We have all heard the age old wisdom that is usually doled out to us either at open days, during welcome week, or at any point during our time at university.
Apparently, one-third of us will meet our future husband or wife right here on campus. You could have headed off to university as a single pringle from the start, or you could have decided that long distance just wasn’t working for you and your love. However you ended up in singledom, have no fear. There definitely isn’t any lack of opportunity to meet somebody at university. On your course and in societies you’re surrounded by people with similar interests, and the romantic magic of the LCR definitely aids with any awkward ice breakers. But is having a relationship during university really such a good idea? And if it is, will it survive in the “real world”?
A degree definitely takes a lot out of you. It involves hard work, intense commitment and a very large chunk of your time. Just as a relationship does. Between socializing, sporting events, nights out and the occasional library session, it’s easy to understand why a relationship may not fit into the time constraints of the average, busy student. However, whilst some of us may cower away from the prospect of being tied down to something, others might relish in the opportunity to share their university experience with somebody else. Even if you are one of the former, it is more than likely that you will have some kind of relationship at university, even if it only lasts one night – and possibly an awkward morning after.
A relationship of a more committed nature face plenty of hurdles at university. These could include the secret smugness when you finish the year with a better grade than your partner, or the not-so-secret jealousy if you don’t. However, further problems may be faced when your relationship leaves the cloistered, cushioned surroundings of campus life and carry over into the world outside of university. Relationships that appear rock-solid for one, two, or even three years, will encounter a complete overhaul when the lecture theatre is swapped for the workplace. The stresses of finding a career will be made slightly more strenuous when paired with relationship issues. At this point, many university couples may be forced to make the decision of whether to move in together, or move on without each other. This choice will have a massive influence on any possible future opportunities.
But this isn’t to say that all relationships cannot work during study or after graduation. After all, you have still met somebody who you have loved and been close to for the past three years. They’ve been there for you through all the trials and tribulations of university life. Alongside this, research shows that we are more attracted to those who are most like ourselves, and are more likely to build relationships with others who are nearby and have similar interests to ourselves.
If this doesn’t sway you, then don’t forget the many examples of couples who met at university and are still going strong today. The most notable examples include Barack and Michelle Obama, Prince William and Kate Middleton and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to name but a few. The key is being able to balance your relationship, social life and deadlines equally, and there are many people who have managed to do this successfully year on year. If you keep a positive outlook, and work at your relationship, you’ll find that the love that you developed over post-LCR hangovers and all-nighters in the Library will stay strong even when you’ve left the concrete campus behind you.