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Letter #5 (College & Relationships)

Dear ML Today…

I’m currently in a tough situation right now and I’d like to hear an external opinion. As a senior, I’ve applied to a number of colleges and been accepted to a few. I won’t name them here, but let’s call them college A and B. While I had always dreamed of attending college A, college B isn’t a bad choice either. What makes my decision tough, however, is that my boyfriend (we’ve been dating for a year and a half now) has been accepted to college B too. I’m currently trying to be as rational as possible, but I’m unsure about what to do. Should I attend my dream college or should I attend college B with my high school sweetheart? I don’t know if you’ll be able to help as I really think this problem is much more complicated than I am explaining but I’d love to hear your opinion.

-Anonymous

Dear Anonymous, 

First of all, congratulations on your college acceptances! You deserve it after nearly four years of high school… Secondly, that does sound like a tough decision to make! Though it is ultimately up to you, I can give you a couple of suggestions on what factors to take into consideration while you’re making this decision. 

  1. Ask yourself where you see your relationship in the next couple of years. Based on what you’ve seen so far, do you think you both will continue to stay together in and past college? Are you both committed enough to each other to do that? If not, ask yourself if it’s worth it to sacrifice your dream college for a relationship that may not be long-term.
  2. Will you regret it? Are you likely to regret attending college B and hold feelings of hostility towards your boyfriend? You know yourself better than anyone, and if that sounds like you, just keep in mind that should you choose to attend college B, there may be increased tension in your relationship. If you are not normally one to hold grudges or blame others for negative scenarios, this may not apply to you. 
  3. List the pros and cons of each school without factoring in your relationship, as hard as it may be. school B might not be a bad choice, but why do you really want to go to school A? Does it have the major you’ve always wanted or the perfect program for you? If the pros of school A definitely outweigh, you may want to consider going that route. If they are about the same objectively speaking, and you want to attend school with your boyfriend, you may want to consider going to school B. 
  4. Remember, that attending college A doesn’t mean you have to break up with your boyfriend… Long-distance will definitely have its challenges, but if you are both willing and committed, it could work out.  
  5. On a more lighthearted note, To All the Boys: Always and Forever, is a movie you could watch where the main character finds herself in a similar situation. If you find time to watch it, it may help provide some insight! 

Whatever decision you choose to make, realize that things will work out eventually. I’m sure you’ll be happy at whichever campus you end up attending in the fall, and you’ll find your place! Good luck! 

All the Best,

ML Today Advice Column

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