Away from the dorm?

I am a first-year student living in a dorm, but I spend 3-4 nights a week at my boyfriend’s apartment just because the drive to and from school is inconvenient and takes a bit because of traffic. I know my roommate doesn’t mind, and my schoolwork/activities aren’t affected because I spend all of my time on and off campus either at a club meeting, on-campus events, or studying.

I don’t really clique well with anyone on my floor, but I do have a couple of friends around that I spend time with. I guess I just wish that I could find a stronger group of friends. I’ve been kind of having an internal struggle with whether spending a handful of nights at his apartment each week is a bad thing? I spend all day on campus, it’s typically just in the evening that I go over to spend time with him. We have been dating for about 2.5 years, and we plan on moving in together next year.

I’m pretty much just rambling at this point, but does anyone have any feedback? Any similar experiences? Any ideas as to why my anxiety is making this a bigger deal than it probably is?

Spending time with your boyfriend several nights a week isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the reality is that being away from the dorm several nights a week will limit the amount of time you have to cultivate other relationships. There’s only so much you to go around. I don’t think this is an unusual experience. You go to college and you start to grow, change little by little and question things about your life and choices. This can cause internal conflict.

Guessing you know you are shorting yourself of an experience you will never have again. Thus the anxiety. Ask yourself if you have tried hard enough to make deeper friends. If you have then stop agonizing and if you haven’t Try harder to see what happens. You sound happy in your relationship so no doubt he will be understanding.

Most of the hanging out my daughter does is after dinner, when most of the classes are over. During the day she’s busy with classes and schoolwork; it’s the evenings when the friendships really seem to strengthen.

So, no, it’s not bad that you’re not around the dorm. But it is standing between you and something you seem to want-- those friends who are making ties when you’re not around.

Back in the good old days when I was in college…I remember late at night ordering pizza and discussing meaning of life with friends in my dorm. Sometimes we would decide go to the school pub (drinking was 18) or a coffee shop for a study break. There were few snowy nights when we went tray sledding down the slope. It was always spontaneous. I think you are missing out at bonding with your dorm mates by spending so many nights away. If I were your parent paying for you to live in a dorm, I would be disappointed if you weren’t taking advantage of it. Par of college experience is to having deeper friendship and creating network. You will never have this experience again.

Yes, spending time away from your dorm is affecting your friendships.

My DD had a boyfriend in HS, and would visit him on weekends. She said partially because “she had no friends at College”. I said you have no friends at college because you are not there on the weekends.

Later freshman year, he broke up with her, and she was mad she wasted her freshman year with him.

You are living like a commuter student. It is not bad, but it is different. I agree that back in my good old college days, the students who were there on campus have a much closer, lasting bond, that has lasted decades.

I think you will find the difference even more dramatic next year if you move in with him. Example - I know I would not have wanted to hang out at a couple’s apartment as a third wheel. Friends who want to see just you may be around less often. We had a college friend who did the reverse. Her boyfriend was always in her dorm room. We stopped trying to include her in our spontaneous activities.