Juggling school, extracurriculars and relationships in college

Christian Benabe/Staff Writer

The month of love has arrived once again, and with students focused on their studies, internships and personal endeavors, the possibility of a steady relationship can seem impossible.

Relationships have evolved over the years. Modern-day romance involves devices, as social media sites and dating apps have taken the role of matchmaker and replaced the face-to-face approach.

“I think it’s tough to be romantic these days,” said Susan Dubitsky, a professor of psychology at FIU. “We live in a world of satisfaction, and that’s exemplified by Tinder and [Bumble].”

Referring to the popular dating apps, Dubitsky believes they are not allowing people to get to know each other and that the “hook up has replaced romance.”

“One of the problems with devices is they allow the release of dopamine,” she said.

She compared the use of the apps to that of when users receive a “like” on their Facebook or Instagram posts.  This action can trigger dopamine, filling them with temporary pleasure and enjoyment, according to Psychology Today.

The economic pressure can also put a strain on relationships. There is a societal expectation for college students to work  hard for their education and find careers that will land them jobs.

This can contribute to the following questions that plague students: will they be able to pay their loans, rent, car payments; will the degree be worth it, is there any time for a relationship?

“[This] generation is being strapped by economic pressures more than my generation,” said Dubitsky.

Dubitsky also said she is not sure if it is a breakdown or a paradigm shift, but that this generation has become a “me” centered society, where people need to make it, get the good grades and a good job.

“It just seemed like a lot more people sitting around wanted to be married and have kids,” Sse said. “And it seems there was a shift at some point where ‘where you want to be five years from now’ is in a career or graduate school or traveling.”

In order for college relationships to work. Dubitsky said that it is a matter of taking the time to get to know someone and allowing that relationship to bloom form.

“It’s like a plant. You have to nurture it and you have to give it food, and have to water it, and then it will grow, but if you neglect the plant won’t grow,” she said.

Relationships are a matter of evaluating how important those involved are to each other and the understanding of building trust, friendship, and love over time. It involves patience and willingness to see if love is worth pursuing.

This Valentine’s Day, Dubitsky offers a classic idea for couple to celebrate.

Aside from taking the time for each other, “buy the flowers, buy the candy, light the candles; have the lighting, get the nice wine, have incense have music […] Spray the room with floral scent!”

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash.

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