How To Concentrate On Studies When In Love
Several years ago, I was at a crossroads of choosing between my studies and my love as the priority. I loved my books and wanted to make my parents proud. I also love to put in my best in whatever I commit myself to do and that includes relationship too.
Few months into my resumption as a student in the university, some guys approached me but I couldn’t give them a chance. They were not bad though. As a matter of fact, they were good, enthusiastic, and based on their current feats, they are relentless go-getters. However, I wasn’t just ready for such a commitment at that time.
A couple of months later, I met a particular friend who didn’t make his intentions known. He introduced himself and asked a few questions about my course of study. He would sometimes check on us (my group of friends and me) whenever he was around my residential area.
All I have ever been specific about was not to be in love with an aggressive person. I was once a neighbour to a wife beater. The lady never knew until they got married. She eventually left him.
However, around this time, I felt a strong urge to start praying about my future spouse since I was beginning to have a long list.
I prayed consistently for a while but couldn’t get specific details about the person so I stopped being so pushy about it.
Why the rush, huh?
I took a long pause and only mentioned the prayer point once in a while before bedtime. Then one night, when I didn’t even expect it, I got a solid mind-blowing conviction (I hope to share it someday). At that time, he had not shown any form of affection so I discarded it and went on with my normal life.
He was in his finals while I was just starting my degree. A big risk, right? You would ask if I was in my right senses to try that. Fears of human’s unpredictable nature overshadowed my convictions.
Due to the long-distance relationship that would be involved, I felt he would get someone else later and jilt the naive me just starting out 🙄 .
Mum was a bit stern too (You know mothers can be quite tough on the female gender 😀 ). Dad was a softy, he said he would also pray about it and get back to me on the matter.
But then, close friends thought I was nuts. 😆 . Why would a first-year student be in a serious love relationship? That’s the usual thought anyway, especially if you are an African.
Back to the story…
A couple of months later which was a few weeks to his final exams, he came out of the blue and made his intentions known.
Really? 😯 I thought what I saw was a joke. I couldn’t believe my eyes so I asked him why he was interested in me when he was almost graduating.
He said he didn’t want to distract my academics since I was just starting and also hoped that I won’t see the differences between us as weird.
Long story cut short, we had a six-years courtship, I graduated as the best student in my department and faculty and had eight academic awards. We have also been happily married for some years now.
Let’s get back to business… 😎 .
So, maintaining a good academic record alongside a rich love life can be quite distracting and eventually unrealistic if and only if you are oblivious of the following secrets I am about to share with you.
You are first in school for studies, other things that come up are extras. You have to ensure you don’t allow the extras to affect the main thing.
By the time you digest this article, you would be able to maintain your excellent grades no matter the circumstances surrounding your relationship or love life.
1. Set and actualize your academic goals
Kenneth Chenault said – “many people don’t focus enough on execution, if you make a commitment to get something done, you need to follow through on that commitment”.
To achieve anything in life, you need to have clear goals. You want to succeed in your studies and top your class, you need clear goals to walk and work with.
You don’t just sit there to imagine it, you have to prepare and plan towards it. If possible, write them on small sticky notes and paste them where you can see them as often as possible.
An example of a goal you could set is: “I want to have excellent grades in all my courses this semester”. That’s a big one though, you don’t just stop at writing it or saying it, act on it!
Look for situations that work for you and circumstances that will spur you into achieving it, then commit to it.
When I say commit yourself to it; I mean consistency. Be consistent with acting on your goals to the extent that if you eventually miss your routines, you should feel empty and remorseful for the rest of the day.
If you don’t have specific goals, it’s quite easy to be distracted when it comes to the issues of the heart.
2. Tell him or her from the onset
Once he or she knows you have an academic goal, it wouldn’t be weird when you tell her or him your routines. Your reading schedules, your library time and revision moments.
This needs to be communicated with wisdom and understanding. If she wants the best for you, she will respect those hours. Once you have set those goals and you’ve started being consistent, it becomes your routine.
Then when you begin your relationship, it’s still normal for you to continue your routines, but you will need to add one more thing to that routine and that will take us to the next point.
3. Tell your lover doggedly
When I was in high school, I used to wonder what lovers talked about for hours. They would sit on the lawn during class breaks and talk to the extent that, I kept wondering if they were planning their future family at that stage. 😀
The sad thing is, due to the level of immaturity and shortsightedness of young lovers, many end up spending precious time exchanging sweet words and fantasizing all day.
The truth is, when you get older, your priorities take shape because old age is like climbing a mountain, you climb from rack to rack, the higher you get, the more tired you become, but your views become more extensive and deep.
Let him or her know you expect his support and understanding in crucial times. Especially when you need some time off to concentrate and prepare adequately for your exams. Even if this would mean reducing your calls and meetings.
3. Don’t be so emotional
This is real.
