Relationships in college are a lot different from relationships in high school. College presents a unique set of challenges as well as perks for couples that won't be experienced anywhere else or at any other time. These are pieces of advice that current freshmen had to share in terms of maintaining a relationship.
1. Don't take your time for granted.
"Being in college is great in that you and your partner can virtually spend just about every minute of the day together (other than class time). This often helps couples grow stronger, but this also makes partners take their time together for granted. Maintain the spark by going on spontaneous fancy dates or by just simply spending some time away from each other." — Cindy Lin, University of Virginia
2. Don't be a d*ck.
"Always see things from your partner's perspective. Evaluate yourself and come to an understanding with your partner. Make compromises because that's what relationships are all about. There will always be struggles in relationships — it's all about how you approach these struggles." — Joshua Kim, University of Georgia
3. Love, care, and trust.
"I'm in a long distance relationship where we live 1,000 miles apart from each other and it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. If you want to maintain a relationship in college, even if it's not long distance, you have to be sure you really love and care about the other person. And that you trust them more than anything. Without trust, your relationship will be nothing. Other than that, just keep loving them and telling them they are worthy of love." — Amanda Morrison, Temple University
4. Give unique gifts.
"Don't settle for the hackneyed flowers and chocolate. For example, I gave my girlfriend a customized mug that had pictures of my face on it so everytime she gets thirsty, she'll be thinking of me." — Andrew Li, University of Georgia
5. Respect each other's time.
"[In a long distance relationship in particular], it's important to know each other's schedules and respect the fact that you can't be connected all day, every day...Setting up dates, phone calls and video chats in advance can be important because you dedicate time to communicate, but also understanding that life gets crazy and unpredictable is a part of dating in college. You may not get to talk until late at night some days but then you'll have the whole day to talk about together. So invite spontaneous moments but also make sure you're giving each other enough attention and love!" — Gia Tims, Hofstra University
6. Be a good influence and a great impact.
"Freshman year for college students is a weird time because everyone's lifestyle completely changes. It takes time to adjust and balancing a relationship during this time can make things even more challenging. It's important to be a positive light for your partner. A good way to do this is to check in on your significant other every once in a while to just ask how he/she is doing. It's all about the little things in life." — Alice Crenshaw, University of Florida
7. Share friends, but also have your own.
"It's a great feeling and also a healthy thing to be able to get along with your significant other's friends. Knowing each other's friends can bring the two of you closer because you'll be able to join each other's hangouts without feeling awkward. However, it's also equally as important to have your own set of friends to fall back to every once in a while. Having your own friends reminds you that you have other relationships to build and forces you to take time away from your significant other as well (which is healthy)." — Amanda Chen, University of Wisconsin
8. Fights are okay.
"Don't be afraid to have fights, especially as your relationship progresses. Fights can suck, but they can also be valuable in finding out what really matters to your partner. Don't let emotions overcome you when you (inevitably) fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend, but be logical, learn from the fight and, in the end, forgive. Always have an open mind and learn more about your partner with each and everything you go through. After all, it's equally their relationship as it is yours." — John Yeo, Georgia State University
9. Make it a date.
"Make every moment you have together outside of classes seem like a date of its own. Whether it be eating at the dining hall or walking to classes, every time spent together should be special and unique in its own way. However, don't force free time. Make sure both of you are comfortable with setting time apart in your days to see each other." — Joy Zhang, University of Georgia
10. Explore campus together.
"With school work in the way, it's difficult for anyone to really get in a car and make the drive off of campus. Even just walking around your college campus with your significant other can be considered quality time spent together. Walking and exploring gives you two the time to really talk about what's been on your mind and allows you two to discover more about each other." — Katie Kim, University of Georgia
There's never a bad time to put extra thought and time into your significant other. Here's to healthy relationships and great memories!
Lead Image Credit: Elizabeth Tsung via Unsplash