No time for relationships

At least not in the present

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It seems almost impossible to maintain a healthy balance between college work and everything else.

When I started college three years ago, I had a lot of expectations. I had expectations that I’d spend more time having fun and going to parties than doing schoolwork. I had expectations that I’d fall in love and meet my husband.

I now realize these expectations were unrealistic.

I have found that many relationships in my life have suffered because of my heavy workload at RIT. Whether it’s a friendship, a relationship with a family member, or a romance – I can’t seem to juggle, let alone nurture, these relationships and my schoolwork.

I found out I wasn’t alone in this situation when a friend in my major opened up to me over Christmas break and told me his girlfriend of five and a half years was leaving him and moving out of their apartment.

“I think a large part of it was due to the fact that I had immersed myself in school,” said Matt Burkhartt, a third-year photojournalism major at RIT. “At the end of the day, I had so little left to give because of how emotionally draining the program … is.”

Burkhartt said now that he is single he will have a lot more time to dedicate to school.

“I can be at my apartment by myself and work without worrying about whether or not I’m neglecting my girlfriend while she’s home,” Burkhartt said. “But if you want them both to exist simultaneously it takes a lot of concentration and a lot of dedication. I think going forward I need to strategize somehow and make both of those parts of my life work together.”

I was also surprised and impressed to find out a different classmate recently got married. Carol Kline’s husband is an Army ranger stationed in Seattle.

“I see him twice a year for two weeks,” said Kline.

Although she doesn’t have to choose between schoolwork and spending time with her husband, Kline still has some difficult decisions to make.

“There’s definitely times when he’ll be deployed and he’s calling me and I’m in the middle of a really important critique or lecture or something,” said Kline. “I’m sitting there looking at my phone like ‘Ugh, I’d really love to answer my phone because I know I can’t call you back – you’re deployed.’ But my school’s really important to me.”

Personally, I’m still not sure how to find that healthy medium between time spent on schoolwork and time spent on relationships. I only have a few months left of school until graduation and I am doing what I think is right: immersing myself in my work.

We’ll see if my personal relationships can hang on for the rest of the ride.

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