Tons of changes happen between high school and college, but your relationship doesn't have to be one of them. Some relationships can survive just about anything, including whatever college can throw your way. Many couples choose to stay together after graduation, but staying with your high school sweetheart during college is no simple task.
When you and your partner live in the same town and see each other every day at school, it's easy to take your relationship for granted. College relationships are a lot more complex, and the harsh reality is that not all high school relationships can survive through college. You'll begin to learn more about yourself and what you truly want out of life, and it's up to you to decide if your relationship is part of that.
As someone who dated my high school sweetheart until the end of my second year of college, I know just how challenging it can be. No matter how much you want them to be, things just aren't the same as they were back in high school. It's a change for the better, no matter what happens to the relationship.
While there are ups and downs to any relationships, high school couples can have it harder than most. College brings about big changes that can challenge even the closest of couples, so you need to be aware of what's ahead and decide not to let it get in your way. These are just six of the many challenges of staying with your high school sweetheart while you're in college.
1. Seeing Each Other Less Often
In high school, it's basically guaranteed you'll see your SO at least five days a week. When you take into account school-related events like prom and football games, you're already going on a lot of special "dates" without having to actually plan anything. Once you become known as a couple across campus, you'll be included by each other's social groups and you'll have no reason not to be together most days of the week.
In college, this isn't the case. The student body is so large that your social groups might not overlap in the slightest way. Your schedules can be massively different, making it hard to find time together. If one or both of you decide to move away from home for college, going from seeing each other every day to a long-distance relationship is no easy task.
2. Finding Out Who You Are
College is as much about finding yourself as it is about finding the right career path. On the one hand, as you learn about who you are, you may decide that your current relationship doesn't complement you as well as it should, which is totally OK. On the other hand, you may be head-over-heels in love and as happy as ever with your relationship. You do you, girl.
3. It Requires A Whole Lot Of Trust
Especially if you and your SO don't go to the same schools, you'll need to establish a sturdy foundation of trust between you two. You won't be able to see what the other is doing 24/7, and it's only natural to worry when something seems out of the ordinary. When this worry becomes paranoia or jealousy, though, it does more harm than good to your relationship.
4. Wanting To Explore Other Options
When you enter college, you'll start to see just how many options you have in life (and not just in relationships). There are countless paths to choose from, and at some point or another, you'll find yourself wondering what it's like to explore other options. Your partner is likely to feel the same, but this doesn't mean you need to break up.
It's totally normal to find other people attractive even if you're in a relationship. If you find yourself wanting to pursue something with someone other than your partner, though, it may be time to rethink things. At the same time, you may never find yourself in that situation. If you and your SO are lucky enough to feel the same attraction to each other long after the honeymoon phase, you're on the right track.
5. It's Not What You're Used To
The overall lifestyle changes between high school and college are enough to cause some serious stress both in and out of a relationship. It's a big jump from seeing your friends daily and having a set schedule to the unpredictability and independence of college life. There's no doubt that this can take a toll on a relationship, but it's all about how you handle the stress that counts. You and your bae can commiserate over the hell your professors are putting you through, or you can let it get the best of you; it's totally your choice.
6. People Will Share Their Opinions
People love to talk just to hear their own voices, but the only voices that matter are the ones actually in the relationship. Some people won't support your choice to stay in your high school relationship, while others will be waiting for you to get married. You'll have to find a way to block out those unhelpful voices, because your relationship is your business.