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Rachel Responds

Learn to balance relationships, schoolwork through communication

Rachel Woodman

September 20, 2012

Marvin W. asks: “How do you balance relationships with education?”

Good question.

Relationships can be exciting. That thrill of meeting someone new can be fairly encompassing and take over your will to climb out of bed in the morning for class. Why would you want to go to a level 800 course on chemistry when you can have more snuggle time with your Prince Charming or Lady Cinderella? Why study for law when you can study for biology right at home? These relationship experiences are important to everyone throughout life. However, during college it is important to balance your relationship with your career goals and scholarly aspirations.

So what to do when you and your partner are faced with mounds of homework, projects and tests? Study together? Well, maybe not.

Time management is difficult for students when they’re faced with so many responsibilities crammed into a week that is only seven days long. Therefore studying together may seem like a great way to combine relationship time with academics.

But this might not be the best choice. How many quality memories can be made when you’re nose deep in a history book? How many historical figures will you remember for the exam if the partner of here and now becomes far more interesting?

Some couples are able to have successful study dates. However, most are not able to accomplish this. Creating specified couple time that is free from class, work or other distractions can have a much more positive impact on the relationship.

According to Bobby Coles, doing classwork before spending quality time is the best way. Coles recommended in “Tips on balancing a boyfriend or girlfriend and school work” on helium.com, using boyfriend/girlfriend time together as a reward for completing your classwork.

This means that classwork should come first and hangoutand- be-cool time second. If you are not worrying about something you have not completed then you will be less stressed and if you are less stressed you will be in a much more carefree mood during your time together. No one likes a cranky pants.

For some couples the struggle is spending time doing homework or going to class when they would rather just spend time together.

For other couples the struggle lies with putting enough into their relationship because they are so dedicated to their studies.

In either case, one type of couple usually doesn’t understand the other type.

That is not as large a problem as the two types being within the same couple. One person feels they should spend more time together and the other feels more time should be spent on college work and activities. Solution? Communication.

Communicating with your partner openly about your expectations, your goals, and your needs is your key to being successful in your relationship and in your college career. Nohel Corral advised in “Balancing relationships while in college” on examiner.com, that technology is a best friend in today’s college relationship. Due to the advent of cellphones, smartphones and computers, there are many ways to show your lass or gent how much you care.

When faced with rapidly approaching deadlines and lessening time with the man or woman of your dreams you should send them a text! Just sending a quick message to say that you are thinking of that person shows them how much they mean to you.

Knowing that you have someone out there thinking of you when you are in deadline-panic-mode is empowering. Little messages of love and devotion go a long way. During those stressful power hours, send a powerful message or make a quick phone call to say you care. Then get back to the task at hand.

Relationships and education are a lot of work, but with communication and goal setting, maintaining your grad point average and your love foray can both be successful.

Send your questions, concerns, or quandaries to Rachel on her Facebook page “Rachel Responds” and follow her on Twitter.

Rachel Woodman is a senior majoring in marketing communications and minoring in journalism. She loves to work hard, play hard, and use clichés! Look for her Facebook page “Rachel Responds” and email her your questions or topic ideas to QuestionsForRachel@live.com.