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The Do’s and Don’ts of Entering University While in a Relationship

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

So you’re in a high school relationship and you’re about to enter university. You might be asking yourself, “Can I make this relationship work when I go off to school?” For some people, it’s a resounding, “No way.” However, for others, there’s a chance that you and your S/O can be the anomaly when it comes to long-term high school relationships. 

Here are some dos and don’ts for walking into post-secondary, hand in hand:

DO discuss your feelings and fears 

No one said this would be easy. No matter how much you love each other, if your relationship is long-distance, this will put a strain on any couple. Whatever you’re nervous about, whether it be jealousy, stress, or lack of intimacy, put all those concerns out on the table to ease your mind before taking the leap.

DON’T assume the worst

Your new realities may create a lot of tension and worry within your relationship. People tend to jump to the worst possible conclusions about what their partner is doing when they’re not around. Trust is the most important thing to build.

DO make a schedule for visiting each other

If you and your S/O don’t go to the same university, one of the most important things is creating a schedule to see each other. If you don’t plan ahead, you might not see each other as much as you’d like to, especially during busy times of the year. Have these conversations weekly, discussing your workload for the week, your plans for the weekend, and what works best for the both of you.

DON’T make one person do all the travelling

Even if there’s a reason for one of you to travel more than the other, it’s not realistic for one partner to be commuting all the time to see the other person. Commuting every single weekend is draining and can spike arguments in the relationship that otherwise could have been avoided.

DO check up on each other

One day you might feel like you’re killing the long-distance game, and another day you might feel like life is being sucked out of you. Chances are, your partner is experiencing similar feelings. Check up on how the other person is feeling about the relationship, and what it needs in order for it to grow and change.

DON’T raise your expectations

After a week of not seeing your S/O, it’s hard to not wish for the “best” weekend with them. If sparks aren’t flying, don’t back away. It’s natural to overhype the feeling of being with your partner and ultimately feel a little disappointed when you’re not living out your movie magic dreams. Just enjoy your time together.

DO make time for your friends 

Maintaining relationships (and even friendships) from before university is no simple task. You spend the whole week at school, interacting with your new classmates, then go home at the end of the day to make sure your people are getting the attention they deserve. But it’s really, really important to put effort and time into the new relationships that you’re developing. If you don’t, you’ll start to resent your partner for keeping you from the new people in your life. 

DON’T keep your friends and your S/O in separate boxes

A key component to a good partnership is the relationship between your S/O and your friends and family. Making sure that they feel included and accepted by your friends (old and new) is key to feeling integrated into one another’s lives. 

DO connect with each other during the week

FaceTime and text are the communicative wonders of the 21st century. Take advantage of them! Let your partner know you’re thinking about them throughout the day, update them on daily events, and just check in on how they’re doing every day. Even just sending a meme or too over DM can warm a heart. Those little interactions mean the most. 

DO communicate, about everything

You should never feel afraid to tell your partner how you feel. They posted a photo on Snapchat with a new person, and you feel a pang of jealousy? Talk about it. They haven’t texted you back in 24 hours? Tell them that their actions have hurt you. Always feel comfortable with being honest.

DON’T be afraid to let go

It can be hard to admit, but we all go through major life changes when we start university. If you and your partner grow apart and begin moving in different directions, that is okay. You’re not letting anyone down–you’re opening yourselves up to new experiences, people and relationships. 

Let’s get real, your feelings, needs, dreams, desires, and tastes change dramatically over a few short years of your life. Sometimes, our changes grow with our heartthrobs, and sometimes they don’t. The most important thing to remember is that you have a responsibility to yourself to focus on you, your new school and your new reality. 

If it works, it works! Why not give it a shot?

Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Mercedes developed her love for reading and writing as a child in Harvard University libraries with steaming cups of coffee too big for her small size. Now, Mercedes attends Ryerson University in Toronto, where she studies journalism. She still loves to read, she is finding her writing niche, and her cups of coffee just grow bigger by the day. Mercedes treats her Instagram like a well-groomed apartment. You can judge it, much like an air b-n-b, @itsbenzy.