Books vs. Boyfriend: How to Balance Studying with Your Relationship

Picture this, collegiettes™: You’re working diligently in the library, knocking out that essay like there’s no tomorrow. Sure, it’s due tomorrow, but it’s only 8 o’clock and you’ve got a good six hours or so before you start to crash. But then… text message! Your boyfriend misses you. “Want to hang out?” he asks. Your heart melts (a nice contrast to the snow outside). You can give him a few hours, right? After all, who needs sleep?

Of course, then it’s three in the morning, you’re still not back in the library, and that paper seems a lot more daunting than it did a few hours ago. Preventable? Heck yeah.

We’ve all faced this dilemma. Sure, grades are important (at least, that’s what my parents keep reminding me). But so is your relationship. How do you find a balance?

Because I’m fond of lists, and because I’m hoping you are too, I’ve compiled a lovely list of tips for juggling your books and your boyfriend. (Please, don’t take that statement literally and actually try to juggle your books and your boyfriend. I will give you full confidence in juggling the books but the boyfriend bit could get messy).

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1. Make a schedule!

Depending on your level of schedule obsession, this suggestion could seem completely obvious to you, but I promise that it’s helpful. Write down your schedule and his, if you know it. Plan out how much time you’ll need to do your work and then schedule him in around it.

If you have a schedule written down, it’s a lot easier to stick with it. Plus you’ll be able to make time for books AND your boyfriend–something both he and your grades will appreciate.

2. Study together (in a public place)

Note that I added ‘in a public place’ to this tip. There is a big difference between “studying” in your dorm room (anatomy lesson, anyone?) and sitting next to each other in a library while you each do your work, occasionally glancing up to exchange adorable glances. (Everyone together now- aww.) I personally find this less effective than studying alone because I get distracted really, really easily and end up with a terrible glance to work ratio. Some people, though, claim that this is the perfect solution. This is particularly effective if you two share a class. From personal experience, I will add that this works best if you’re in a public place where talking is frowned upon- otherwise you will distract each other with silly jokes. (At least, this is what happens to me.)

3. Make “meal time” into “together time”

First I would like to apologize for the excessive corniness of this tip title. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on. You both have to eat, no matter how busy you are. (Seriously. No, I don’t care about that ten page paper. You’re going to pass out if you don’t at least eat a sandwich or something.)

So why not spend that time together? Sure, you could get some studying done over dinner, but problem sets are a whole lot easier to do when you don’t have a fork in your hand. Conversations, however, are perfectly suited to a meal. If you two want to spend your together time without being surrounded by your dorm-mates, eat in your room. Just make sure you separate again when the meal is over! Discipline is key, young collegiette™ grasshoppers.

4. Cut down on your other distractions

You know what takes up an enormous chunk of the average collegiette’s™ day? Facebook. The average college student spends around an hour and forty minutes a day on the social networking site. When you add in more internet browsing, your Internet time is probably two hours a day, at least. Which is more valuable, two hours looking at pictures of your childhood next-door neighbor or two hours swinging hands with your boyfriend as you skip through a field of daisies? (Forgive me, I’m a sappy romantic. To my boyfriend, if you are reading this- take note.) Even with a Cornell workload, there should be enough time in the day to handle studying and a relationship. Make those a priority over your Internet distractions, please.

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5. Make studying a priority

Sorry, ladies, someone had to say it. In the battle of books vs. boyfriend, the books have to win. There will always be days when you actually have to spend every waking hour working, and if your significant other doesn’t understand that they might need a reality check. After all, he will have days where his studying has to win out, and you’ll have to understand then. “It’s a constant struggle balancing the time you need to spend on class work and with your significant other while still talking to other people,” said Andrew ’13. “But as long as both people are on the same page, it’s nothing that can’t be overcome.” (For the record, he and his girlfriend have been successfully balancing school and a relationship for six months, so this seems to be effective.)

You’re all smart people, and I’m sure you all know better than to spend every waking moment with your significant other while your schoolwork suffers. But with these lovely tips, you can actually have a balance (instead of a battle) between books and boyfriends.

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