B.A. Life (Honours) | Sharon
Yesterday I read an article in The Globe and Mail by Margaret Wente talking about what she learned in university, and that inspired Steve and I to start thinking about the things we learned.
While we can’t remember most of what we learned in class (What’s a demand curve again? Or that theory about that thing that happens in politics?), we did come up with a number of things we learned about life.
We chose universities before we started dating and afterwards, luckily, we found out we both chose to attend the same one. Years 1 and 2 were a growing phase, with lots of adjustment, a lot of fights, and gaining a deeper understanding of each other beyond favourite movies, foods, music, and hobbies.
As a couple, university was a trying time for us that really tested our strength and maturity and our willingness to compromise, and it really brought out the best in us in the end and strengthened our relationship. This is what we learned:
- Find your own language and ways of communicating as a couple
Fights happen, disagreements come up, and different points of view exist. Everyone is different so finding your own way of communicating effectively (learning how to speak and listen to each other based on individual personalities and needs), helps maintain respect and fosters clear communication. Screaming matches get you nowhere and are just exhausting. We’ve learned from experience.
- Honesty makes everything a whole lot easier
You avoid the stress of hiding things, the stress of finding out someone’s been hiding something from you, you deal with issues as they occur and don’t let them bottle up, and most importantly, you build trust.
- Creativity keeps the butterflies coming
In university, our bank accounts were tiny at best. After paying for tuition, housing, books, and food, we had little to spend on each other. This challenged us to be creative in the activities we did and helped us to develop and maintain originality in our relationship. One of the most memorable nights was dressing up for a take-out dinner on the floor of Steve’s dorm room.
As individuals, university really challenged us to think about what we truly wanted in life and the type of people we wanted to come. Our individual lessons were:
- Don’t forget your passions
Steve majored in Art History and I majored in International Development. Steve now works in insurance and I work in marketing. We chose to study what we loved and not what we thought would make the most money, and even today still remember and encourage each other not to forget about the things we are passionate about.
- Stand up for what you believe in
Steve doesn’t believe in drinking your face off and getting black out drunk, and stuck to that. In university. I had roommates in 4th year whose lifestyles I didn’t agree with and being the odd one out, I chose not follow their choices and chose to surround myself with friends that had the same outlook. Being the odd one out is tough, but in the end you’ll be happier knowing you stuck to your guns and can be proud of who you are today.
Life throws a lot of things at you and as you get older, there are more and more responsibilities and expectations to juggle. We learned to keep things in perspective, take challenges one at a time, support each other, and always remember to focus on the positive when dark thoughts cloud our minds.
– Sharon. xo