Her Story: My SO Is Graduating

Having a significant other depart from college after their senior year can be a lot to face when you still have time left. As the time until graduation is dwindling, quite a few collegiettes are facing this big change, and our very own Campus Correspondent, Maty Swartz, is one of them! I took some time this week to ask her about what she’s going through and see what advice she has to offer to other women in her situation.

Q: Where/how did you meet your boyfriend?

A: It’s actually kind of funny because my boyfriend, Jamie, and I knew of each other before we actually knew each other. During my freshman year, I did tech work for Little Shop of Horrors and Jamie was in the show. I always saw him backstage, but this was back when I was a complete hermit and I was too shy to talk to anyone—especially cute guys. That fall, we both ended up doing the school newspaper. As Layout Editor, it was something I was really passionate about, and I could see that Jamie cared about the paper as well—which was refreshing considering how most people usually treat the class. One day, Jamie approached me about helping with editing and I thought, Hey, he’s kind of cute and we have a common interest, so why not?

So, I invited Jamie over to my room so that I could give him a brief InDesign tutorial and show him what really went into putting a newspaper together (at least that’s what I told him; I kind of had ulterior motives). That’s why I was surprised that we spent only a few minutes going over the paper and spent the rest of the time talking. I couldn’t remember the last time that I had been able to have a real, engaging conversation with a guy—so it was a nice change of pace, to say the least. We continued to spend time together after that, and eventually ended up in a relationship.


Q: How long have you been together?

A: We started dating in October of 2014, so we’ll be hitting the year and a half mark soon.

Q: What’s your favorite memory from college with Jamie?

A: That’s a tough one because we’ve had so many wacky adventures together, but I would have to say that my favorite was our one-year anniversary. The thing about us is that whenever we try to plan anything special, it usually blows up in our faces. Our anniversary is October 9, my birthday is October 11, and Jamie’s is the 14th. So, we were planning to have one big celebration for all three occasions on our actual anniversary—and we tried our hardest to make sure that everything went according to plan. Jamie made reservations at Stillwaters at Stonewall Resort, we both dressed up, and we planned to have a big gift exchange afterward. But, as luck would have it, we were running late and by the time we made it to the resort, it was pouring the rain and all of the available parking spots were pretty far from the front entrance. By the time we made it inside, I looked like a drowned rat. But we went on with our dinner anyway. By the time we had finished, it was clear outside so we made a break for the car. We were halfway there when a torrential downpour came out of nowhere! I was completely drenched to the point where I was wringing water out of my cardigan. When we finally made it to the car, we looked at each other and just started laughing. I think we both realized that sometimes, things may not go according to plan—but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the detours life takes you on.  And when we’re together, it’s always an interesting trip.

Q: Are the two of you planning to stay together after he graduates?

A: As of right now, yes. We don’t know what the future will hold for either of us, but we hope that we can make it work with whatever comes our way.

Q: How do you think your relationship dynamic will change when you aren’t both at Wesleyan?

A: I think that we’ll learn how to be more independent—which is a change that I’m more than happy to welcome. We’re both going to be at different stages in our lives; Jamie will be working while I’m looking and applying for jobs. I think it’s important that we have this time apart from one another so that we don’t forget what it’s like to be on our own, and so that we can determine what we want out of life and out of our relationship as a whole. That way, we can move forward confident in what the future holds for us. I think that the distance will make us stronger in that sense.  

Q: What are some of the challenges you have discussed and how do plan to manage them?

A: The biggest thing is that we won’t really have the summer as a buffer. I’m leaving for Boston in June and won’t be back until fall classes resume, so we’ll be really limited on time. Jamie is planning to visit me in the city, and of course, we’ll Skype and talk on the phone whenever we have free time. But as far as next semester goes, we’re just planning to take it in stride. I’m hoping that my schedule won’t be as hectic as it’s been during previous semesters since I’ll be graduating in December, so that should free up a lot of time for visiting on my end. But at the same time, I think we’re both going to enjoy having a little more independence.

Q: What’s some advice you can give to other women who are expecting big changes like this with their significant other?

A: The most important thing is to put your own happiness first. Use this as an opportunity to examine your current relationship, and consider whether or not you find yourself wanting more. Make sure that you and your partner discuss these changes and that the two of you are on the same page about what those changes will bring to your relationship. Do you want the same things? Do you share the same values? Does your partner respect your beliefs, and do you respect theirs? These are the questions you and your SO need to ask yourselves moving forward. Whether you decide to stay together, take a break or end things altogether, it’s important that you are making these decisions for yourself and for your own happiness.