Heading off to college can be considered the pinnacle of a young adult’s life. One of the highlights could be the freedom to act on your personal choices in relationships without parental interference. As many are aware, a huge roadblock was thrown in that particular path, causing those on their journey to swerve off a cliff they did not expect.
PLNU psychology professor Jim Johnson stressed that “effective relationship building for emerging adults in college is a key part of their social, emotional and spiritual development.”
Due to quarantine, these students are not only withheld from attending classes, but more importantly, restricted from a key developmental stage in college — which Johnson said is building “appropriate relationships with persons of the opposite sex.”
Those who are single and seeking a relationship may lament that they are missing out during all this down time, when they could be searching for a S.O. The main issue is the opportunity to meet new people is now very limited.
Amanda Letzring, a first-year accounting major, shared how her relationship status impacted her experience in quarantine.
“Being single during COVID allowed me to focus on my tennis and school work without having any distractions. I also got ahead on my summer college classes, improving my studying ability.”
While being isolated may have made some individuals feel like they are missing out or lonely, Letzring mentioned ways those who are single can make the most out of their situation.
“I recommend for single people to take this time to focus on loving themselves first so they will hopefully be able to love others in the future,” Letzring said. “They can do this by positive self talk and using encouraging words to themselves, leading to personal growth.”
What about those already in a relationship who are entering these troubling times? Are they bonding and building up a more enduring relationship? Or maybe so much time of intensive one-on-one has revealed a red flashing siren on their S.O. ‘s forehead. Another first-year at PLNU, Anna Griffin, described her experience entering the pandemic while in a relationship.
“In the beginning of the lockdown, [my boyfriend and I] couldn’t see each other at all for a few weeks, [which] was really hard. We both don’t love texting so it was definitely hard to communicate because we had to find new ways to connect.”
Although Griffin and her boyfriend faced this challenge during the beginning of quarantine, they were able to understand one another better and learned lifelong skills throughout the process.
“During COVID but also just generally, communication is often the one determining factor as to if your relationship is going to last,” Griffin said. “Be okay with bad days or getting angry or sad. If both people understand the other person’s limits, boundaries and expectations, then your quarantine dating experience will be a lot more smooth.”
Good news is, either side of the fence you’re looking over, the grass is the same shade of green. Take this time to learn more about yourself or your significant other. That’s how you get cozy during COVID-19.
Written By: Katie Morris