My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost two years. He is going to be playing football in college, and I want to study journalism. We have a few colleges in common interest, but my Mom says we should steer clear of the same college if we hope to stay together. Is this true?
Senior, Little Miami High School, Morrow, Ohio
Is this true? It could be. It could just as easily be false.
This is a time in your life when you get to be as egocentric as a two year old. The college that you choose, what major you decide on, what classes you take, all of that (and more!), is decided by you and you alone. I’m not saying that you should dump your boyfriend, but this is your future we’re talking about. It should take top priority, and to base your decision on where your boyfriend chooses to go would be to sell yourself short. If you find a school with a great journalism program that happens to have a stellar football team, that’s wonderful! Just be sure it’s a college that you actively want to attend, because the harsh reality is that it’s easier to break up than it is to transfer.
Of course, the fact that “college is all about you” applies to everyone. Once they discover their new-found freedom, people change and grow—and sometimes grow apart. This includes high school sweethearts. It may happen slowly, as you both busy yourselves with new classes and friends. Or it might happen quickly, as a result of stress. Tensions may run high as you both adjust to your new lives, and you might find yourselves taking things out on one another. So yes, you could break up if you went to the same college.
That being said, you could also break up if you went to different colleges. Long distance relationships are tough, and require a great deal of commitment and faith. It may be difficult to find the time to call or visit, taking all of your schoolwork into account. You’ll also have to ask yourself if you can trust your partner to remain loyal, even in your absence. Again, college is full of new freedoms, and with freedom comes temptation. Another harsh reality, but reality nevertheless.
I’m afraid there isn’t an easy answer to your question. There is no surefire way to keep people from breaking up in college, just as there is no surefire way to keep people from breaking up in high school. That is because, like college itself, it all comes down to you and the decisions you make. Good luck!
I can save a lot of money if I take classes at an online college after graduation this year. What would I be missing if I decided not to go away to college? Is the money I save in moving away worth it?
-J. Davis, Florida
Imagine you’re starting high school again. This time, though, you’re going to a high school that offers no after-school activities, sports, plays, parades, rallies, field trips, or parties. Essentially, you’ve got classes and nothing else. And in those classes, there is only you and a laptop computer. It’d make for a different experience, right?
It’s true that online classes are convenient and inexpensive. They provide a wonderful opportunity for everyone to learn, no matter how busy their daily schedules. A wide variety of subjects are available, and yes, the price tag does make it an attractive alternative to more “traditional” schools. Still, in making your decision it is important to consider what online schools lack.
If you’re more of a stay-at-home sort of person, you might find comfort in the solidarity of online schools. If you’re only interested in receiving an education, online schools may be something you want to pursue. But for most, college is about more than class—it’s a time to meet new people, explore interests, study abroad, add some pizzazz to your résumé, etc. Though not impossible, it will be far more difficult to do all that from a computer chair.
That said, you are right to be concerned about money in today’s economy. However, if fear of funds is the only thing that has you considering online school, I can assure you that there are tons of ways for you to get the cash you need for college. There are schools out there that give away thousands of dollars in financial aid, and many banks offer student loans. You could also try browsing scholarships.com’s many unique and unusual scholarships.
Finally, you asked if saving money is “worth it”. Personally, I think no. College offers a myriad of opportunities that you will never have again—and those opportunities are priceless.