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Maintaining Healthy Relationships in College

March 22, 2021

Throughout your life, you are always going to have relationships whether it be with a significant other, a group of friends or your family. However, school can impact those relationships in a negative way based on how focused you are on your education. Now that you have classes to attend, homework to do and maybe a job to work, relationships might not be the center of your attention anymore. Many students also move away in order to attend college and can only occasionally contact everyone back home. But it is important to keep relationships and happy ones at that. So how do you maintain a relationship in college?

The first step in having a healthy relationship is by actually focusing on yourself first. How can you keep your relationship happy if you are not happy yourself? There will be a time where some other priorities are more important than going out with friends and that is perfectly okay. Oftentimes, people start to do whatever makes the other happy to ensure that the relationship stays positive. Although it’s important to socialize, make sure you are physically, mentally and emotionally available before you make the choice to do something with someone. 

Now that you are happy with yourself, you should spend quality time with the people around you. Yes, take a break from your studies and have fun! A perfect balance of work and life is essential to staying mentally content. Again, there has to be balance. You can’t spend too much time on your schoolwork, otherwise your relationships will start to dwindle and vice versa. Going out and doing something also isn’t the only option of quality time. Staying in and doing something with your family, significant other or roommates is a great way to spend time together. You can do something enjoyable like watching a movie or playing board games. No matter what you decide to do, make certain that you spend a healthy amount of socialization amongst your school and work life.

Communication is probably one of the most important points in maintaining healthy relationships. If you are long distance, communication is the best way to stay in touch. We all have phones, so use them to your advantage. Communication is not simply just talking to each other, but your way of voicing your opinions and feelings. If you have something more important going on, let people know that you can’t talk to them at the moment. If you are in a disagreement, let them know how you feel about it. 

Disagreements go hand in hand with communication. It’s healthy to have arguments, no relationship is perfectly happy all the time. What’s important is that you are able to solve them and move on. However, it’s not good to have constant fights. It’s always best to determine if you want to continue having this conflict overtime or if you should ultimately leave that relationship behind. Remember, put yourself first and decide if this is something you truly want in your life. Try resolving the issue, but if it never stops, then it might be time to move on.

To get advice from a real college student, we interviewed Adler Patch, who majors in Mechanical Engineering at Idaho State University.


How do you personally keep your relationship healthy and happy?


A healthy relationship is a happy one. Communication and planning is essential to my relationship. It doesn’t matter how much time we spend together or what we do as long as that time is quality time where we bond, laugh, cry or smile.


Are there times where you prioritize something over your relationship?


All the time. Both of us value school in order to have a successful future and be financially stable. We both have goals for educational attainment and understand that some sacrifices of time have to be made during busy weeks like midterms or finals. 


How do you balance your school/work life while in a relationship?


We always try to see each other at least once a week. It’s unconventional compared to what a lot of other people see/do, but being independent and able to respect each other’s time and goals are critical for us. 


You can never get away from having some sort of relationship in your life. Maintaining those relationships can be quite tricky if you are not actively trying to. Start by putting yourself first then decide how you want to spend quality time with each other. Communication is key to keeping things positive and healthy and remember that arguments are normal. However, it all depends on your relationship and you are the one who will ultimately make all the decisions, so choose wisely.