A recent study by Accommodation for Students found that 32% of graduates marry their university sweethearts, a pleasantly high figure. 81% of participants agreed that university is an ideal place to meet partners, with a massive 57% of students entering into a new relationship at university.
Apparently, somewhere between fights over washing up and barely being able to afford food is a romantic environment, with 21% of couples getting serious with their other halves while sharing student halls. Many have drawn a comparison to Prince William and Kate Middleton, who enjoyed the first seeds of their romance during their time at University of St Andrews, though it’s hard to imagine the Prince living in typical student accommodation and ordering Dominos at 4am. I’m sure Kate and Wills first date was spectacularly royal (although he did first see her in true university tradition, half naked), but the majority of us are content with a simple date, with 34of relationships starting out with a trip down the local pub and 26% heading out for a romantic dinner. I’m willing to bet a good 20% of those ended up at Nandos.
Undeniably, university is the ideal place to meet a potential partner. Gone are the days of school cliques thrust together and being forced to study under the same monitored, cramped conditions. University is the time of growth, real life experience, joining the societies you want and enjoying the hobbies you’re passionate about. The social aspects are inducing of a relationship; countless nights partying, fancy dress events, random trips to the Union, meeting people in lectures; we’re constantly socialising and gaining friends similar to us. We’re able to get to know them in a ‘real life’ situation. (I use ‘real life’ loosely; we all know that after graduation we are in for a sharp reality check!)
I clearly remember my head of Sixth Form telling me that my childhood boyfriend and I wouldn’t last. She insisted that going to university and meeting a whole new set of men who were on the same level as me intellectually, who could cook, iron and clean would win me over. They may have been harsh words but, although that was not directly the reason of the break up, they were right. University is the place you become an adult and gain a wealth of life of experience. Meeting someone who you have serious future prospects with shouldn’t be surprising.
As we well know, university comes with it’s own ‘bubble’. Between multiple nights out a week, attempting to attend lectures and seminars, keeping up friendships and having ‘me-time’, your three years of higher education are jam-packed from the word go. Relationships are bound to blossom in the environment where you don’t only spend most of your time, but where you consider home. I’m not denying many are successful and happy, but I found it particularly hard to maintain a relationship with someone from home at university. Combining those ‘two lives’ was impossible and telling someone my stories from a life they weren’t involved in became too hard.
Simon Thompson, Managing Director of Accommodation For Students says, ‘it’s hardly surprisingly that so many couples meet from university; it’s such a sociable experience’, and carried on to sweetly say ‘I’m pleasantly surprised that a third of graduates are now married to their University sweethearts’. N’aww, how lovely. Keep your eyes peeled students, Mr or Mrs Right could be in your next seminar.