"My girlfriend doesn’t keep her grades up and I’m worried about our future. Am I being prematurely concerned? My girlfriend and I just moved in together. We’re both in grad school and we’re planning on getting jobs and having a family. If she doesn’t get her grades up she can’t succeed in her field. I know there are always other options, but at this stage I am concerned she won’t get a job that pays well enough. Am I premature? She doesn’t seem concerned and blows off schoolwork."
- Question submitted by Anonymous
Here’s the thing, I get what you’re saying. I TOTALLY understand from the point of view that’s like, “hey we’ve talked about this future and you’re sort of abandoning it” or SIMILAR FEELINGS. However, I do want to state FOR THE RECORD that some of the most successful people I know never went to college. OR dropped out halfway through. OR went to college and ended up succeeding in a field that had NOTHING to do with what they went to school for, you know?
I think education is super important, but I also think our education system is a little weird and there are about a million ways to learn and grow and succeed without necessarily paying thousands of dollars to read some books, write some papers, and take some tests. ON THE OTHER HAND, I totally think college is/was the best and you can learn a ton. I had a great time and I would never give up my college experience NEVER. FOR ANYTHING. EVER. I’m just saying there are multiple sides to any sitch and you should talk to your boo.
It’s one thing if she feels like grad school isn’t her thing SLASH she doesn’t belong there SLASH she wants to be doing more. It’s a completely different thing if she’s totally unmotivated and one of the things that attracted you to her the most was her tenacity and love of what she does.
Does that make sense, though?! Talk to her. Ask her about her goals and why she hasn’t been into school lately. Figure out if the two of you are still on the same page with your relationship and your ideas for your future together. There is literally ALWAYS a way to compromise and understand one another, if there isn’t, the relationship isn’t working.
Listen, I totally, totally, TOTALLY get this, and I think that if this were just about “her not keeping her grades up and you therefore not having money to pay for your future children’s dentist appointment,” then yes, you’d be over-thinking and overreacting. However, chances are that all these “future” thoughts are tied into what you need to feel attracted to your boo. That isn’t overdramatic in the least.
You know how there’s that thing called Darwinism where, like, really strong eagles will have sex with other really strong eagles because they want to make sure that all the eagles are really strong and stuff? Well, it’s like… you have certain things that make you feel attracted to another human and one of those things (for you, and for a lot of us) is knowing that the other human can take care of themselves, has motivation, and has drive.
So the issue isn’t OMG MY FUTURE BILLS AND STUFF. The issue is right now, in this moment. You need to talk to her, and you need to ask her why she is feeling unmotivated. As her partner, you should work, at first (and for as long as you can), to help her find the motivation and inspiration that she needs. Let her know that you believe in her. Explore different possibilites. Those are the ways to empower another person.
Chances are, with your faith in her, she will be able to find faith in herself. Then, you won’t be as worried about the future because you will be with someone who believes in their abilities and who is able to work and achieve. There is a small chance that she is too lost for you to help, and if that is what you find after your efforts, then it is time to re-evaluate. You needs for drive and ambition in a partner are reasonable and completely, totally understandable.
(But also, you guys, how about my definition of Darwinism?)