Relationships

On Being a Single Woman

Another pro of being single: The money you save on dates can be used to buy more onesies.

As a single woman, life is pretty great here. Earlier in the year, when I was young and naive, I considered several classmates attractive, but in the time since, I have decided to avoid that potential drama. As an alternative, I have found that the law school library is a beautiful room with beautiful people, as are many of the other buildings on the Danforth Campus. Sumers Recreation Center on the Danforth Campus is free, and so is looking at the athletic people in the gym, who are people with fewer frown lines and less stress than your classmates. There also are plenty of possibilities in the city, as our class enjoys going out to various bars. Personally, I would describe my current lifestyle as middle-aged cat lady without the cats. Being single leaves plenty of time to work out, binge on Netflix, sleep, and of course, study.

— Maren Loe, M1

On Being a Single Man

Life rubbed it in my face pretty hard how single I am when several of my classmates got engaged in the last few months. But I’m (pretty) OK with it. After all, I’m not sure that I understand myself or know how medical school will change me well enough to know what I want in a relationship right now. I’m not sure if I actually like that person enough to brave the ups and downs of a serious relationship with them, or if I like that person more in small doses. I’m not sure if I want relationship work on top of my medical school work. I’m also not sure that I don’t secretly enjoy single-life drama. I am sure, though, that I like staying out late to dance on the weekends, I like watching TV shows that I want to watch and eating what I want to eat, and that, in a few years, I’ll emerge from my cocoon as the majestic, sexy Dr. Lee who won’t have to worry about any of this dumb stuff.

— Edward Lee, M1

On Dating Someone Outside of Medical School

Dating a non-medical student is a lot like dating a person; it’s just that they’re not in medical school. But really, being in medical school does not dramatically change the normal dating relationship. There are some unique challenges that medical school does present, however. Consider this: When you move to St. Louis, you’ll immediately be, inserted into an expansive and relatable network. Your partner won’t be, and that presents a significant challenge. Medical students are a fairly exclusive crowd, so it can be difficult for your partner to develop friends in your newfound network. Challenges aside, I can’t think of a better time to be in a relationship. My girlfriend always brings a perspective that can’t be found within my medical network and finds a way to make each and every day a little bit better. Balancing your relationship with school is difficult, to be sure, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

— Jared Elenbaas, M1

On Being Married

Having a spouse in medical school is the bomb. It can be a little bit of a social handicap, but 1) everyone in the class has been super inclusive regarding significant others and 2) there is so much social action that, if you’re not super picky, you can find something to do almost any time your spouse wants you out of the house! There also are plenty of couples to get to know! The social chairs did an awesome job with my big sib assignment, because he also is married and we can enjoy double dates. More importantly, while meeting over 100 new and awesome people is fun, it’s just comforting to have a companion around who really knows you. Also, it’s SO helpful having someone that can help with laundry, dishes, cooking, etc., when you are totally swamped. (Extra tip: married or single, cook in bulk and freeze as many meals as you can during breaks. Chicken fried rice, pizza, pot pies, soups/chili and meatballs all freeze and reheat very well.) Short version: WUSM is an awesome place to be young and married.

— Andrew Simmerman, M1

Andrew Simmerman, M1, and Emily Simmerman.

On Dating Long Distance

Long-distance relationships are notoriously difficult to maintain, but they also can strengthen your relationship if you are willing to give it a try. So take a leap, immerse yourself in your new school and activities and remember to take your significant other along for the ride. Even if you are hundreds of miles apart, take the time to walk your loved one through your day. Tell him or her about something you learned in class, your plans with your new friends or when you are feeling lonely or tired. And make sure your significant other does the same for you, too. As a busy medical student, it is still surprisingly easy to make time for these one-on-one moments. You can call on your way to class, study side-by-side through Skype or schedule Netflix dates so that you can keep watching your favorite series together. Remember that your relationship is unique, and don’t let other people’s experiences get you down. Some couples break up during the infamous “Turkey Drop” at Thanksgiving, and still others end up getting engaged. There is plenty of time to find out where your relationship will take you, and you will have the kindness and warmth of the WUSM community to support you along the way.

— Leah Jensen, M1