In late November, when a number of us were walking from the Student Residence down to the University Circle, we saw some university graduates in their black gowns and hats with euphoric smiles as they posed for their graduation photographs. What are the next steps in the grown-up stage? Amidst all the joy I find myself thinking about the significant steps we, as adults, take from here. Studying in a university, graduation, career development, marriage and raising children form a circle of life. Whilst my friends graduate in this part of the world, across the ocean, my sister, a fresh green graduate from Chapman University, is getting ready to take her wedding vows in America and begin her life with her American husband, whom we are thrilled to have as part of the family.

But how do we balance such crucial aspects of our lives when we are moving to the stage of marrying somebody? My sister for one advised me on the importance of prioritizing. The key to any successful relationship is your ability to prioritize the “my time”, the “your time” and the “our time”. Being committed to your relationship is an incredible feeling. However, you should also ensure that you allow yourself to grow individually. Do not neglect your work, your hobbies, interests, friends and family. Balance your time in a way that allows you to appreciate your own self and enjoy relationships with others. Here at the Student Residence, many who are committed to relationships from different cultural backgrounds advise us that “going the extra mile to learn about your companion's traditions and values always makes a large difference to the level of understanding in a relationship.”

Good luck to our student residents! May the next leg of your journey be filled with success, joy and romance. Those of us at the residence who are heading for another year wish you luck for a happy, caring and loving relationship.



Images from and