Having a relationship while in the ultrasound program, can it work? Some of you have asked how to make a relationship work in the midst of one of the most mentally & physically draining parts of your life. This topic seems like such a complex one to write about because I think every person and every couple’s relationship is so vastly different than the next. Its hard to say “do this and your relationship will work out” because it just doesn’t work that way. Have you been dating awhile? Is it a newer relationship? Does your partner have a dream of their own that they’re chasing? Do you work? Does he/she? There are soo many moving parts, it’s hard to give advice on a topic that isn’t really a one-size-fits-all. But, since this has been a popular question, I’m going to do my best to take a whack at it & give you my personal opinion on it.
Let me preface by saying that Zack and I had been together for about 3-4 years when I started the ultrasound program. That, in and of itself, was so helpful because we already had established how we operate in busy seasons/how we prioritize our time & still manage our relationship. We also were going to different colleges and living about an hour from each other 5/6 days a week. In hindsight, this was actually very ideal. I think it would’ve been more difficult for me to stay focused on studying if I had him down the street / able to hang out whenever I wanted. Although my situation was best case scenario for me to concentrate on school/clinicals/studying for boards, I think having Zack as my boyfriend truly was the most helpful part. He made the balancing act of our relationship/my social life and my schooling as easy as it could have been. SO that is what I want to share about. What you need in a relationship to make it work during the ultrasound program:
This is something that should come natural when you’re in a relationship with someone who truly loves you and wants to see you pursue & accomplish your goals. Your relationship should always include being understanding of your other priorities (ie: school). Having someone that completely gets it when you can’t make it to that event because you’ve got a test on Monday that you feel completely unprepared for… makes committing to the program a lot easier.
2. Time Management
You will both need a lot of this, and I think it can definitely come from a trial-and-error process. You will quickly find out if you spent enough time studying or if you spent too much time binging Netflix series with your boyfriend when you show up for that test on Monday. Learn to balance your relationship while still putting in the work you need to for school.
3. No Guilt Policy
I think this is important to have not only in a relationship, but in your friendships as well. We are adults. We have responsibilities. We have limited free time and limited energy. If someone needs to cancel plans because they need to study, or even because they are just beat after a day at clinicals, there should be no guilt-tripping them. I think this goes hand in hand with my point about having understanding in a relationship. You will feel more supported to give school your all if you don’t have someone making you feel bad for missing out on events.
Zack truly was, and still is, the best at this. Which again, is why it’s hard for me to give “tips” on how to have a relationship work during the program when 90% of it is character traits you need in your partner. Zack always encouraged me to give each and every test, every day at school, and every day at clinicals, my all. He kept me level-headed when my schedule got crazy, and even encouraged me to say no to certain events when I had a hard time saying it myself. He encouraged me in every single way possible.
I don’t want you to read this & think “wow, my relationship is going to crash & burn in the ultrasound program” cause that’s not true!! I more so want you to understand that so many other things are going to be taking priority at that time in your life, so it’s important to maximize the time that you do spend together — so plan dates! Plan specific dates to get your head out of your book and give you a deadline for studying as well. Whether its a movie night at home or a dinner downtown, be intentional about setting aside time to spend together.
Again, I know this was a little bit of a difficult topic for me to articulate / advise on, but I hope it’s helpful to you. Let me know if there’s anything I missed in the ‘Leave A Reply’ box below!