By Emily Centeno
When you mention the word “relationship” on campus, some students laugh it off as a joke, making it seem as realistic as Santa Claus. College is a time where you get to experience trying new things, finding yourself and developing a new form of independence. However, what about those of us who come into college in a relationship?
Most students are divided between being the helpless romantics who believe that love will conquer all, and the cynic who believes that college will eventually tear any relationship apart. “Trust” is what students declare to be the main culprit for destroying relationships shortly after college starts. College offers a brand new host of distractions that can make people in relationships wonder whether they are actually capable of staying committed to their high-school sweetheart.
It seems as if our hopes for romance and the idea of having your high-school sweetheart become the person you marry died along with their hopes for one day winning the lottery. But are these simply the voices of broken hearts? Or are we completely and utterly ridiculous for thinking that we might be the exception to the epidemic of failed college relationships?
Love is a difficult concept. From the moment you get butterflies in your stomach, from holding hands for the first time, to the time where you both realize that it’s time to end things and you experience your first heartbreak. The long process makes it difficult to want to go through the cycle over and over again, in search for your other half.
The idea of having to rely on Skype, texting, Facebook and late-night phone calls in order to hold your relationship together makes it hard for anyone to believe that a relationship can last. However, our fellow classmates who have a significant other find that it is not a complete waste of time to fight to stay with the one you love even if you are miles away. These warm-hearted people wounded by Cupid’s arrow know that if the love is strong enough, then it will survive whatever obstacle stumbles upon their path. The key to maintain such a healthy relationship is trust and an immense amount of patience.
As a first-year at UCI, I am currently in a long-distance relationship and it’s definitely no easy task. With the endless amount of opportunities that this university has to offer, it overwhelms me to try and think of how to manage a relationship on top of commitments to clubs and homework. Yes, I want to have that newfound freedom to discover myself and fully experience the college life. However, if you already gave away your heart to someone, you can’t simply forget who you gave it away to.
Jealousy, suspicion and distance are going to try to tear your relationship apart. But as Charles Darwin’s theory “survival of the fittest” would put it, only the strong will survive and the weak will perish. So the hopeless romantics and pessimistic peeps are both right and wrong. It all depends on the couple.
If your relationship consists of constant fights, then there is no point to continue the relationship. You do not want to spend college miserably and missing out on all of the fun you could be having.
If your relationship involves someone who loves you and supports you in everything you do, then it is worth fighting for. That person who is your support system and would do anything for you is not easy to find so when you find them, hold on and don’t let go.
Who knows where life will take you. Maybe the person you think is your soulmate ends up just being a brief chapter in your life. Perhaps the person who fears commitment will meet someone who changes their entire outlook on relationships. But all I can advise is that you never give up the search or fight for keeping love in your life. In the words of Eden Ahbez, “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.”