Whether or not to take a class with your partner
By Nathan Lawley and Eddy Robinson, Contributors
Being in a relationship is difficult if both you and your partner are in school. It’s hard to find time to spend together when both of you live busy lives. If this is the case, you probably have thought of what it would be like to take a course with your partner to spend more time and learn together without sacrificing your academic life. For those of you thinking of going this route, we have laid out a pros and cons list for you.
Pro: Permanent study buddy and partner for group projects.
Con: You don’t meet new people.
We all know that feeling of dread when forming a group for a project – no longer! No more worrying about unknown work ethics or personality clashes. You can also worry less about coordinating schedules and finding convenient meeting places.
If you both learn and take notes similarly then studying can be easy, but you won’t get to hear different opinions, especially when you agree on a subject matter. If your opinions differ then hopefully this can work in your favour.
Pro: Save money by buying only one textbook.
Con: Having to share it.
Sharing time with a book could be hard but sharing the price is easy. You also have to consider who buys it, whose place it will ‘live’ at (if you don’t live together), and what to do with it after the course.
Pro: If one partner has to miss class the other can still go to class and take notes.
Con: If your partner won’t be in class, it can be super hard to feel motivated to go at all.
Self motivation is a struggle but having your partner in the class could help you to attend. Negotiation is key here. If one partner is taking on the majority of the workload, this could put a strain in your relationship.
Pro: Having a partner in the same course can motivate both of you to work harder and better.
Con: If you turn it into too much of a competition, the comparisons can hurt your relationship.
When it comes to the grades you get in the class, you may be compelled to share your grades in this course with one another. But if one of you gets better results, it could create a conflict. If you do decide to share your grades, discuss your course goals with your partner and be clear about what happens if one of you gets better marks in the course.
As a couple, we’re in our third class together this semester. We attended classes as friends at first, and know one another’s work ethics quite well. We agreed before the course started that we would both separately read the readings and take our own notes. We split the cost of the textbooks and chose to sell them at the Student’s Association of Mount Royal University after the course was done. We also discussed our goals for final grades. We do this for every assignment and test to make sure that neither of us gets upset due to comparisons.
Here’s some final advice from us to you: as in all aspects of relationships, negotiating boundaries beforehand is essential.