It was senior year and I was feelin’ fly. Second semester, not a care in the world. I was young, wild, and free. And then I met him. My soon-to-be BF. We’ll call him SR. We both thought monocles were hilarious (they are) and spoke exclusively in Bob’s Burgers quotes (still do). Things progressed quickly and we shared EVERYTHING together. Secrets, deodorant, a love for soup. So why would that not extend to classes? When the time came to choose courses, I thought it’d be a good idea to take one together. One about another shared love of ours: music.
“But Dani!,” you exclaim, “weren’t you worried that you might actually break up and it could be, well, awkward?” Yeah, it crossed my mind for, like, a second. But I truly (see: naively) thought that if we did call it quits, it wouldn’t be while the class was still in session. No, my cute little college brain was convinced we’d break it off like adults. And, to me, that meant waiting until the last possible moment post-graduation to discuss whether we wanted to continue seeing each other in real life. We’d make the decision together, so there was no need to worry about a mid-semester split, right? I’m literally laughing so hard right now. If current me could pay a visit to past me, I’d do something drastic like break my fingers so I would be incapable of electronically selecting the same class as him. I’d also dump him on the spot, but that’s another article entirely.
Anyway, it started out great! We’d walk in holding hands, sit next to each other, listen to some rockin’ music (I’m a dad), and then get some soup after. S’cute. Everything was rainbows and clam chowder. And then one day out of the blue, he broke it off. Rather rude if ya ask me! Didn’t he realize what was at stake? How would he find someone else who appreciated one-lensed optical devices as much as I did? And, even more importantly, how could I possibly face him in the history of rock and roll? Well, it was a real drag. I had to sit through an hour-long class with that buffoon every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for the rest of the semester—just retraining my phalanges to not reach out and tap SR on the shoulder every two seconds. I wanted to pretend he didn’t exist, which was quite hard to do when I had to stare at the back of his stupid head.
But even if we were destined to be together forever, I still wouldn’t have done it. Why? Because in hindsight, there are so few times in your life that you get to do something just for you. I wanted to take that class because I loved the music. Instead, I now have all of these negative memories and regrets attached to it. When I look back, I don’t immediately think of that cool thing I learned about The Clash or that awesome Beatles song I hadn’t heard before. I think about the gut-wrenching feeling I had when I would walk into class and see him. I think about all of the missed opportunities. Like the class friends I could’ve made and the current and post-college network I could have expanded. I think about how I probably would’ve walked away with more knowledge (and trivia answers), because I was paying attention to the teacher instead of what SR was doing. I think about all of the stress and anxiety I had and how it made it that much harder for me to get over him in the long run. I wasted a pretty decent chunk of my senior year feeling depressed over someone who didn’t matter a few months later.
So, even if you’re already planning your wedding and are going to have a million mini versions of you, don’t take the same class as your boyfriend. Enjoy the opportunity to take a course you’re interested in, at a time that works for you, with a professor you like — no compromise necessary. Take advantage of this time to be selfish in a good way. You can always see your S.O. after class to grab some soup.