Yeah, Emotions are real. If you don’t curb it when needed, you may give it a chance to overpower your intelligence. This same emotion is what makes a matter control your mind so much and makes you a pulp, needing time and the right words to heal you.
When you are in love, don’t fall sheepishly so deep that you can’t heal up on time when your heart breaks. This may not mean the end of your relationship.
It might mean some misunderstandings and disagreement between you and your lover. At this point, you need to pick yourself up, focus on your priorities and you’ll heal faster that way.
You only need to console yourself with the fact that we are all human beings and we can make mistakes. The moment you realize your mistakes or your partner’s, forgive yourself for allowing it to happen and move on.
However, if you are the type that has invested so much intimacy into your love life such as sex, it might be harder to set your heart in proper shape. In this case, you might need a professional counsellor to help you heal.
Well, mine was a long distance relationship and after he graduated, we only saw once or twice in a year during school breaks. So all we had was talks about our values, daily decisions and future goals on the phone that usually ends with “I love you” 😀 . As a matter of fact, our first kiss was on our court wedding day 😛 .
Surprised? Common, don’t be.
4. Triangular or square life
As I call it, a triangular life is a predictable way of life. Have a schedule of your movement and keep it to yourself. You shouldn’t let people change your plans or movement for the day with flimsy reasons and excuses.
An example of a triangular life is – From home to class, to the library and back home. A square becomes home to the library to church to tutorial/meeting and finally home.
If you plan to go to the library by 10 a.m. and about that time, he comes to tell you “hey, please let’s quickly visit a nice place today.” After a while, he comes again “I need to go somewhere and I don’t want to go alone, please, let’s go together.”
These are time wasters. If it’s urgent and important, you could be considerate but if it keeps happening, you need to watch out.
Avoid distractions that pull you out of your routines and take you far from your goals. It’s all about defining what you want from life and sticking to it. Your lover should understand your routines and encourage you more.
If you have to keep changing your daily plans for him or her, then I’m afraid you might not get the best out of your academics.
I remember days he called me while reading in the library. I usually send him a text to call back at a particular time when I am done. He does that willingly. Sometimes, he forgets to call back, then I will make the call. That’s the attribute of someone who wants the best for you.
5. Know God
It doesn’t have to sound spiritual or religious but the fact is, they that know their God shall do exploits (Daniel 11:32b).
They could combine intellect demanding and heart sensitive tasks together without having to fail in one. This could be in business, academics, relationships, love, marriage, career, family and what have you?
Truthfully, without the convictions God revealed to me, I might have been distracted. Yeah. My male friends and colleagues didn’t see me getting really close to any opposite sex so they thought I was lying each time I said I was in a relationship. You know what that means, they kept coming to ask me over and over again.
My husband was also able to take such risk because he knew he had strong convictions to start the relationship at that time. Even with that, I still had to test his patience because it was a distant relationship.
I agreed to start the relationship after about a year and then shared what I saw about him before he came to tell me his intentions.
If he could hang on for almost a year, then the next few years shouldn’t be a big deal. (This may not apply to you.)
You really don’t need to keep someone waiting if you’ve got solid reasons to go ahead.
6. Believe you can and encourage yourself
When you believe you can, all other things don’t matter. This write-up is not to push you into what you don’t want to do. If you decide not to try a relationship for personal reasons, that’s fine.
But if you are still in doubt of whether it would affect your studies or not, look at it this way. You are not the first student to be in a relationship. If someone tried it and found a balance, you too can.
Although if you are so emotional (overthinking, asking or expecting so much, crying easily, easily worried) and you think handling a relationship would not work for you, it’s better to stay away from it until you think you are ready.
The truth is, all you need is zeal and consistency for your academic goals. On the other hand, you need self-discipline and maturity to maintain a love relationship. A good combination of these qualities will take you above and beyond your desires.
Apply these tips and you’ll see yourself flying in beautiful colours while winking at your lover from the podium on your graduation and award-giving day.
A quick addition
On a final note, some people believe that you are unserious to be in a relationship as a student. I understand the fear of unwanted pregnancy, uncontrollable emotions, misplaced priorities and other youthful intricacies.
However, a crucial reason young adults fall victim of misplaced priorities is because they haven’t spent sufficient time thinking about what they want from life and they haven’t set formal goals for themselves.
I think one of the most important things in life is knowing how to stand firm when making long-term decisions – choosing your spouse, career, business e.t.c.
Have the right reasons for your choice and remind yourself about why you made that choice, just in case something doesn’t go right.
After all, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to set out on a significant journey without factual knowledge of your final destination.
In my opinion, I will encourage you to be intentional about critical decisions as this. Success in other aspects of life with a huge failure in your love life could rob you of inner bliss. I hope you find the kind of love you desire and also excel in all other aspects of your life.
So, if this post made you feel good, kindly share the feeling with your friends and loved ones. Also, let me know in the comment section if you have an additional tip that worked or still works for you. 😉