant other means that pressure is not there. There is no need to scan the sidewalks, classrooms or ZOOM meetings for that special someone. Sure, the pressure is still on to find friends, but the pressure to find the person who comes to holiday gatherings, gets along with parents and can deal with a crazy family is not there. And that is a lot of pressure.

A Built In Support System

I entered college knowing absolutely nobody. My first interaction with new freshmen was with my two roommates. And, when things get tough, confiding in new acquaintances is not necessarily the easiest thing to do.

A video call with a significant other, though, can be enough to get through a tough time. A significant other is someone who knows how to support you, is willing to listen and wants to see you succeed. Maybe they can tell you a joke and help you laugh it off. Maybe they can remind you why you’re there. Or maybe they can rationalize and help you put things into perspective.

Something to Look Forward To

A week of class can be a somewhat mundane experience. Wake up, get ready, go to class, do homework, eat, sleep and do it all over again. College is hard. Homesickness is real. And, sometimes, it seems that it will never end.

Every day, I look forward to calling my boyfriend to tell him about my day and hear about his or just see his face after classes, tests and quizzes. 

And, knowing that at the end of the quarter when I have completed my work I will be rewarded with seeing my best friend again is enough motivation to push through the tough or boring days. Having a significant other means you have something to look forward to: seeing the person that makes you the happiest for the first time in what could feel like forever. 

 

Long distance relationships aren’t for everyone. They take work, and a lot of it. But, if both people involved are willing to put in the time and effort, they are so worth it.

Sydney Pattison is a 1st year student studying Neuroscience at Santa Clara University. She plans to pursue a career in child and adolescent psychiatry. When not studying, Sydney enjoys working out, cooking pasta, and loving on her dogs.
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