It’s no secret that becoming a University student can be challenging. Studying to meet all your deadlines, attending lectures, stretching your student finance or even working part-time, paying your bills and accommodation, as well as cooking, shopping and cleaning for yourself. This list doesn’t even include any social activities; meeting up with friends after lectures, going for a drink or even a Friday night out. It is safe to say, being a student means you have very little time to breathe. So how are people able to squeeze in time with their partner while trying to secure the best possible degree?
I met my current partner in my third year of University. Of course it would be the most important year! He wasn’t a student at my Uni, which meant I had to spend extra time travelling to and from his place each week. We maintained a great relationship however, with a routine that worked well for both of us. But how did we do it?
First of all, I was lucky because my partner was of course very understanding and supportive with regards to my degree. He always understood that my assignments and lectures were my priority, and spending time with him depended on how much work I needed to do.
I didn’t often find myself choosing between one or the other. Now I look back on it, I was in a great position where I was able to decide for myself what I wanted to do, without worrying about offending or upsetting my partner because I knew he understood. Consequently, dating someone who is mature and understands the importance of your studies really helps to maintain a healthy relationship while at University. Having a partner who ever implies that they come before your studies, or makes you feel guilty for wanting to finish an essay as opposed to spending time with them, is not taking your degree seriously, as well as manipulating you.
Secondly, me and my partner kept in constant contact, always communicating what was necessary about our schedules. He knew my university schedule and I knew his work schedule. We could then plan around this, meaning our time together was planned well in advance, in case anything was to come up, for example me not finishing an assignment on time. We rarely saw each other with little notice. That meant I could prepare to spend some time away from uni, not thinking about any work I needed to do.
My main motivation for getting my work done wasn’t just seeing my partner. It was also going out with my friends and enjoying my free time, as well as getting good grades and not losing marks due to late submissions. It is important to be motivated for the right reasons. On the other hand, if you feel you aren’t great with time management or your priorities, it might be better for you to spend more time away from your partner to ensure you get your assignments finished, like setting specific dates to see them.
You must be strict with yourself! And as mentioned before, if your partner is worth it, they won’t be bothered by your commitment to your degree.
Finally, if it works for you, don’t be afraid to mix the two together. There were some instances at uni where I would visit my partner for a weekend, but take my laptop and books with me and do some work for a few hours while in his company. Again, he didn’t mind, and this was important for our relationship and its maintenance. You can also work while travelling, which is a great use of time if you have far to commute.
Having a relationship while at university can work, and has done for thousands of couples. It’s all about time management and prioritising. Of course, your studies should come first. But a relationship can be incredibly important to some people, myself included. It’s not easy putting it on the back-burner while trying to complete essays and assignments.
It all boils down to what type of person you are. I feel so much more comfortable and relaxed when I know I have had a good jump on my assignments, or have very little work to do with plenty of time left. Some people work better when they are under pressure, and like to begin an assignment closer to the date it’s due.
Balancing a relationship with your studies can be done. However, it is important not to let one thing become more important than the other. A loving, healthy partner and relationship is important for your mental health. Finding a good balance between your other half and your studies is down to you.