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Sex + Relationships

3 Tips on Balancing a Healthy Relationship in College

Being in a relationship is exhilarating, yet it can be challenging, especially when the aspects of college are added on. As a college student, we tend to get absorbed in our school work, hanging out with friends, jobs, joining clubs, and other activities. It is hard to balance all those tasks while incorporating a relationship into that.

To start, I am by no means an expert in relationships. I am currently in my first long-term relationship. However, I have (and still am) experiencing how to navigate this, and I am basing this off what I have learned with my boyfriend that has made our relationship grow stronger. So, I thought I would share a relationship guide to all the ladies out there who are trying to navigate their relationship in a college atmosphere. 

1.) Time Management

In order to make your relationship work, you first need to set your priorities. Ensure that you and your partner are on the same page and have similar goals of wanting to achieve in school. Set a schedule that consists of your study time and other commitments to certain clubs or activities. This will then allow you to work around your schedule to make conscious efforts in spending time with your significant other. Make sure to make time to hang out with your own friends. Personally, on weekends, I devote my time to going out with just my girlfriends. Then, on another night, my partner and I will try to go out together with our friends. A way of spending time with your partner is studying together. It is a great way to have each other in your presence and have them keep you company. It keeps me motivated knowing that my boyfriend is also doing work. Usually before or after studying together, we grab food. We can spend quality time just talking over food without being too preoccupied with other stuff. 

2.) Self-Care

While being in a relationship, it can be difficult to balance how much you do or don’t do together. It is important to still do what you love and not let that relationship hinder that because keeping your individuality is crucial. It is important to still take care of yourself, so understand your needs. Sometimes sacrifices are needed, such as giving each other space and doing your own things. You have a right to do what you want, but make sure it has been communicated to your partner. 

3.) Communication

Communicate any arising problems as soon as possible with your partner. My boyfriend and I felt that conveying anything bothering us right away helped us talk it out in a healthy way instead of keeping the thoughts to ourselves. It would eventually get to you and lead to more problems building up. Approach any problems in a polite way. If something is bothering you try to use “I” statements rather than directly blaming them. Comprise any issues in order to maintain an amicable conversation. Openly discuss any of your habits and needs. College gets busy, so try to update what you are doing with each other. It could be a simple text, like, “I am going to nap, so I might not answer for a bit.” It makes them feel important and shows that you care. This simple gesture demonstrates the effort you put into the relationship.

The beginning of the semester put a strain on our relationship because all these other factors in college interfered, and we did not know how to balance it at first. We started officially dating the last month of the previous semester, but everything was different than now because of the COVID-19 restrictions. All classes were online, so we had a lot of time to see each other compared to now. We were also so used to having it just be us two over the summer and did not consider the elements of college life. The issues stemmed from school work, friends, and going out on weekends. By being honest with each other and communicating our feelings, we learned to fully trust each other.

Being in a relationship in college is challenging while balancing every aspect of college life. It is extremely crucial to put your priorities first and to communicate with your partner, while also setting boundaries on the plans you have. 

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Brianna Lee

U Mass Amherst '24

Brianna is a sophomore at UMass double majoring in Communication Disorders and Public Health. She likes to play volleyball in her free time and spending time with her family and friends. She enjoys traveling, going on adventures and trying new food. This is her first semester on HER campus.
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