Love & College: How to Survive a Breakup
Several college breakups occur right around summer break. This is especially true for students who move off campus and go back home to live with mom and dad between semesters. I’m not sure if it’s the stress of dealing with finals and heading home, or if it’s simply too hard to maintain a relationship after leaving campus for two months. Then again, is there ever a good time to get dumped? I can still feel the rejection that pierced my heart after my first love walked away. It’s a pain that everyone will endure at one time or another, and possibly more than once. The good news is that love will find its way back into your heart if you keep it open and move forward. To help you on your road to recovery, I have put together a few tips and tricks that have helped me through my darkest moments.
Make a Clean Break
First thing you need to do is remove your ex from all your social networks. Trust me, if you thought breaking up was painful, wait until you see the status update on your ex’s Facebook page that states ‘in a relationship,’ or worse, come across a picture of him/her kissing another person. Twitter has to be purged (or even blocked), as well; you don’t need constant tweets about what your ex is doing or saying. Resist the urge to email or call him/her, too. I also suggest gathering up any personal items your ex may have left at your place and removing any mementos, such as jewelry or photos.
Give Yourself Time to Grieve
Now, I don’t recommend having an all-out feeding frenzy or staying in bed crying for a week straight, but you should allow yourself a few days of moping (and a carton of your favorite ice cream) before it’s time to move on. If you had a long-term relationship, you may find it especially difficult to forget when everything reminds you of your ex, such as special places on campus, certain movies, music, or even food. Just remind yourself that this too will pass. Have a good, hard cry, and talk to your friends and family about how you are feeling. If you find you are seriously depressed or having thoughts of harming yourself, be sure to seek help by contacting a counselor or calling a hotline. Although it may feel like your world is collapsing around you, life does get better.
The easiest (and quickest) method I have found to help combat the sense of loss you feel after a breakup is to keep busy. You might actually be surprised to find out how much you missed hanging out with your friends, so use this time to reconnect. I also find that changing my look is a fun and easy way to change my attitude; get a new hair style, buy a new outfit, or start a new exercise routine. I hate to say it, but I think I’m healthier when I’m single; I find running to be very therapeutic. A breakup is also a good time to start exploring your campus or college town. Join a campus club, pick up a part-time job, or just go out and have some fun. The point is to just get out of your room and start living again.
One thing I caution against is too much drinking shortly after a breakup. Alcohol can lower your inhibitions and get you into some uncomfortable (or dangerous) situations. Also avoid jumping into another relationship too quickly. You don’t want to make the mistake of trying to find a replacement to help ease your feelings of rejection, as you may end up hurting another person in the end. Being single for a while is not a bad thing. In time, you’ll be able to look back at the good memories from your relationship and grow from your experience. It may not seem possible now, but one day, you’ll find love again.