For every dating app bio that says, “I’m bad at bios,” one says, “Working full-time, school full-time, don’t have a lot of free time,” or something along those lines. It’s kind of annoying to read, and I can go on a whole rant about it, but no one wants to read my thoughts on the matter. But it does imply a scenario that not everyone has gone through or has ever thought about fully. Here are some tips for supporting a significant other in school.

Tips For Supporting A Significant Other In School


School is expensive, and money talk leads to fights. Sit down and talk about financial expectations. Either you are going into debt with someone or expecting them to shoulder the burden of paying for your living expenses. (Or, at the very least, most of those expenses.) What does that financial plan look like, and is the cost of higher education worth it? There is a level of sacrifice that goes into paying for higher education. 

Portland State University costs about $10,000 a year for tuition. That’s $40,000 over four years if you are starting fresh. Yes, you can take out student loans and financial aid, but paying what you can out of pocket will lessen the impact of debt in the long run. Think about what you could do with an extra $10,000 a year. Personally, I would save up for a house and maybe go on a nice vacation, but some goals are worth sacrificing fun stuff to reach. All you need to do is talk to and support each other as you reach your goals. It shouldn’t be a one-way street. You support them as they work towards a degree and support you in whatever endeavor you want to pursue.

Be Understanding

As someone currently taking a full-time worth of classes and working full-time, I cannot imagine the struggle of juggling a relationship at the same time. I’m stretched thin writing for school and work. I spend my nights reading school textbooks and random articles for work. So if you want to support a significant other in school, be understanding of their time. They shouldn’t blow you off and neglect you. But there will probably be many nights inside watching them study while you watch tv. (Think of it as parallel play.)

The adjustment from them not being in school to studying all of the time can be a shock to the system. You have to be much more intentional with each other, and the time you spend with each other. You might not be able to hang out at home after work for as long as you want. That’s okay. Just don’t forget to set aside time still to be present with each other. Schedule date nights. While studying is important, taking a break is important as well. 

Their Wins Are Your Wins

Celebrate your significant other’s academic wins. You see how hard they study, so if they get an A on a quiz, take them out for ice cream or tell them how proud you are. It sounds silly, or maybe I don’t know how to handle positive reinforcement, but those small positive gestures will brighten up their day. Ultimately, you and your significant other are partners, and their success is your success. So celebrating their wins is the easiest way to support them in school. It only takes some encouragement. 

Help Them Study

I know, they’re in school, not you, so why should you have to look at a textbook? The answer is simple. You are partners working towards goals together. You can support them by helping them study. Read your significant other some flashcards, go over vocab, quiz them on dates, or help edit papers if you can. Whatever you can do to help them study is great. And if you don’t know where to start, read our article on “Best Apps and Resources to Help You Keep on Top of School.” There are so many apps and online resources that make studying and staying organized so much easier. 

Support, Sacrifice, and Selflessness

Supporting a significant other in school is no easy task, but most things in life worth having aren’t easy. Supporting them as they work towards a degree will take sacrifice and selflessness. It might mean doing more house chores so they can study or giving up a nice vacation for the foreseeable future. Whatever the case, your relationship and your partnership with your significant other are important. It will take work and some understanding, but you can get through the tough spots with a little communication and caring.     

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