So I have nearly finished my first year at university and I can honestly say it has been emotional roller coaster!
What I previously thought about relationships at uni, has definitely changed the past few months – whether that’s due to people I’ve met, or me just coming to terms with university life, I have no idea. What I do know is that I can now safely say:
I have no idea whether relationships at university are good thing or not. It just depends on the person.
Relationships before starting uni
These can go 2 ways:
- It can just make you stronger
- It can just pull you apart
From my own experience, university definitely made things harder. While I have ‘technically’ lived at home in first year, the majority of my time and nights have been spent staying with a flat in Portsmouth. When applying for university I wanted to live at home, the main reason being, I didn’t want to be away from my family (and what was at the time) my boyfriend. I started university in a relationship, I’m ending my first year single. As I already said, this is my experience of it, but uni life just pulled us apart. The main reason being the lack of free time I had to spend with him. I wanted to make the most of student life, didn’t want to regret missing out on anything. The other reason was due to uni making me want ‘the single life’ which I will explain later on! Since we broke up, we are still friends, still talk, still meet up so it’s not all bad, uni just put things into perspective. Made us both realise we wanted different things.
On the other hand, I know a lot of people that were in a relationship before uni, and are still together, and happy at that! So it’s not all negative! It just depends on the people, the ability and ease to still see each other, and whether you want the same things! My only personal criticism of this is that sometimes, it could appear to hold people back from trying new things at uni! By this I don’t mean getting with new people, I mean it can sometimes prevent them from experiencing all that university has to offer. But again, this is down to the people in the relationship!
Another issue, and this is down to trust, is that you don’t know what the other half is doing whilst at university. While they might not be doing anything, there will always be that bit of doubt at the back of your mind. Uni makes people want to experience things they’ve never experienced before, mostly due to the fact that they are now possible to do! I can personally, that at times it’s hard to prevent them from happening – but it’s what you do about it after that counts! There are people at uni that cheat and get away with it, then there are those who tell their partner if it happens. There is a big difference in the way it affects your relationship – it could result in you staying friends after, or never crossing paths again.
Relationships made at uni
My view is still un-made up at this point. My original beliefs were simple:
In my mind, I can’t work out how a relationship can be created after a night out. I mean – you meet each other drunk, and the only reason why you met was based on looks – little conversation is made, resulting in me being confused as to when the ‘connection’ and ‘relationship’ is made. However – I understand that after this occasion a relationship can be created. In my mind, I think relationships at uni would work better if you met at uni. This is due to the reason that, you’ve both experienced single life, but have both chosen to be in a relationship over being single – therefore you’re both willing to give it a go.
When I ended my relationship in January, in my mind I wanted to be single. Since then, and since meeting new people, my mind is swaying the other way. While it’s great to be single at uni – the ability to do what you want and not have to worry about others is great – uni can also make you feel alone. You’ve gone from living at home with your family to living by yourself. While you’ve made friends at uni, they wont know you in and out. If you had a partner before uni, you’ve gone from having that person there to talk to and comfort you, to having no one. Yes, uni can make you feel lonely at times. And that is why I question the way I feel now compared to my views before. I will be honest – there are days when I wonder, do I want to be with that person or do I just want the relationship? – The answer to that, I’m still undecided on.
Being single at uni
As I said before – I used to want to be single but now I’m not so sure. When I was first single at uni, I let myself go a bit – I went with the view that, I can do what I want to do when I want to do it. While I didn’t do anything stupid or out of character – I have respect for myself over things like that – I didn’t hold back from meeting people. Since going out clubbing sober, my views towards how single people behave in clubs has some what altered. I look at people in clubs that are making out on the middle of the dance floor. My first thought is – they look ridiculous. And I still stand by that point. When I see them I automatically think – how could that have been me? And also, what do they get out of it? This view took place in February, it is now nearly May and the view still stands. While I will be honest I have kissed a couple of people since, I have regretted it the next day. What I could never do though, is have a one night stand. This is something I never quite understand.
My issues are:
- How do you get from leaving the club to the person’s house without making awkward conversation? Let’s be honest – you know nothing about them, so the conversation must be awkward?
- What happens before and after the deed is done? Again, surely this is awkward!?
- The next morning. This is the one that confuses me the most. How awkward must it be to wake up with someone lying next to you – you have no idea who they are – all you know is that it happened drunk, and now you’re both sober…
I know a lot of people do this at uni because, it means they still get the ‘action’ plus they’re single, plus they don’t have to worry about falling for the person, or it being awkward if the other person likes them – but I just really don’t understand how the night works? It just sounds awkward!?
“Friends with benefits”
This one is slightly differently viewed. I understand why people have “friends with benefits” it’s so that they can be single, and free spirited, but still have the sex and person there if they wanted it. However, I don’t understand how people can do this if there is no sexual attraction towards the other person. I guess this is just something people put past them?
“Seeing each other”
This is something – again – I do not understand the definition of. Recently, I “liked” (don’t know what other word to use) someone – what I didn’t understand is how this develops at uni. Whether it’s me, or if other people think like this also, I can’t work out where it changes to ‘seeing’ each other. If I knew this – I guess there is the possibility things would have been different? Without going into an emotional splurge – if I would have known, I would have tried it to see how things went? But due to me being stupid at the time, and having lack of knowledge within dating – I messed things up. I definitely support people seeing each other at uni because it gives you the chance to see if things would work out if things become serious, but it also prevents things getting serious if it doesn’t work – the perfect way to test out if your ‘compatible’ – Just as a heads up, check to see what their views are on where you stand together, that way you’re less likely to mess things up!
After all of this – I am still undecided. While it does help writing it all down I still don’t know what I want. Whether I want to be in a relationship with ‘somebody’ because of them or the relationship I don’t know. Whether I like/liked a person because I know things can’t/won’t develop, therefore it’s like the old saying, treat ’em mean keep ’em keen – I can’t get what I want therefore I want it more? But yet again – I don’t know. All I do know, is that relationships work at uni if you both want them to. If you’re both happy being in a relationship. And if you’re both aware of where it could take you.
All I need to do now, is take my own advice: get over them, enjoy being single (no point dwelling on the things you can’t have) and make the most of what I have left of first year – the issue is – taking this advice.