To date or not to date, that is the question

Aja Brown

College relationships are often considered extracurricular

Even with all the fiery flirting in the loud eateries and the sugary hand holding on the crowded walkways to class, only so many students will have the time to take their relationships to a deeper level this fall.

Homework, research papers, portfolio deadlines and all the other stresses of college make dating at Kent State an extracurricular activity.

“If you can find the time to get to really know someone like that then go for it,” said Deanna Gradkowski, sophomore fashion design major.

Gradkowski is currently dating her high school sweetheart. However, she said if she did not have a boyfriend before coming to college, she doubts she would have begun a new relationship.

“It would be too hard,” she said. “It’s like every other week there’s something due, a project or a paper.”

She said that because time is so limited, she and her boyfriend, who still lives at home, only get to see each other every two to three weeks.

Now, when she does see her boyfriend, it’s more exciting than it used to be because they are spending so much of their time away from each other, Gradkowski said.

Like Gradkowski, freshman history major Caitlin Croft has been dating her boyfriend, Daniel Blile, since high school. Her boyfriend is also not enrolled in college.

Blile works a full-time job, so the couple must juggle their schedules to make time see each other.

“It’s hard -” Croft began to say.

“It’s as hard as what you make it,” Blile added. “If you want your relationship to be fun, it’ll be fun.”

Croft said she may be more sensitive about the distance between Blile and herself because she is female. She said it is hard to get her work done while thinking about Blile when he is not at Kent State with her.

Like Croft, freshman psychology major Sarah Orban was worried about balancing schoolwork and a boyfriend. She broke it off with her high school honey before coming to college because she knew she was going to have to focus on her work.

But Orban hasn’t totally pushed away the idea of a male companion. She said having a boyfriend could make being away from her family and friends less difficult.

“When I left home, I was so ready to get away, but now I’m starting to feel lonely,” she said with a soft smile.

On the other hand, senior anthropology major Whitney Lytle is juggling college along with a long-distance relationship like a pro.

“Honestly, I prefer a long-distance relationship,” she said. “My boyfriend not always being around doesn’t bother me at all.”

Still, Lytle said she can understand why a lot of the younger students aren’t able to date with such ease.

“Maybe since I’m a senior and I know what to expect from my classes and professors, I’m not as scared of the idea of dating,” she said.

For some help on getting through the rough times with your loved one while in college visit

Contact student life reporter Aja Brown at [email protected].