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A relationship does not just fit into a neat little box in the corner of your life that you bring out to play with on weekends. All of your relationships, for good or bad, affect every part of your life, including university.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a family, a partner, and friends who all supported you and understood when you have to study? You may need to spend a great deal of time and energy on your relationships with family and friends, and not always at the most convenient time to your study. When difficulties in a relationship happen, because you cannot control what others think, feel, and do, sometimes all you can do is cope as well as you can and continue studying.
Time is a major issue in many relationships, especially when you are studying. It is easy for others to think that you have all the time in the world to go out and be with them. Only you know about the essay looming on the horizon. You owe it to yourself to make a commitment to your study and your future by making university work a number one priority. Explain to your friends, family and partner that this is not forever, and ask them for their understanding at exam times. This is not an excuse to completely take people for granted, or take your stress out on them, but it is important to ask people around you for their support in times of stress. Usually they want to be able to help; you just have to let them.
You are part of a family; in fact you may still be living with your family. As you become more independent, it can be difficult for you and your parents to know how much space to give each other. How much do you tell them of your life and what you are doing? How much should they ask of you? There are no definite rules but here are a few tips.
Take responsibility yourself for what you want people to know. Telling them nothing will encourage them to ask something.
Politely tell them when you wish to keep something private.
Insist on a private person space (maybe a bedroom) that other members of your family need permission to enter.
Relationships are a two way street. If you want greater independence, you also need to accept the responsibility that goes with it. If you are old enough to choose and buy the clothes you wear, you are also old enough to wash and iron them.
Although much of your thoughts are about how you can be separate from the family and be your own person, it will still be important to contribute to the family in some way. Pay for board, perhaps make sure you attend family occasions, remember birthdays, and choose to spend time with your family members.
Convince your parents through your actions that you are able to take care of yourself. Don't say "I know what I am doing" and at the same time fail subjects because you have been out partying.
You may come into conflict with your parents about what is reasonable for you to be doing. This is not uncommon as you discover that what you think is best for you, is not what your parents think is best for you. Much of this conflict results in growing pains only and is part of growing up and away from your parents. If however, there is violence in your family, you feel you have no power to say, think, or do what you want, or you are enrolled in a course that you really don't want to do, we advise you to speak to a counsellor and allow them to help you manage the situation.
If a parent has a mental illness, this can be enormously difficult not only for the parent, but for their spouse and the children. The Association for the Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill offers information and advice for children who have a parent with a mental illness.
Make an appointment with Deakin University Counselling Service