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charlie and nick\'s hands touching in heartstopper season 2
charlie and nick\'s hands touching in heartstopper season 2
Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Your First College Relationship: Where to Find the Time for it

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

College is the time where you truly start to find yourself. A huge part of starting college for me was learning to prioritize myself in a way which I had never before. After breaking away from a toxic previous relationship, I was ready to live a single, productive life. However, as time went on, the inevitable happened — I found my amazing boyfriend.

While the early stages of the relationship felt surreal, I was also worried that all my progress as an independent person would crumble. Where would I find the time for school work? When would I get alone time? How would I be able to maintain the beautiful life I had built for myself? These were all the questions I found myself asking as the relationship really started taking shape. While the questions are valid, I was worried for nothing.

Where Will I find the time for school?

This question is huge for college students, as our work requires a lot of our attention. In my relationship, we quickly learned that we were both hardworking students who wouldn’t be happy if our grades started to drop. The solution was simple: library dates. Now obviously, the library isn’t a romantic, actual date setting, but it is a way to spend quality time with one another. I’ve had some of the best times with my friends simply just sitting in the library, getting work done, or stopping to talk to each other every once and a while. Having one another as company while we get our work done is both encouraging and comforting, almost as though we’re holding one another to a higher standard than before.

Seeing my partner focusing on his own school work has not only raised my respect for him, but also motivated me to work even harder than I was before. If you can remain academically disciplined with a partner, it’s a great sign that your relationship is not stopping you from growing, but rather pushing you forward.

When Will i get my alone time?

Growing up as an only child, I learned that I need my alone time. When a new partner was introduced into my life, I realized I had to split my time between my friends, my boyfriend, and most importantly myself. This title of this section may seem selfish, but time to oneself is significant in a number of ways. Self-care is the gateway to loving others. On my off days, when I have no time to myself, I tend to be rather closed off and unwelcoming. However, when I allot enough time to take a breather, I know that I’ll ultimately be able to put the right energy into my other relationships.

Establishing alone time starts with you. Create your boundaries and make them clear. If I am planning on taking an afternoon to myself, it’s going to happen. I know it is difficult to stick with the original plan. When people invite me to hangout I want to go, but I know that when I feel tired, my body is telling me to take a break. This year, I have had less sick days, more quality time with those I love, and a better GPA. I know I can credit some of that good fortune to taking care of myself. 

How will i be able to maintain the life i have already?

After having had a toxic relationship before, I was really reluctant to change the lifestyle I had established for myself again. But one thing to know is that no relationship is ever the same. When someone awful leaves your life, you have the ability to improve and thrive based on your attitude. As long as you keep living the way you have been, a new relationship should be no problem. Running into conflicts is only natural, but they can be resolved with healthy communication and of course, love.

After starting my new relationship, I kept doing the things I love, seeing the people I loved, and ultimately grew the love I had for my lifestyle overall. A new relationship should look like a bloom in your life, not the opposite. With that being said, making the time for a new relationship is a test of whether or not you are compatible with your partner in the first place.

Jumping into a new relationship is difficult, especially after a rough past. However, I encourage you all to explore your boundaries and stick with them. There’s no harm in sticking with your routine, but you can always learn from trying something new as well. I wish you the best of luck in your relationship endeavors! 

Brooke is a second year Economics major at UCSB who is also working on double majoring in Communication. In her free time, you can catch her spending a long day at the beach with friends, or binge watching Vogue Beauty videos (especially the Kendall Jenner ones). Although she is not used to writing for an audience, she is ecstatic to see where HerCampus takes her throughout her college career and beyond.