College relationships are tough

By Shay Sweet

Today, over 20 million students in the United States attend college each year with over 4,400 degree granting institutions. That’s 20 million students attending parties, going to campus events and socializing with one another in the hopes of creating bonds that will last a lifetime.  For many, college is a time of self-discovery and experimentation which, let’s be honest, is hard to accomplish with a relationship weighing over your every move.

One of the biggest problems in college today is the fact that “hooking up” or “friends with benefits” has taken precedence over a long lasting, meaningful courtship.  Why? This new found independence when you graduate high school and are sent off on your own supports the mentality that you should now experience all sorts of new things, as well as people.  The median age to get married in the United States has also risen from the once 22 to about 27, implementing the idea that adults are now holding off to settle down.  If you ask your grandparents about the differences in relationships of their generation I am guessing there will be a large variation.  Individuals are presented with a lot more choices in college today, making the decision making process more difficult.  Trying on more people throughout your experience can teach you more about what exactly you are looking for in a partner as well as what you are not.

Another popular excuse given by those holding off on the relationship bandwagon is the amount of free time you are able to dedicate to someone else.  In between school, studying, joining clubs and socializing, it can be difficult to throw someone else’s feelings in to the mix but if you have enough time to party and shack up with others you probably have enough time to embark on something a bit more serious as well.

Taking the time to let someone else in your life can be an amazing experience, but at times could be looked at as a distraction and you may see it take a toll on your schoolwork.  Going on dates, sleepovers and constantly keeping in check can be stressful at times and many see a drop in their grades if they are so consumed with their personal life over their studies.  Barbara Giffin, a professor from Middlesex Community College stated that “Seeing a kid go through a personal issue in their relationships can be tough.  They lose that focus, that drive to really put their all in to their schoolwork.  They are so worried with calling their significant other, texting, always wondering what the other is doing.  You can tell a lot of them are dependent on each other.”

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