My boyfriend, Luis, and I became friends towards the ending of our freshman year of high school. We didn’t officially start dating until the week after our graduation. We’re still high school sweethearts and no one can convince me otherwise.
Dating before college was easier. In the summer, we didn’t need to worry about school, work or anything of the sort. We also lived at home with our parents, a mere five minutes from each other. He could pick me up at whatever time to hang out at his house or mine. We had no responsibilities.
College is a different story.
The separation from each other between breaks makes starting a relationship with someone in college hard. However, bringing a relationship, one still in its beginning stages, from high school into a new chapter of your life makes it even more difficult. You not only need to acclimate to these new surroundings, but you also need to do it while making sure that your significant other holds a certain amount of priority in your life.
When we first arrived, the new surroundings and independence excited us. Plus we were together. He lived on the main campus and I lived on another campus that made me take a bus to get to my classes every day. But we were still only a bus ride away from each other. It sounded like the best situation—until school started.
Luis is majoring in Political Science and I’m majoring in English. Even though they’re both humanities majors, we didn’t have any classes together. We resorted to sending text messages back and forth during the day and seeing each other for lunch. We also spent a few hours together later on in the evening.
We also found ourselves interested in different clubs. Luis wanted to join political clubs. I leaned more towards volunteering organizations. Our meetings happened landed on different days and different times. And living on different campus meant I needed to get back to my dorm early every night because of daylight savings time (and my parents’ worriedness).
We spent more time apart than I grew accustomed to that first summer we started dating. I needed reassurance quite a bit during our freshman year. I trusted him. But living a new environment made me feel that our dynamic, that we’d just started forming, would shift suddenly and leave me hanging. But Luis is too smart; he knew how my brain worked and was always there for me when I was having “a moment.” Working through these episodes really formed a connection between us that I cherish.
We ate breakfast together every day, rain (or snow) or shine. Different schedules made it harder to see each other between classes, but we constantly texted each other throughout the day about our classes or something funny we found out. Luis and I carved out time in our schedules during the week specifically to spend time together. Some days we only saw each other for a moment. Some days we didn’t see each other at all. And that was fine. We both knew that we have different paths that we need to take in order to prosper in our individual goals.
We spent countless hours in the library during the weekend just doing homework. Sometimes we spent an entire day hovering over our textbooks, taking glances at one another across the table. But when the night came, we closed our books and relaxed at either his dorm room or mine.
We talked a lot.
In the cold winter nights, when the thought of going outside made goosebumps rise all over your body, we stayed in and talked.
One night, Luis and I were in his room and we’d just finished spending a good seven hours at the library. Our brains were fried. He put on some country music, since we both love the genre, and we started talking about our future—family, kids, how we hoped our careers would pan out. We’d talked about how homesick we felt. It helped to know that we weren’t alone. Luis, the more vocal of us, talked for about 80 percent of the time, but I was fine with it. It’s the way we work.
He talks about something and I give my input. When I do want to say something, I blurt it out, whatever it is. So many times, he’ll be in the middle of saying a story and then I’ll remember something that happened and I just kind of word vomit, completely cutting him off (sorry babe).
I feel much more comfortable about how I am around him now that a year and a half has passed. He’s changed me (for the better of course). Luis brought me out of my shell, to the point that I’m more comfortable to talk about what’s on my mind. I’m actually participating in my classroom discussions now and it’s because he gave me confidence in my own intelligence.
Now we started sophomore year and we live across the street from each other. That means no more buses (woohoo!). And if Luis or I need anything, we can literally walk five-minute and be there. We have more of a handle on the workload that is given to us.
We don’t spend as many hours doing homework like our freshman year (thank goodness). I’m having a hard time finding the perfect ending to this article and I know why now: There is no end for us.