Relationship 101: Why College And Dating Ultimately Doesn't Mix

by Julia Kirk

I stare at a Powerpoint presentation titled, "Introduction to Psychology."

My professor is introducing himself and the agenda of the course, but I'm too busy hiding my phone underneath my desk to answer the missed text messages from my current boyfriend. We are in the middle of a stupid argument, like most couples often find themselves in.

I wish there was a class offered at my university called, "Introduction to Relationships" because then I could really learn a thing or two.

Yes, college is a place for us to learn and grow and develop into the people we are meant to be. We are supposed to learn who we are, what are passions are and just what the hell we want to do with the rest of our lives.

But how can we possibly do that while juggling a romantic relationship? Is it possible to have a proper college experience, all while being involved in a serious relationship?

I don't mean to sound like a pessimist here, but I don't think it is. In light of my recent breakup with my now-ex-boyfriend, I'm finding that I have my full attention on my studies, peers and overall college experience.

I don't feel like I'm holding anything back, and I have seen myself grow as an individual faster in the past two weeks than I have in my whole two-year relationship.

I'm not saying you don't grow when you are in a relationship with someone. Relationships can be beautiful experiences that teach you a lot about love and life.

But this experience is something you share with your partner, and because you are virtually devoting your time, energy and emotions to someone else, you lose focus of yourself as an individual. And isn't that what college is supposed to be about? You finding your own way?

Being in a relationship throughout college is almost like taking an extra class that gives you an insurmountable load of emotional baggage as homework, and making your relationship work is like the final exam you will always be studying to pass.

And if you're someone like me who's taking 17 credits a semester, that intro to relationships class will either kill you or your GPA. You have two choices here, and the first is choose to stay in your relationship throughout college.

This may be the right choice for you, but for some, it can compromise schoolwork and possible future ambitions. I have some friends who chose their relationships over their college goals. One of my friends even chose to drop out of school to move in with her boyfriend.

When they broke up, she felt lost and aimless; her initial direction and career path was long forgotten. She had to start from scratch and work even harder to get her degree.

The second choice would be to end the relationship. Breakups are never easy, and it's sad to see a relationship reach its end, but if you are in school and you feel as if the relationship is becoming a roadblock to your studies and goals, then it might just be time to let go.

You may still love the person, but college is hardly a good time to be dating someone exclusively, and bending over backwards to try to keep your relationship alive may still get you nowhere.

Think of it this way: No student wants to put in extra work for a class and not gain the credit for it. It's an awful, frustrating feeling.

If it's really meant to be, your relationship will work out, regardless of how lousy the timing is. But if you're in college and you're finding that your relationship is just too much extra stress, then make it one less thing you need to worry about.

As college students, we all know we have enough stress filling our plates as it is.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It