By Andrew N. | July 2, 2012
Around this time last year, I attended my orientation at Ohio State. A few things stuck out to me, including: how awesome OSU is, how much the people at OSU like to brag on ourselves (see what I did there), and something one speaker said during our first session. Because it was over a year ago, I can’t recall the exact quote, but it resembled “If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, break up with them now, because it’s not going to last”
As a person who had been in a relationship for more than 3 years at that time, I found this statement astounding. Does this speaker really think she knows me? Does this statement even apply? Should I be insulted? The answers to all these questions are no, but with a * and a footnote.
Does she know me? Of course she doesn’t know me, this is the first time she has seen me as well as all 500 other kids in the room. Now that the obvious answer is out of the way, let’s examine the footnote. What the speaker is going on is statistics. An enormous amount of changes occur during those first few months, and for better or for worse, sometimes that includes relationships. I can only speak from personal experience and what I observed, but I will acknowledge that many do fail during the first year of college. In fact enough relationships don’t last past thanksgiving that it deserves a special name, the “Turkey Drop”.
Not this kind of turkey drop…unfortunately
Does this statement even apply? I am going to say no, and here is why. For starters, I chose not to break up with my girlfriend, and clearly she made the same decision, as we are still together. Secondly, I believe the bulk of this statement is directed towards students whose boyfriend or girlfriend will not be attending Ohio State at the same time. This could be the case if the couple decide to go to different schools, one of them doesn’t go to school, or possibly one is still in high school. For me, both my girlfriend and I were starting our freshman year at OSU at the same time, making the situation quite different. I don’t have statistics, but from my experience I can say without a doubt that long distance relationships were more likely to fail by a staggering amount.
Should I be insulted? I don’t believe so, because she is simply trying to help. From her experience, she has seen a vast number of relationships end in sadness and stress. Especially if it doesn’t end quickly, the emotional toil that a declining relationship has can distract the students away from their college experience, particularly their studies. As long as I remember that she was looking to save me from that, I can forgive her for making that request.
Now I’m not telling anyone what to do about your relationship, I don’t believe that is my place. In my case, I stayed with my girlfriend and continue being happy, and there are many more like me. On the other hand, I could give you plenty of examples of friends who are now single. My advice is don’t let some OSU administrator or anyone else make your decisions, especially one as personal as this. Only you will know what is best in your individual case.
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