Your love life is your own business,
But I’ve learned a few things along the way. Relationships at uni are important; they make you grow up a lot quicker than any amount of separating whites from colours will do. However, there are some kinds of relationships that you should steer clear of, because they tend to make you forget why you ever went to uni in the first place.
So freshers, I offer you my list of things (and people) not to do; third-years, hold your heads (and aching hearts) in shame if you’ve ever made these mistakes.
- Relationship with your lecturer
It’s understandable that you’d be attracted to the person imparting wisdom and learning to you on a weekly basis. There are all too many occasions for attraction to blossom; seminars where everyone else is too hungover to turn up, or the aptly named “personal” tutorials.
Relationships between faculty members and students are pretty common, and rarely prohibited by universities; standard guidelines, such as these from Royal Holloway just require the relationship to be mentioned to the head of department.
But most relationships you have at uni aren’t going to end happily ever after. Most likely, if you get into a relationship with your tutor or lecturer, it will implode at some point, and you’ll have to endure the awkwardness and pain of forced contact with an ex who still holds the position of power over you that was so attractive in the first place.
Or, worse, you’ll just hit on a lecturer when drunk on free departmental wine, be rejected, and have to spend the next three years studiously avoiding them, and never ever taking any of their modules.
- Relationship with your flatmate
Having a relationship with someone you already live with escalates everything; you can get close really quickly, but that makes it harder if you then split up. Katie says: “Don’t do it – or at least wait until the summer if you want anything to happen.
- Relationship with a sabbatical officer
Sabbatical officers are students who take a year off between or directly after their studies to take on key positions in the student union. Relationships between students and sabbs might not immediately seem particularly ill-advised, and you do get a kind of second-hand power rush from dating someone vaguely important.
But when it ends, and there’s a cardboard cutout of your ex that creepily guards the entrance to your uni, it becomes peculiarly painful. As are all the emails, the weird pictures of them dressed up in a novelty reindeer costume, and the realisation that it’s very hard to get over someone when they’re around all the time .