It’s difficult to balance both school and relationships. College has constant deadlines, never-ending assignments and countless other stressful commitments. Relationships, though, are a completely different ballpark.
For me, my free-time is nearly synonymous with self-care.
Self-care is defined as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
I live a stressful life, as do most students my age. I’m thinking about money, and I’m balancing work and school and a social life, and I’m in love.
For me, when my boyfriend comes to see me, we have a few dates that are reasonably priced, fun and most importantly, a form of self-care.
Ramen Mom-and-Pop Shop!
Go to any ramen restaurant.
It can be a mom-and-pop shop on a local strip, or a ramen line, like my personal favorite, Jinya Ramen Bar. For my boyfriend and I, we like to explore new restaurants and discover new flavors together.
Ramen also works as an option for vegan or vegetarians. My boyfriend loves meat, but, as a vegetarian, it’s hard to find a good in-between for both of us. Luckily, ramen provides both good taste and a range of food for dietary needs.
Ramen restaurants also make for picture-perfect moments. Something about seeing my significant other slurp up a never-ending stream of noodles makes me pull out my phone’s camera and snap countless pictures of him, only to post them onto my Instagram account.
Ice Cream Shops!
My boyfriend and I are biiiiig ice-cream people. It’s nearly a problem with how often we find ourselves sitting underneath the fluorescent lights of Braum’s while eating sundaes or chocolate raspberry ganache ice cream.
Instead of the ice cream chain Braum’s, I like to explore downtown locations for a different and fun experience.
A fun change for the regular ice-cream date is going for rolled ice cream, a fun dessert prepared right before the customer’s eyes.
Rolled ice cream is frozen fun. The dessert, which originates from southeast Asia, is a milk mixture placed on a frozen plate and mixed until it turns into ice cream.
Rolled ice cream comes with countless dessert toppings and mixtures, meaning each visit can be a new flavor.
First to the bookstore, then to the coffee shop!
Out of all of these options, this may be the most expensive outing.
I like to spend the first half of a date walking through local bookstores, searching through shelves of poetry and fiction, as my boyfriend wades in the background, reading the back covers of science fiction.
After I eventually purchase my own poetry book, because I honestly have no self-control, I force my boyfriend to the nearest coffee shop.
I’m a big anti-franchise girl, and I prefer the atmosphere of local coffee digs instead of brands, like Starbucks. I almost always order an iced mocha with coconut milk, and find a corner to fold myself into.
There, I open up my book and read stanzas of poetry to my boyfriend.
To me, this date is the one most worth it. It’s both relaxing and creative.
Coffee shops always make for an Instagram-moment, seeing my boyfriend drinking a cup of coffee while holding a book in my hand is my idea of a perfect day.