Someone once said that every romantic relationship in our lives will fail until one doesn’t. It may sound harsh, but there is truth to it. Most of us, especially those of us under 25, will enter into relationships that will someday end.
There’s something about going through the end of a relationship in college that tends to make everything more intense. Maybe it’s the added stress of keeping up with schoolwork when all you want to do is curl up into a ball or go for a long walk that lasts all day. Maybe it’s the task of telling tons of people who used to know you as “together” that you’re no longer together. Or maybe it’s just because at such a young age, we haven’t had much practice in the art of dealing with a broken heart. Whatever the case, the end of young love is not easy. In fact, it can be downright hellish.
But there are ways to survive a breakup in college.
And then, grow from it.
In order to do both, I've outlined below a few common mistakes you'll want to avoid.
Mistake #1: Not creating and maintaining distance
Don’t call, text or otherwise communicate. If your normal routes around campus mean you bump into your ex, then switch it up and find another way.
Mistake #2: Wallowing in self-pity for too long
Spending a brief period of time in your jammies with The Notebook and your good pals Ben & Jerry is okay, but there is too much fun and life enhancing moments to be had in college to let your moping go on long term. You don't want a breakup to take a significant toll on your life and your college experience as whole.
Mistake #3: Doing anything in excess
Anything done to dull the pain now, is a recipe for regret later. This could take the form of drinking or eating too much, shopping unnecessarily, flings, etc. Instead, let yourself heal for a bit and then rebuild a healthy lifestyle. You won't want the really important things like your schoolwork or internships to suffer. And, if the breakup is causing added stress and making it harder for things like actually getting the all-important internship or job, I recommend you check out Cheers to Careers for some awesome tips and advice.
Mistake #4: Jumping into a rebound relationship
It's a common knee-jerk reaction to want to rush into a new relationship quickly just so as to not feel alone or uncomfortable. It’s perfectly natural to miss your ex and the affection you received, but replacing him or her ASAP is not the solution. Not only is the new fling probably not the right person for you (and even if they are, jumping in too quickly is just setting it up for failure), but you're not giving yourself the opportunity to breath, learn and grow from the experience so that you CAN be in a better relationship in the future.
In the incubated bubble of college, we can often lose sight of the fact that our life will go way beyond these four years; way beyond the grades and the achievements and even the mistakes. Events that seem monumental, scars that seems like they will never fade, everything will eventually dissipate. It’s just a truth of time. Holding fast to that certainly is the first step in realizing that a broken relationship is not the be-all and end-all of who we are, and a good reminder when thinking of what to do when going through a breakup in college.
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