Is breaking up for University a necessary evil?

Breaking up can be a difficult decision, but is especially challenging when starting university.

multiple writers
21st October 2021
Image: pinterastudio via Pixabay
Yes...why risk the inevitable heartbreak? At the risk of sounding like I’m the least romantic person to ever exist, I’m arguing that yes, you should break up before moving to university.

It’s a brand-new chapter, and by holding onto someone so intimate from your past, you’re closing yourself off to a lot of new experiences. University itself, particularly the first year, is about self-exploration, and with so many new opportunities presenting themselves to you, I’d argue that you can’t fully open yourself to them if you’re starting university in a relationship. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get into a relationship at all throughout these years, but as it’s such a big change, you should prioritise exploring who you are as a person in this new life.

You’ll be constantly missing your partner, which can impact how you view your university experiences.

Realistically, you’re probably saving yourself a lot of heartbreak, too. If you’re both going to different universities, or choosing different paths especially, long distance will put such a strain on your relationship. You’ll be constantly missing your partner, which can impact how you view your university experiences, thinking, ‘what would I do if they were here’ - and so forth. If you break it off before you start university, instead of waiting for its inevitable collapse, at least you still retain some element of control over the ending of the relationship. You have the option of separating on good terms opposed to literally living out 'Sad Beautiful Tragic’ by Taylor Swift: ‘distance, timing, breakdown, fighting...'

Leave the past where it belongs.

Neve Watson


It’s totally understandable that some people want to be fully immersed in the university experience, and that this can involve casual flings with strangers. However, that’s not the life for everybody.

And that’s why it doesn’t have to be for you either. There’s absolutely no one-size-fits all experience for students, and that’s true for most things in life too. Your relationship and what you feel comfortable with only matters to one person - yourself. So why would you break up with someone you love just because other people say so?

Some common arguments against continuing your relationship at university is that “everyone cheats”, but this falls flat when you remember not everyone is the same. You should be able to trust your partner, and if your bond is strong, then there is no reason why you should break that just because people choose to believe something that is definitely not true. While cheating is very real and does exist, it is not inevitable. 

Why, then, would you sacrifice your future with them for something so temporary?

If you’re in a relationship, think about why you’re in it - for most people, it's because you see a future with them. So why, then, would you sacrifice your future with them for something so temporary? If you are in the relationship for the right reasons then you absolutely don’t need to break up with them. Distance is manageable if you put the work in, and take the time out of your day to connect with them. 

Remember - nobody is the same, so do what feels right for you, especially if that means staying with the one you love. 

Gabbi de Boer

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