As Valentine’s Day approaches, you may feel overwhelmed or obligated to plan a special evening for your significant other or a romantic date binge-watching Netflix by yourself. As a college student, life can be stressful enough as you try to figure out yourself, career paths, and adulthood overall.
What happens when you add love into the mix of college life? Can students balance a healthy romantic relationship and lead an active college life?
McDaniel students with three different relationship statuses–single, long-distance, and committed–were asked to give their opinions on Valentine’s Day. Here is how they responded:
De’Andre Taylor, Senior – A Single Perspective
De’Andre: [Balancing college and a romantic relationship] depends on the person that you are dealing with. Speaking from a male’s perspective, if you are a needy male you need a woman to be up and under you all the time while you doing your homework or if you are a guy that needs his space then it depends on the communication between the two of you. Figuring out who you are going to cuddle with at night. Sometimes you do need someone to lay up next to you, but not everyone is acceptable or willing to accept just the cuddle session. I think if you want to spread love it should be more than just a day. You should spread it throughout everyday because no one is promised today or tomorrow.
Kristen Loyd, Senior – A Long-Distance Perspective
Kristen: I think you can balance [college and a romantic relationship] out. I think that if you are in a good relationship, it can help you support your time management and for you to be successful in college. So, setting time when it is more effective for you to communicate helps you manage your time with your classes, classwork, just be overall successful if that person supports you and understanding towards [balance]. There definitely are challenges, it is hard especially for me because we have different lifestyles. He has a full time job and I have a very complicated schedule that is not the same everyday. So, it is hard to accommodate time to speak and I am also in a really social part of my life and he is not. So, it is really hard for him to understand and be very open to the opportunities that I have social and that he doesn’t. I think if he was here and having those same experiences it would not become a difficult situation to understand. Also, we have different time zones sometimes, which is a difficulty as well. Then, you don’t see your partner for long periods of time so that obviously sucks. You work with what you’ve got. [My plans for Valentine’s Day include] sending Darius a little care package since he is deployed.
Maria Mescua, Junior and David Cely, Junior – An On-Campus Perspective
Maria: I believe college students can balance both [college and romantic relationship] because I don’t think a romantic relationship is a burden on academics, but a support system. I know my boyfriend pushes me to become the best student I can be and I do the same with him. Him and I both know our capability and continue to support each other in academics but clubs, intramural sports, and other extracurricular activities. He was also the one person that helped me get the courage to go through spring 2015 recruitment where I found my home away from home. Without him, I wouldn’t have found such a great sisterhood. I don’t think there are any challenges except for one, which would probably be time management. I know I lose track of time when my boyfriend and I are watching Hulu and then after 10 episodes, we realize that we wasted around four to five hours on watching TV that could have been spent on homework, projects, or studying. [Plans for Valentine’s Day] Well I’m not sure. He won’t really tell me what they are however; I trust that he’ll have anything planned.
David: [Students] can balance a relationship as well as an active college life. They have to know what they each want, figure out if they want to be long term or not, then be extremely understanding and also patient. There are a lot of challenges in having a campus relationship. The significant other may or may not be that committed; they may not have enough time to each other, as there may be other obligations both may carry on campus. One may want to spend more time with the other than the other may want to. There are parties that they may have to go to or want to go to but the other may not feel comfortable with that. The other may want more actions done to show their love. Finances may take a toll which means they may not be able to buy each other significant gifts or go out to much dates. One may do more work than the other. My plan for Valentines Day is to take my girlfriend to a restaurant and surprise her with all the things she would least expect me to have gotten her.
A healthy romantic relationship as an undergraduate is all about balance, commitment, and the willingness to put in the effort for love. And if that’s not for you, then there is always Netflix and chill. Happy Valentine’s Day!