Finding balance between school and your sweetheart
You want to hang out with your new main squeeze. Your parents want you to get good grades.
It can be hard to do both, but it's not impossible. When your significant other (S.O.) has work, classes, or wants to spend time with his/her friends, bust out your homework. You can be productive and keep yourself from missing him/her at the same time. You two could also have a study date. You can both work on your homework side-by-side, or else you can do your homework while your S.O. reads a book. Got an exam coming up? Your S.O. can quiz you. It's a lot easier to remember what “anaerobic” means when your boyfriend/girlfriend explains it than when your professor drones on about it.
If necessary, prioritize. Take a full day to concentrate on that portfolio you've been putting off all semester, and reward yourselves with dinner and a movie the night after you turn it in. Your sweetie will be there on Monday, but your chances for getting an A won't be.
If your S.O. is not understanding about your need to study or even attend class, perhaps it is time to reevaluate your relationship. He or she should be supportive of you and want you to succeed.
On another note, set some boundaries. When beginning a college relationship, it's often all to easy to end up spending all your time with your emerging love interest. Since you live close together, eat at the same cafeteria and have roughly the same schedules, it's easy to become unhealthily attached. Maintaining your normal routine and interests will help you begin a college relationship that stays positive and stable.
Another word of caution, don't let having a boyfriend/girlfriend drain all of your money. I'm not saying be cheap, but don't starve yourself just for the sake of going out somewhere that's going to take all the money you have left. College life on your own is hard and expensive, so here are some dating tips that are on the lower side of cost but are a lot of fun.
- Pack a picnic lunch instead of eating out.
- Go hiking, biking or rollerblading.
- Visit a local sporting event.
- Attend a local theater production, like a high school play.
- Visit a beach or lake.
- See a matinee movie or go to the cheap theater.
- Visit a museum or zoo.
- Build a campfire (in an approved location) and roast marshmallows.
- Rent a movie and pop popcorn.
- Have a barbecue at the local park.
- Cook or bake together (guys: as lame as this one may sound, it's a lot of fun).
- Go sledding or tobogganing.
- Go mini-golfing.
- Go to an arcade.
- Play board games or play 21 questions.