Classes with a significant other sound fun, but may not be the best idea

Shanel Royal

Taking a class with a boyfriend or girlfriend is a great way to add fun to a relationship. Cooking, dancing and drawing are just some examples of activities couples can do together.

Although classes can be fun, there are some that couples should avoid. Taking an academic college course with a significant other is not always a good idea because it can cause competition, distractions and uncomfortable breakups.

“I would never take a class with my significant other. I feel like that would just be mad awkward,” said freshman nursing major Njeri Karanja.

Having a romantic companion in the same room creates distractions in an academic environment. The temptation to talk to a boyfriend or girlfriend during a lecture can occur, which is a disruption to other people in the room.

The goal of taking classes is to pass. Being in a class with a distracting significant other can have a negative result on grades. The couple focuses on each other instead of what a professor is saying.

Senior civil engineering major Mike Bare and his girlfriend, junior anthropology major Sierra Nicholson, said they don’t feel this is a problem for them.

“I think she and I are pretty good about not getting too distracted while studying,” Bare said. “I think we are effectively using our time together in the same class.”

Attending a class as a couple means spending a lot of time together. Time spent with a significant other inside and outside of class adds up.

Relationships need space. Without it, couples become irritated, and get tired of seeing one another. When people are irritated their concentration is negatively affected.

Some people think taking a class with a significant other provides perks. There is a person to study, share books and communicate with.

“The first class (we took together) was fun—that’s where we met. He stole my seat so I had to sit next to him,” Nicholson said.

A performance gap can be common in relationships. One person can be the serious student who completes homework on time while the other is a slacker who gets low grades. If an individual gets a lower grade he or she may feel less significant than the other.

If a relationship is new, the need to impress is common. People want to prove their intelligence to their girlfriends or boyfriends. In a classroom, a girlfriend may want to receive a better grade than her boyfriend or vice versa. The focus then becomes who does better.

Sophomore kinesiology major Hayley Haubner said she and her boyfriend had friendly competition between each other when taking a class together.

“It was an art class so we did a lot of acting skits and stuff. I would always want to be better than him on stage, but we are just competitive people,” she said.

Breakups turn awkward when a couple splits in the middle of a term. Being in the same room with an ex can be uncomfortable, and being in the same room for a whole semester won’t be any better.

A couple may not want to speak after ending a relationship. Some people may want space after a breakup, but can’t have it because attendance is part of their grade. Now they have to see each other for more than they might want to.

If the relationship ended on bad terms, such as cheating, then seeing an ex in a class can bring up bad memories. It might be hard to focus on schoolwork with a breakup as a constant reminder.

“I think it would be a little awkward because this is somebody you might not want to see for a while (after you break up) and now you’re forced to see that person,” said junior civil engineering major Armando Martinez. “Your grade might suffer from it.”

Couples should think hard before taking academic courses together. Sharing a class can affect relationships, and cause couples to loses focus. Taking a non-academic course is a safer, more fun route if people want to take classes with their significant others.