For many students, college is hard enough on their own. Now, imagine you are there with your significant other. This can be a tough situation, but you can make it work with proper planning, a desire to succeed, and by keeping your eye on the main objective of graduating so you can make a better life for yourselves. Consider these steps, and you can be with the one you love while excelling at your studies — all without missing a step.
Plan Ahead Of Time
If you are going to college for the first time or you have already been in college, but now you are going to move out of the dorms and in with your partner, you first need to take a beat. This will be a new experience, and if you go in blind, then there is a chance that either your relationship or your studies will fall apart.
What you need to do is create a roommate agreement. This document will outline all of the situations that will likely come up during your relationship and provide solutions ahead of time, so you are both on the same page. This agreement can discuss things like who will do the dishes, who will sign the lease, and who will pay for food, among other considerations. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
While you are drafting this agreement, consider the pros and cons of living with your partner at university. While you will be with the one you love, you will also both need your “me time,” so you need to write that into the agreement. When will each of you get a chance to be alone and get mentally refreshed? You will also need to share everything, including the TV. Put in writing who will get to watch TV and when. Also, note the times when the TV should be turned off. Put all of these details in the agreement, and then each of you should sign it.
You will also need to put thought into the best tactics for moving to your college apartment without straining your relationship. Moving is hard for all couples, so proper planning can alleviate that pressure. Talk ahead of time and put a moving date in the books that you can both agree upon. Both of you should also be involved in the packing process. Do not get rid of or leave behind your partner’s possessions before consulting them first. If you do decide to leave any electronics behind, ensure that they are disposed of properly so they don’t end up in a landfill polluting the soil.
Put A Lot Of Thought Into Finances
One of the things that couples fight about most is finances. If you want your relationship to continue to thrive while you are in college, then you need to be in agreement about finances from day one. Money may be tight, especially if you have a full class load and a part-time job. Even with both of your incomes, you may still need to be cautious with your money.
The best thing that you can do is to create a budget. Look at every dollar that you have coming in every month and then account for all of your recurring expenses. In college, expenses could include tuition, books, meals, transportation, entertainment, and more. Write down everything, and don’t forget about the costs that many people forget, such as their daily Starbucks run or the cost of the streaming services that you pay every month. Once that is done, look at the money you have left. If there isn’t much, then you may need to cut expenses.
Instead of going to Starbucks, get coffee and breakfast at the cafeteria. Instead of going to the movie theater in town, go to the free campus theater. You can also save money on your monthly utilities. Turn off the lights when you aren’t home and take advantage of natural light during the day. You can also cut down the water bill by taking shorter showers, and if you get approval from the landlord, install low-flow shower heads. You can also save a lot of money by keeping both heating and air conditioning at a moderate level — most people don’t realize how much energy and money the thermostat can eat up.
Remember That You Are Still In School
Through it all, it is important to remember that you are still in school and that passing your classes and graduating with a degree is the primary objective. Make sure that you don’t prevent your partner from having the opportunity to excel in school. While you may be in love, you still need to take time to study. Because of your relationship, it may be tough to study at home, so go to the library where you can work without distractions.
You also need to support your partner when they need it most. Be a shoulder to cry on if they don’t get the grade that they wanted. Help them understand a subject that may not be their strong suit. College can be tough, but if you can make it through this together, then you can make it through anything.
It is also important that you enjoy your accomplishments. Find inexpensive ways to celebrate when one of you aces a test or completes a tough assignment. You can watch one of your favorite movies at home on Netflix or go to the $5 bowling alley and just be there for one another. Never show jealousy or anger if your partner succeeds.
As you can see, it is possible to live with your partner in college and do it successfully. Consider these tips, and you and your loved one can enjoy an amazing life until graduation and beyond.