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Should Your SO Influence What You Do After Graduation?

As much as graduation should be one of the happiest times of your life, moving on to the next chapter often means that some people will be physically left behind. When the job offers come rolling in, you’ll find yourself weighing the pros and cons of moving. One of the cons will always be leaving that special someone behind. How much of your move should be influenced by your SO? The short answer is that there is no right answer. Here are five things to consider if your SO is heavily influencing where you’ll land after graduation.

Remember that the future is unpredictable

One thing is for certain in this lifetime, and that’s that the future is uncertain. Some opportunities only come once in a lifetime. If you pass up on a chance, who is to say another equally amazing chance will come along?

Anna*, a senior at Georgia State University, recalls the time when she sacrificed a full-ride scholarship to her dream school on the opposite side of the country to be close to her boyfriend. “Although it was on a much smaller scale, I still think about what my life would’ve been like if I left,” she says. “I kept justifying [the decision] by telling myself a better opportunity would come, that another school would give me money… but they didn’t.”

Moral of the story is, no matter how gifting the universe is, second chances are never guaranteed.

Know what love means

Love means supporting your partner’s dreams and ambitions, even if that means spending time apart. Yes, the wait to see them may feel agonizing at points, but if you and your SO are confident in your relationship, long distance can work when you see the bigger picture in mind.

Louisa Farron, a senior at The George Washington University, says that while LDRs are never ideal, they are possible. “You learn a lot about yourself and self-improvement when you’re apart,” she says. “Plus it makes the moments together that much more special — gives you a lot to look forward to.”

If it meant to be, you’ll get all that time apart with your SO back. All the nights spent apart will make sense when you’re shacked up with your sweetheart. Long distance is meant to be a temporary solution, not permanent. At some point, one party will have to move to the other one. However, that’s not a decision you would have to make right off the bat.

Know yourself

However, as much as LDRs can work if you are willing to put the work in, some people aren't willing to put in the work. Be honest: are you the type of person that can handle the separation? It's not a bad thing to admit that you may not be able to handle it. You may be someone who misses their SO after just seeing them hours ago. We all speak different love languages, and if you're someone who values quality time and physical touch,a LDR may do more harm than good. 

Posie*, a gradate of University of Tampa, knew herself well enough to know that an LDR simply wouldn't work. "After four years together, I know that we are building a strong foundation for our future and a LDR would throw that off," she says. "So after much thought, I turned down an awesome job offer — but not my dream job — to stay closer to my boyfriend. I knew my skills were sought after, so I know more jobs would come along, and they did. That won't be the case for everyone, but you really have to know yourself and what your relationship can handle."

If you are leaning towards sticking around, don't feel like you're putting yourself in a bad position. You are hireable! Maybe that dream job is waiting for you a few years down the line and not right out of college. Therefore, it's okay to make a few adjustments before you reach that point.

Ask yourself: “Are they the one?”

Let’s say your mind is almost completely made up. You are turning down a job offer to stay near your SO. Relationships naturally ask you to sacrifice parts of yourself for your SO. However, even sacrificing something as a big as a career opportunity could only possibly be considered for someone who is “the one.”

Despite your history, regardless of how long you’ve been with your SO — be honest with yourself and ask if you see a comfortable safety net in your SO or a long-term future, specifically marriage.

If you do not see the big commitment in your future, it may be time to end things on amicable terms. Even if things are going smoothly with your SO and there are no obvious problems, life could be calling you two in very different directions. But if you know in your heart that they are the one and are deciding to stay closer to them, the time to have the super serious talks about the future is definitely arising. 

Do what’s best for you

Depending upon your dream job, certain careers may call you to live in a certain location. Does the place your boyfriend lives allot beneficial career opportunities that you’ll be able to apply for?

Laura*, a senior at Stetson University, currently is battling following her heart and being realistic. “As much as I would love to stay closer to my boyfriend, my dream is to a powerhouse journalist,” she says. “I can’t do that here. The big city is calling my name, to challenge me.”

Don't stay comfortable in your college city because it's comfortable and what you know. If you have a feeling in your heart, go after it.

Although it’s a lot to consider, start having the difficult conversations with your partner sooner rather than later. The right person will be willing to fight through the most unpleasant circumstances for your relationship to work. Keep your focus and finish out your semester strong, while making the tough decisions that will be the best for you - whether that be love oriented or career focused. 

*Names have been changed.

Kayla is a senior at Georgia State University, pursuing a degree in Multimedia Journalism and Spanish & Latin American Studies. She is a devoted mother to her Yorkie and Lifetime fanatic. Her other ventures include writing poetry, advocating for a plant-powered lifestyle, and interning at Seacrest Studios. Oh, and Willy's makes her world go 'round. ☼
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