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Campus relationships can end up being bed of thorns and roses

Only the lucky ones who had principles for their relationships walk away with life spouses. [iStockphoto]

Going to campus means entering a new chapter of life. It's a stage of self-reliance and self-discovery. We do not only study and experience a new environment, but we also enter into new relationships that can either be platonic or romantic.

While campus relationships are normal, many students get into relationships to go with the flow and not to feel left out. This is common, especially with freshmen who are easily swayed into intimate relationships in the name of experiencing new things.

The freedom in university makes it a good place to fall in love; the fun and thrill being that no parent is going to question your decisions.

In campus, you will always spot a duo in love- dressed in matching outfits and holding hands along the corridors. Others share seats in the lecture halls, and at times skip lectures to go for a picnic or head to town for a date in some posh hotel.

Then there is always that famous campus couple that everyone admires. Students will joke about love being a common course, and others make a go of living under the same roof. For these couples, it is not a cliché to say that love is a beautiful thing.

Despite the glamour, a few relationships end in tears. Emotions are stirred due to close attachment, frustration and stress, leading to the painful experience of heartbreak. Only the lucky ones who had principles for their relationships walk away with life spouses.

In truth, most young couples do not really know who they are dating. They don't know the background of their lovers. They will have unprotected sex without knowing the health status of their partner because they fear that mentioning a visit to a VCT would be like calling the relationship to an end. Knowing each other's health status is important to avoid sexually transmitted infections. Dating in university has its ups and downs. Only those who pick the right path reach their destination.

Letter from Jane Wanjiru.