By Joshua Joseph
MSA seniors are preparing for many different changes in the coming year--college, independence, managing their time as young adults. But for some of us involved in relationships, we’re facing another big change: Separation. What will life be like without our significant others? How will we manage those relationships, or how will we end them? Will we remain friends?
Those are difficult questions to answer and the fact is none of us really know what to expect. But we’re definitely thinking about it. Unfortunately, seniors will have to answer this question sooner then they would have liked.
Perspectives Senior Davion Lindsey is in a relationship and said he and his significant other have discussed what they’ll do when they both head to college this fall. Davion said he thinks the bond between the two of them is strong enough to maintain their relationship despite the distance between their two colleges. Davion is headed to Alabama A&M; his girlfriend will be attending college in Illinois.
“Were together now and I don’t see any reason to change that. We’re good together,” Davion said. “We both know what we have when we come back home [from college].”
Not every student has made the decision to stay together. One senior couple from MSA has decided to end their relationship, or at least halt it because of the distance between their colleges. One of them is attending college in Illinois, while the other is going to school out of state.
The male member of the couple, who asked not to be identified because of privacy concerns, said the decision to break up, or at least take a break, was a difficult one.
“It’s hard when you care for someone for what feels like a very long time, and then turn around and have to leave that person. It’s tough, very tough,” he said.
While others will make the same decision--either before summer is over or, as often happens in college, by Christmas break--some high school sweethearts manage to stay together for the long term.
MSA English teacher Steve Iammartino is married to his high school girlfriend. The relationship began during their junior year at Oak Park and River Forest High School but ended in their senior year because they were attending different colleges. Iammartino went to Marquette in Milwaukee while his high school girlfriend attended Ball State in Muncie, Indiana.
Iammartino said they considered attending the same college but decided against it. “We thought about going to college together and realized it was stupid because what happens if you break up with them and you hate that college, then you’re stuck,” he said.
Though apart, the two stayed in contact and eventually renewed their relationship during their senior year of college, Iammartino said. While maintaining a relationship at separate colleges can be difficult, Iammartino found it easier than people imply. It was a lot of work but worth it, Iammartino said. He and his wife have now been married for nine years and have two small children.
That is a happy ending to a story that began in high school but who’s to say you’re going to stay with one person your entire life, and that you’ll meet that person in high school? College is a time for growth that could not only change you but your relationship as well.
The main thing to realize is that the person you are with now may not be the person you’re with years from now. You have to think logically about the future of your relationship. But there’s also a much more difficult factor to weigh, one that is often the opposite of logic.
As Iammartino put it, “There's no decision. Your heart tells you what's right.”