Don’t follow your high school sweetheart to college, express your individuality

September 26, 2017

Joy Webb

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   Leaving for college and saying good-bye to my high school sweetheart was the best decision I ever made.

     After being with him for a year, I had to choose between going away from home for college, or staying close to my hometown so I could continue our relationship.

    I chose college, and while this might have been selfish, I don’t regret it for one second.

    Young adulthood is the time to venture off into the unknown — alone. It’s scary, but it’s necessary in order to grow.

    But many young adults choose their relationship and end up following their significant other to college. This is absolutely absurd.  

    Rationality isn’t developed in a young adult’s brain until the age of 25, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. With this in mind, it might not be a good decision to commit to a high school relationship at ages as young as 17 or 18.

    According to the Pew Research Center, only 15.46 percent of college relationships last. Don’t get me wrong; I support love in any form. But I also hate to see someone give up their passion and dreams for the sake of proximity to someone else.

    Determining four of the most important years of your life based on a relationship, however strong it may be, is risky, and students tend to agree.   

    Freshman English major Izzy Knott picked UCCS, a school two hours away from her boyfriend where they could still be close but maintain their independence.

    “It is important to acknowledge that you’re still only around 18 years old, and college could change your way of thinking entirely,” said Knott. “It’s working really well for us so far because we’re both able to have healthy relationships away from each other to learn from.”

    Knott suggested that students should be careful in picking the same college as their significant other.

    “Don’t convince yourself that you’re only going to your boyfriend’s school because you love it.”

    Ending a relationship because of the different directions your lives are taking takes maturity and forethought. It is often times easier to follow someone you love to college; it’s comfortable, and you don’t have to go it alone.

     However, coming to college with someone you knew prior defeats the purpose.

    Since starting at UCCS by myself, I have gotten out of my comfort zone and met so many new and interesting people. Although college is such a change from being at home surrounded by familiarity, it is incredibly worth it.     

    College is a search for your own purpose, and this is a hard search if you are constantly relying on someone else. The age of 18 is far too young to make decisions as drastic as committing to a long-term relationship.    

    Finding yourself and choosing your own path does not have to be the end-all-be-all in a relationship, either.

     Breaking up or following one another aren’t the only options. Long-distance relationships are never ideal or easy, but they can be a better option for those who feel like they may have a future together.

    When in college, change is inevitable. You should accept this change with open arms and do not hold yourself back from opportunities in the name of a relationship that may not even last.

    This is your life. Your pursuit of happiness cannot lie in another’s hands.