College stands out as an important time in a student’s life. Students quickly learn that they can do whatever they please— whether you choose to stay up all night and party or explore the city, your school lies in with no adults to bother you. Going away and meeting brand new people remains another significant element that students benefit from while in college.
With this comes the opportunity to mingle and find yourself in a relationship. However, college relationships definitely do not always resemble the perfect ones that you find scripted on a television show. In order to make things work, it takes hard work on both ends. Finding time to hang out between classes and going out on dates to restaurants or other places in your school’s area could potentially hold a relationship together for some time, but it takes more than the bare minimum to make a relationship last.
The ups and downs of being in a college relationship can teach lessons that no class ever could.
During my freshman year of college, I attended more parties than I did classes, something that I came to regret years later. Despite failing most of my classes that year, something good did come out of it. During one of those many parties I attended, I met a girl a year older than me who seemed cold despite the amount of people at the house party. I offered her my jacket and she accepted, yet for some reason I did not talk to her for the rest of the night.
A few weeks later as I hung out with one of my friends, who coincidentally dated her roommate, he messaged her that we were together with the idea to drop by so she could come over and return my jacket. When she arrived, I worked up the nerve to ask her for her number. It still took me a few weeks to text her, but eventually I built up the courage to do so.
I messaged her expecting no response— so when my phone dinged with a text from her, my jaw dropped. We talked for the next few days about things like our majors and what we wanted to do with our lives after college.
After talking some more, she invited me to her house party.
I never expected things to move that fast; I was ecstatic. When I arrived at her house, I found myself too nervous to even talk to her. I introduced myself to her roommates and the other guests at the party, trying my hardest to avoid looking awkward as I normally do. Throughout the night, we talked more about life and school, and that’s when things between us really began to spark.
Fast forward three weeks and we labeled our relationship as that of boyfriend and girlfriend. We began to hang out every day— we would go out to eat in the nearby city or visit local attractions like the zoo. We spent a lot of our time with one another, which seemed to pass much quicker than normal when together.
My freshman year came to an end, and since we didn’t live far from each other outside of school, we stayed together.
The summer passed and sophomore year arrived. As the semesters went on and we continued our tradition of hanging out every day, we continued to enjoy each other’s company. That year I actually did well in all of my classes— I even ended up making the Dean’s List in my spring semester. I must say that my relationship motivated and pushed me to apply myself when it came to school.
All good things don’t last forever though. By the time my junior year came around, things between us felt different. Though we still saw each every day, we slowly stopped going on our regular outings around town, opting to watch Netflix and walk to class together until that became all we did.
After spending our winter break together, she decided that it would be best if we ended our relationship. With many factors behind this decision, a main one being that she was a senior and needed to plan her future, my uncertainty regarding my own future became “somewhat of a burden on her.” I could understand that.
However, I believe that my lack of dedication to our relationship contributed to the main reason she ended things between us.
Towards the end of our relationship, she mentioned that she remembered the small ways I tried to impress her when we first started dating, and how she noticed that I completely stopped doing so. Looking back, I realized the mistakes made on both parts along the way, but mainly those made by me.
Even though being broken up with by someone who I still had feelings for left me conflicted and lonely for some time, the lessons that came out of an almost two-year relationship absolutely made the experience worth it. What I learned overall would best be summarized by saying that a relationship is like college itself: you get out of it what you decide to put into it.