Most freshmen leave their family if they move away from home to attend Bellarmine. Also, many move a distance away from the person they’re dating. Often, these relationships present the college freshman with major dilemmas. I’ve recounted some typical scenarios regarding the boyfriend/girlfriend back home. Although I’ve tried not to reduce the myriad of circumstances into one or two stereotypical instances, those of us who have worked with freshmen for years have seen these relationships often fall into some similar patterns. If you’re concerned about your student dealing with a “hometown sweetheart” situation, read on!
- The Bellarmine student dating someone back home—when home is 100 miles or less from Louisville—will often burn up the road going home every weekend. The result of this habit is that the freshmen make only a limited number of friends on campus. By the end of first semester, when most of the students around them have created networks of friends, these students feel isolated on campus.
- If the student breaks up with the hometown sweetheart, which often happens between October-February, the student will experience a challenge in making connections with friends many others take for granted as the year progresses.
- The freshman who transfers to be with the boyfriend/girlfriend at another university is always stuck with his or her school—not the college or university that necessarily bests suits the student who transfers. If the couple breaks up, then the student is doubly stuck.
- If a break-up occurs, the student’s mother and father also experience a sense of loss. The person your son or daughter dated has probably come to seem like a part of the family. It’s a challenge for the parents to realize that this decision does not involve them all.
What is the best path to advocate for the freshman with a boyfriend or girlfriend from high school? Encourage your son or daughter to maintain a balance between time on campus, engaging with other Bellarmine students, and spending time with the boyfriend/girlfriend. Keep all things in some balance; otherwise, the consequences can be negative in a number of ways for the new freshman.
I’m not sure if either of these two happy pairs are technically “couples,” or if they’re just friends hanging out and being silly at Knights Fest. But you all get the idea! Photo credits to the photographer at BAC’s Knights Fest.