relationships and identity

College and university provide many opportunities for students to meet people who they fancy. The chances are that most of you will meet a special person or persons over your period of study and there are a few things you should ask yourself if you are thinking of having sex.

Being ready to have sex happens at different times for everyone but always remember that it is your decision when to do the deed.

Ask yourself the following before having sex:

  • Does it feel the right time?

  • Do I love the other person?

  • Do they love me just as much?

  • Have we talked about using protection, eg, condoms?

  • Have we got contraception organised?

  • Am I comfortable with my partner to say "no"?

  • Does it feel the right time?


If you answer yes to all these questions, the time may be right. But if you answer yes to any of the following questions, it might not be:

  • Do I feel under pressure from anyone to have sex?

  • Do you feel you may have regrets?

  • Am I thinking about having sex just to impress my friends?

  • Do I think my partner will leave me if I don't have sex with them?

Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to have sex. Remember, your decision is final!

Condoms and Contraception

If you’ve made the choice to have sex then both parties have a responsibility to discuss condoms and contraception as these will help reduce the possibility of catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or becoming pregnant.

You’re Dumped!

Relationships don’t always end ‘Happily Ever After’ and for many students your first experience of heartbreak will be during your time at college or university. Breaking up with a partner is often a stressful and upsetting time and it is common such an event will result in you feeling:

  • Confused

  • Angry

  • Sad

  • Anxious about the future

  • Depressed

  • Lonely

  • Betrayed

  • Rejected.

Breakups can impact the daily lives of students and can have negative impacts on your academic success. It’s common to experience loss of energy, lack of motivation, inability to focus, disrupted sleep and eating patterns, and a lack of interest in social interaction during the post relationship stage. Cry. Grieve and shed a tear. It really is one of the best ways to mend after a breakup as it allows you to begin to recover and let go of the strong and important feelings that are currently causing you pain.

Talk it over. putting emotions into words helps to clarify your experience and can allow you to put your life back together. Talk to positive people who will help you move on with your life and will not assist you in dwelling on what was.

If you’re finding it difficult to cope or have no one to turn to, remember that there is support out there for you. Your Student Counselling Service is there to help you and we recommend that you also speak with your personal tutor if your academic work is suffering, so that your college or university is aware of the problems you’re having.