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Freshman Guide: Maintaining Healthy Relationships

Starting college is a very exciting time for numerous reasons. You are probably moving out of your parents’ house, and you may be moving thousands of miles away from home. With that comes all kinds of new relationships, in addition to the ones you already have from home. You will build new relationships with friends, romantic partners, professors and school faculty, your schoolwork, and yourself. It is very important to keep an even balance with all these relationships in order to keep them healthy. Here are a few tips to help maintain strong and healthy relationships:

With your roommate(s):

• This cannot be emphasized enough; communication is probably one of if not the most important things to practice with your roommate. You need to communicate about absolutely everything, even the smallest things like buying toilet paper for the bathroom. If you do not communicate, you will absolutely run into problems.

• Be honest with each other. Always.

• Respect each other’s schedule and space. If your roommate has an 8:00 A.M. class, do not have friends over the night before until 2:00 A.M. unless she agrees to it. If she doesn’t, it can wait until Friday night. Also, do not borrow her things without asking, or turn her side of the room into your own personal storage area; things will not end well if you do.

• Don’t have your boyfriend sleeping in your room every single night. If you and your boyfriend go to the same school, there is really no need for sleepovers. But if you absolutely must, switch it up and go to his room for a night. If your boyfriend visits from another school, make sure you clear it up with your roommate first.

• Make a list of ground rules within the first day or two.

First hand accounts:

“One problem I had with my roommate (who happens to be one of my closest friends) is that she liked to sleep with the TV on. I never had a TV in my room growing up, so I absolutely CAN’T sleep with the TV on. It sounds like something really little, but it can cause a lot of tension if you don’t talk about these things right away.” (Mackenzie, 2015)

“Be open minded.” (Julia, 2014)

“Make sure you agree on cleaning schedule for the room and bathroom. That is really important. You don’t want to live in filth.” (Cath, 2014)

“A lot of freshmen go into the year expecting to become really good friends with the girls that they live with. Luckily, I became best friends with my roommate, but I know a lot of people that weren’t so lucky. Although it helps to be friendly, you don’t need to be best friends in order to live in the same space.” (Tori, 2015)

With your professors:

• Unless you absolutely have to, do not skip class. Even if you are in a large lecture, or your professor does not take attendance, he or she will notice if you are not there. Most professors have a strict attendance rule anyway, so why ruin your grade over a night out on the town? Plus, just one class period costs almost $300.00 at Suffolk. Do you really want to waste that much money?

• Professors have office hours for a reason, so use them! Your professors will really appreciate the effort.

• Pay attention in class, and take notes, even if they are already on blackboard. Any professor will know if you are texting, on Facebook or Pintrest, or even reading HerCampus articles. And these professors are not afraid to call you out on it. The material on blackboard is usually not enough to study for exams. Professors say a lot more than what they write on their slides, and what they say is usually the most important information.

• Get involved in class discussions as much as possible. Class participation is a good portion of your grade, and will help you to stand out to your professor.

With your parents:

• No matter how excited you are to move away from home, and how much fun you have the first week of school, you will miss your parents. Keep in touch with them. Call them at least once a week to tell them how your freshman days are going and give them a brief update. They will appreciate it.

• Try to go home at least one time during the semester. No, I don’t mean just on holidays. If you surprise them, they will appreciate that even more than the weekly phone calls.

• Who says care packages have to just be for the student? Try sending them one as a huge thank you for all they do.

• Don’t ask for their opinion unless you really want it. You’re an adult now, so they aren’t going to sugar coat everything. Getting negative opinions or advice from your parents will probably only cause problems.

• Invite them to visit you during the semester, even if it is only to go shopping or grab lunch.

With your boyfriend/girlfriend:

• Do not take classes together! (Unless completely necessary). Classes are not that long. You can go a few hours without seeing each other, trust me it will be okay.

• Let him/her do his/her thing once in a while, while you do yours. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. ?

• Make sure you set aside time for each other. Make one night a week a ‘date night,’ where you will see each other no matter what. This is extra important because you will have a busy schedule with classes, work, homework, and extracurricular activities.

• Do not put all of your eggs in one basket. By this I mean don’t constantly blow off all your other friends for your significant other, or who will you have to turn to if you break up?

• Communication!

• Set boundaries that you both agree upon. Don’t think it is okay for you to go out solo, but get pissed if he does the same.

• Trust is probably more important than communication in a romantic relationship. With no trust, there is no relationship.

With your friends:

• Make sure you make time for your friends. You are going to make lifelong friends in college, and spending time with them is important.

• Communication, honesty, and trust!

• You are not in high school anymore, so stay away from catty rumors or drama.

• As you have probably heard countless times from your mother, “treat others how you want to be treated.”

• Always listen and give honest advice, even when you don’t want to. You never know when you will need it too.

With yourself:

• It is very important to have some alone time. With all the partying, studying, extracurricular and maybe even boyfriend time, any alone time you can get will be precious. Try to get out on your own at least once a week. Explore the shops on Newbury Street & Boylston Street, sit in The Commons for a while, head out to Faneuil Hall, the options are endless.

• Be true to yourself, and be who you are. Don’t fake a personality, because chances are you will not have the time or energy to keep up with the fake person you are creating for yourself.

• If you need to get away from the dorms, don’t be afraid to go home. No one will, or should judge you for it.

• Most of all, have fun and good luck! ?

Now these are just a few tips that I came up with for managing healthy relationships. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with people and relationships and getting through things. I encourage all of you to leave your tips to healthy relationships below in the comment box.

Name: Lisa
Academic Year: 2014
Astrological Sign: Aquarius
Major: Public relations with a minor in marketing

Favorite part of Suffolk: The location! We are located in the heart of Boston. There is so much to do and see around and on campus, not to mention it is a very beautiful location. ?

Hey! I'm Lisa and I am a senior at Suffolk. I am a Public Relations major with a minor in marketing.  
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