Welcome back to our regular feature offering advice to students on aspects of family/friend/personal relationships. In the hot-seat is Rosie, a current 6th former at Kesgrave High School and a founder member of the Student Life steering group.
Whilst many of us are excited to be leaving sixth form and starting our university journeys, it can be scary to move away, especially moving away from someone you are in a relationship with. It’s tempting to choose your universities based on where each other are going, just so you can be close together. I feel like a lot of people are very negative towards this, and whilst I understand that you should choose what is best for you, and the university that will help you fulfil your potential, won’t being near the one you love help do this too?
I completely understand why some people, most often parents, guardians, and teachers, would advise against choosing to go to a university near, or even the same, as your boyfriend or girlfriend. What if you break up? What if you hate the university? What if you choose a course that isn’t right for you? I understand this, totally.
However, at the very end of the day; university is not the be all and end all. I truly do believe that love, whether it be romantic, between friends, between family, or of any description, is more important than a qualification or a career.
Picture this scenario, and tell me where you think you would achieve at the highest level; the UK’s top course for your chosen degree, far away from the one you love,….or at a very good course for your degree that still offers a career path, that is within visiting distance of the one you love? I know I would go for option B, because I work best when I’m happy and positive, not sad and negative.
If you don’t want to make your choice like this, then by all means don’t. It is your choice entirely. However, I do want to emphasise that if you or others want to take into consideration where the one you love is going, then do! We’re adults by the time we go to university (even if we don’t act like it!) and that means high school relationships aren’t always ‘silly little high school crushes’.
For many people, the one they meet at school is the one they stay with for life, and if you feel like distance will jeopardise that, then cut the distance down. We have the right to make our relationships work without anyone telling us otherwise.
University isn’t everything. It doesn’t guarantee a job; hard work and motivation does, and I know I’m not alone when I say I feel more motivated to work hard when I’m happy. When I attended many open days for universities, the one thing that stood out to me the most that was said was “don’t make your number one reason for choosing a university it’s rank position; choose the place where you feel happier, more comfortable, and can see yourself living.” Some of us can deal well with distance in relationships, and it is most likely that even those of us who don’t will still grow to feel comfortable when we make new friends and get into a routine. But for many of us, we go to university once, and it’s not just about the degree at the end; it’s about the experience, and if you are down in the dumps and struggling to cope with being apart, then your experience isn’t going to be the best it can be! Ensure you do really like the university though, and make sure it suits your academic abilities. You MUST do this; don’t choose a university you hate but it’s near your boyfriend or girlfriend, or choose one near them when you get ABB grades but the course was only a CDD. I’m not saying that your choice should be made entirely based on where your partner goes, and I wouldn’t even say it should be decided primarily based on that, however there is nothing wrong with it being a contributing factor in your choice.
At the end of the day, I know some relationships from further education won’t last into higher education, not always. However, I’m sure that to begin with, all of those relationships want to give it a shot, and who’s to tell you that you can’t? Go for it, do what is best for you, and don’t be afraid to stand up for your love, just as much as your education.