Life @ U of T

Balancing School…and a Relationship

I’ve had my fair dose of advice for balancing work and play, making time for friends while in school, remembering hobbies during times of stress. But balancing school while in a relationship? It’s something I’ve yet to address. Yet, it’s a legitimate concern! I was the same person who believed that relationships were distracting. So, what do you do when you are in one? Can you achieve balance with a relationship, especially as a student?

My boyfriend and I are both students, and we live in different cites and attend different schools. Not to mention how we both have jobs. All of these things are a challenge for managing a relationship meaningfully. And with exams around the corner, our schedules will be even more busy.

big brown boots next to small white boots

Finding time for my relationship meant sacrificing sleep to have those calls after a long day of studying, classes or both. Honestly, it hasn’t been an easy road for finding balance. Although, if I’ve learned anything about balance, there’s never really an easy way to find it. Nevertheless, it’s a worthwhile journey to pursue.

So now that the semester is almost over, how am I doing with finding that middle ground with my relationship and my priorities? I’d say my boyfriend and I have made it work.

We have a lot of study dates. Sometimes, he visits me in Toronto and we study together in my dorm. Or when I visit my hometown, he meet up to get our work done.

We plan ahead. We figure out our schedules and fit each other in accordingly.

yawning dog in car
Taking his dog for a hike!

We’ve set…boundaries. Okay, this is a little weird for me to admit because it comes off as keeping secrets from each other. What I mean is that when we call each other for instance, we communicate how long we can be on the line for or how late we can talk. Or when my boyfriend visits me, I tell him what days work best and let him know my priorities for that week.

We call or talk during our study breaks. This helps with my sleep because I can call him during the day. I’ll be at Robarts and step outside to give a call and stretch my legs. He’ll do the same when we walks his dogs or takes a break.

Come up with date ideas. I find that this boosts our spirits when school and work prevent us from having more time for each other. It lets us look forward to something later and reminds us that no matter what, there’s still going to be time for us.

We do hobbies together. If you’ve seen my video game blog post, you know I love games. My boyfriend and I find video games we can play together and it’s a great study break and way to spend time together.

game download on computer
I convinced him to get GTA…

Now I’m going to lay out a hard truth about relationships. I know I would study differently and live my life differently if I wasn’t in a relationship. There are certainly times when having a relationship can be distracting (my boyfriend and I both admitted this to each other!). With how much you have to work around a schedule to prioritize someone you care about, it’s easy to wonder how people bother with it?

Having a relationship is part of life, and I’ve learned that if something makes me happy, I’ll want to make it work and I thrive on learning how to make it work!

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