The college break-up
Editor’s Note: Views expressed in guest columns and letters to the editor reflect the views of the author, not the views of The State News.
We all know someone who has had the phrase, “I don’t want to start a relationship because we’re graduating soon,” dropped on them.
But what if you meet someone now, just mere months from graduation? Should you jump into a new relationship head first? Or avoid the potential pain and messiness you could face at the end of the semester? Opinion editor Katie Harrington and opinion writer Greg Olsen share their views on whether or not to take the leap.
Greg: “Use Your Head”
If I were to consider starting a relationship tomorrow, it would be like saying to myself, “Man, I sure could use some more stress in my life!”
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Purposely avoiding any form of commitment does sound like a terrible outlook to have and in most cases, I would agree. However, at this point in my life, I think having this view is simply being realistic.
The spring semester of your senior year is no time to be starting a relationship.
Think about it.
In a matter of months, many of us seniors will be uprooting our lives and going to places in and outside the state of Michigan. From that point forward, our lives will be devoted to whatever internship or entry-level position we have, with the remaining time spent learning to live on our own and start a new life.
Unless you’ve already been with someone for a lengthy period of time, dragging someone into that situation seems irresponsible.
I know there are exceptions to this belief, and I’m sure somewhere there is an elderly couple laughing together because they met with just a few months left in school, but I just can’t bring myself to see it that way.
Instead of losing the friend you’ve formed something with and risking the chance of not knowing them in the future, why put all that to chance when you know you’re about to leave?
Why try to start a long-distance relationship when both of you will be busy? Why make one person compromise their life goals to move closer to the other?
If you’re someone who’s been in an amazing relationship throughout college, and you and your partner look forward to taking the next steps in your lives together, I honestly envy your situation, but I just don’t see it happening for me.
Whether it’s a fear of getting hurt or uncertainty about the future, I think most sensible seniors will agree: the spring semester of your senior year is not the time to start a new relationship.
As for now, I guess I’ll just have to restrict my love life to Rick’s.
Katie: “Take A Risk”
“It’s not you, it’s me.” “I need to focus on school.” “I need my space.” “We’re at different places in our lives right now.”
What do these statements have in common with the phrase “I don’t want to start a relationship because we’re graduating soon?” They’re all excuses.
When you start dating someone in college, there’s always going to be the risk of a long-distance relationship — whether you start dating freshman year, or the last month of your senior year.
So is there a cut-off as to when you shouldn’t start a new relationship? And if so, what is it? A month before graduation? Six months? A year? More than that? At this rate, you might as well not date in college at all. You certainly wouldn’t want to have to face a difficult situation somewhere down the road.
The bottom line is, if you really want to be with someone, you will find a way to make it work.
And who says long-distance relationships can’t work anyway? No, long distance isn’t going to be the same as the easy, care-free relationships we had in college when the guy or girl we liked lived down the hall or across the street. Long-distance relationships are a lot of work and they suck. But they also can bring people closer together and make relationships more meaningful.
There’s always going to be some imminent end to different periods in our lives — that’s inevitable. And you can’t know what’s going to happen at the end of those periods.
But if we always planned for the end, would there ever be a right time for something to start?
If you’re lucky enough to find someone you like, you should take advantage of the time you have together, and take a chance on where it will lead.
Saying you’re not willing to begin something new is admitting you’re not willing to take a risk. And that’s even worse than an excuse.
Greg Olsen is the opinion writer at The State News and a professional writing senior. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Harrington is the opinion editor at The State News and a journalism senior. Reach her at email@example.com.