Breaking up with someone in college can be devastating, especially if you are in the same circle of friends, organization, or attend a small university. Despite these challenges, it is imperative to walk with your head held high and to not give in to any histrionic displays of jealousy or depression.
First, be careful who you lament or complain to. This is the time to rely on your close friends and family, not your significant other’s friends, unless you are absolutely sure you can trust them. Breakups can be a time when people feel the need to choose a side, unfortunately. You don’t want your ex’s friends or your ex thinking you’re only trying to stay connected with them to win him or her back.
Be tactful, especially if you are in the same dorm, class, or organization. A friend of mine was president of a club that her ex and the girl he was cheating on her with were in. In their weekly meetings she was still civil to them and carried out the responsibilities of her presidency, despite the deep betrayal. When word got around that they broke up the members of this tight-knit organization were astonished. The president’s maturity spoke volumes about her.
The new girlfriend, however, made snide remarks about her taking the president’s man. Years later people still remember how nasty and rude she was.
Remember that your alumni status is forever. Your ex is someone you may see at Homecomings and other alumni events. How do you want to be remembered? As the crazy, desperate person who spread rumors and did everything in their power to make their ex sorry, or as the person who held his or her head high, as my friend did?
Use this time being single to connect with old friends and to get back into things you enjoyed before but didn’t have as much time for. Or try something new. Have you always wanted to learn to.
Now may not be the best time to give into histrionics, such as announcing that you will transfer schools because of the breakup. In fact, don’t comment about it at all on social media, no matter how tempting it may be.
Of course, if the breakup is causing you too much heartache and pain, especially since you have to see your former flame at a lot of functions, then it may be a good idea to talk to a counselor at your college or university. They are well-versed in the issues that college students face, including social issues.