Dear Di,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost two years now, and I don’t plan on breaking up with him anytime soon. But I’ve constantly been told that the best way to live out your university experience is to be single and to date multiple people. As a result, I’ve started to doubt my long-term relationship, and I don’t know if I should sever ties with my boyfriend for the sake of living my university experience to the fullest. Any advice?

—Fear of Missing Out

Dear FOMO,

Your concern is shared by many students, so it’s completely normal that you’re asking yourself these questions. I think the most important thing for you to do in this situation is to stick with what makes you happy. If that entails breaking up with your boyfriend, then so be it.

However, I will say that your university experience doesn’t rely solely on your relationship status. It’s all about what you make of it. Some people want the more casual lifestyle when it comes to their romantic life. Not being tied to anyone and having the ability to have both romantic and sexual relationships with multiple partners is what fulfills them. Maybe that’s not for you, and that’s totally fine.

After all, there are a lot of advantages that come with being in a long-term relationship in university, one of them being the moral and emotional support that is often needed as you try to juggle school, work, and your social life. If you’re lucky enough to have someone by your side to support you and comfort you throughout your academic career, make the most of it.

With regards to sexual experience, it’s important to remember that having one partner doesn’t mean that you can’t try new things in bed. In fact, if you’re with someone you love and trust, trying new things and learning what turns you on might be a little easier than if you were to do it with a stranger.

Overall, don’t worry too much about pursuing the cookie-cutter “college experience.” As long as you feel fulfilled both inside and outside of your bedroom, your time in university will be just as satisfying as that of someone else.

Love,

Di


Dear Di,

I recently broke up with my girlfriend and I’m having a hard time coping with it while being in school. My grades are suffering, and I’m worried that I’ve jeopardized my CGPA. Finals are coming up and I’m starting to stress over whether or not I can even pass my exams. What should I do?

—Heartbroken Academic

Dear HA,

No matter what anyone says, breakups are always hard to overcome. With school, work, friends, and family also causing a lot of stress, being heartbroken can become almost paralyzing.

If you haven’t already, try to go talk to someone in depth about what happened between you and your girlfriend, and how you’re currently feeling. Sometimes venting can make a world of difference. It takes a certain weight off your shoulders, and allows you to receive some sort of validation from whoever you’re speaking to. The most important thing we need to be reminded of when we’re going through something like this is that our feelings are valid, and that we are justified in feeling the way we do.

Don’t hesitate to visit the U of O’s Student Academic Success Service. Not only can they help you study for your exams via workshops and one-on-one visits, they also offer a variety of mental health services free of charge.

As you study for your finals, make sure you put yourself in situations where you’re surrounded by people. Go to the library, a random building on campus, a coffee shop, or a friend’s place. Being around people who are also studying will help you stay motivated to keep your books open. It might also distract you from thinking about your ex, and will remind you that even though you’re single, you’re definitely not alone.

In the end make sure you are taking care of yourself, both emotionally and mentally, Try not to lose sight of what’s important to you, such as school, as you deal with this hurdle.

Love,

Di