Relationships are different in college

AnneCarol Wilson

Romance grabbed Melanie Moran by surprise during her freshman year at Troy.
Moran, a psychology major from Hoover who was a freshman in the spring, met her boyfriend, Mitch Ledbetter, this past fall through his fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon. He is a nursing major from Cullman who was a sophomore in the spring.
“At the moment I least expected it, I found someone, and it turned to something real and an important part of my life,” Moran said.
“I guess my advice would be to not waste your time searching for the perfect person, and just have fun. When it is your time, you will meet someone that makes you happy.”
Quick relationships
Look around campus, and you will see a variety of relationships: couples holding hands, friends laughing and groups hanging out on the quad. College students form quick relationships, often resulting from involvement in organizations and activities.
Kody Sikes, a political science major from Panama City Beach, Fla., who was a sophomore in the spring, said relationships are all about trust.
High school couple
Sikes and his girlfriend, Danielle Humphreys, a nursing major also from Panama City Beach who was also a sophomore in the spring, have been a couple for three years. Sikes and Humphreys met while in high school.
Sikes came to Troy University after graduating from high school, while Humphreys stayed home for her first year of college. Humphreys attended Panama City’s local college, Gulf Coast State College.
Sikes said that it is possible to make a relationship work while being in two different places.
“Just trust each other, and make time for one another to keep your relationship growing,” he said. His advice for students coming to Troy who will be in a long-distance relationship is “True love conquers all.”
‘We made it work’
Sikes and Humphreys conquered challenges that included each not knowing what the other was doing and not being able to see each other for weeks at a time.
They talked on the phone regularly and made the most of the time that they were together.
“It was hard being away from each other for the entire year, but we made it work,” Humphreys said. “As long as you are able to trust each other and talk, long distance is not that hard.”
Some relationships pass the long-distance test and result in engagements.
Chance Shaver, a sport and fitness management major from Troy who was a senior in the spring, has been in a relationship his girlfriend, Alex Graham, a University of Alabama communicative disorder major from Troy who was a senior in the spring, since they were 15. Shaver is now 22, and Graham is 21.
Shaver proposed to Graham last November, and she said yes. Their wedding was scheduled in June.
Shaver and Graham both said that the distance made their relationship stronger. They agree that the biggest factor in a long-distance relationship is trust.
“If you don’t have trust, you will accuse each other of doing things that may not have even happened,” Shaver said. “I think not seeing each other for a few weeks makes you that much more excited to see each other when you do.”
If you hope to find someone special at Troy University, there are many organizations and activities on campus that make it easier to find people with the same interests as you.
For example, Greek organizations hold events such as formals, date parties and band parties.
A 2007 study showed that college students who have a secure, close relationship with their parents at the beginning of their freshman year found it easier to form strong friendships and romantic relationships.
Stephanie H. Parade, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, conducted that study.

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