By Nick Anstett and Kaitlyn Fowler
Elm Staff Writers
We are all here at WC for academics, yet we all know that it would not be college without relationships. This week, Nick and Kaitlyn are talking about how to balance these two important aspects of college.
Nick says… As fun as dating and relationships in college may be, it’s important to keep everything in perspective. You most likely are paying Washington College’s tuition to learn and better yourself as a person, an intellectual, and as a potential member of the workforce. Or at least I hope so. Losing track of why you’re in college to begin with is a sure fire way to cause stress for yourself personally, academically, and romantically. Luckily, balancing relationships and study is not as difficult as it may seem.
The most straightforward and simple way, I’ve found in balancing relationships is making “priority days.” These are days designated for a specific date or on a weekly basis in which you have clearly defined priorities set for yourself for different responsibilities. For example, Sunday through Thursday are days for me in which I place more emphasis on studies, clubs, extracurriculars, etc. This doesn’t mean that visiting significant others or going on a date is impossible or out of the question, but that they should take second place to your own personal responsibilities. On Friday and Saturday things change and spending time with a significant other becomes the new number one priority.
It’s not a perfect system, but it’s a simple and easy way to set boundaries for yourself. However, since relationships are never just about one person communication between you and your S.O is incredibly important. Having a running dialogue between both parties about responsibilities to not only school but to each other is essential to any healthy partnership. Any partner that does not respect the importance of school work or other extracurricular responsibilities in your life is not a supportive one and will likely cause nothing but stress in the long term. This does not mean, however, that is fair or right for you to continually blow off your significant other for school work. Careful planning and personal responsibility should make conflicts relatively rare.
However, if for example, you waste away your day browsing the internet or hanging out with your friends and end up having to call off a date so you can do your assignment the blame falls squarely on you.
Kaitlyn says… In lieu of midterms I think we need to take a moment and address when our love lives mess with our academic work and vice versa. I’m going to go ahead and just say academics come first; There is a very simple logic to this since we go to college and we need to maintain a certain academic standard in order to continue to attend school here.
Don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of love and relationships and all that, but it is really difficult to maintain a relationship with someone in college if you have flunked out and have to go back home. I know that sounds kind of mean, but I don’t know a not-so-rude way to say that. Here’s the flip side of this debate and it’s something I’m personally very guilty of this: you can’t shove aside your love life to overly focus on your academics. I appreciate as much as anybody that we need to study and work hard to do well, but you need to either make it clear that you need to focus on your work, or you need to keep up communication. Some of us retreat into our own little bubbles when we start to work and study. If you just disappear, your partner might take that as you losing interest or trying to end it with them. I know this may sound ridiculous, but put yourself in their shoes.
Imagine you and your romantic interest are having a great time hanging out, and then all of a sudden he or she just disappear and barely talk to you for a few weeks. When you think about it from his or her point of view it doesn’t seem too ridiculous does it? So next time you need to bury yourself in a mountain of schoolwork just remember that there is someone else who would like some of your attention. Even just a little goes a long way. Once that schoolwork smoke clears, you will be happy to find that your partner is still there waiting for you.