If you listen to people who went to college years ago, they will always tell you that your college years are the best years of your life, Sophie McDermott writes.

As you begin college yourself, and get into the swing of things, you realise they were telling the honest truth.

It’s a carefree lifestyle for most, where the biggest worries are what you did last night, having to do the walk of shame and being able to afford another nights drinking for the fourth night in a row.

But if you asked these people what their biggest regret is in their college years, an uncomfortable amount of people will tell you it was getting into a serious relationship.

Why? In hindsight, they now see that they traded wild nights out, mini-adventures during the day, for a boyfriend.

When in a relationship in college, it becomes hard to balance romantic time and time with friends. For many a student, college relationships are their first serious relationship, which can be both exciting and overwhelming. It can eventually become easy to forfeit a night on the town with friends, for a night cuddled up on the sofa with their other half.

Of course, relationships in college are not the worst thing you can ever do, but it is important to get a handle on the fact that you don’t have to dedicate all your time to your partner, and finding a balance can be easier than you think.

Set time aside for college work, invite your partner and their friends out with your friends, and always ensure you don’t find yourself fobbing off your mates constantly, in order to make sure you see your other half at least four nights a week out of five.

College is about having fun and sometimes, relationships can start off great craic, but can also turn nasty. Fuelled with high expectations of the future (despite how you publicly try to convince everyone you’re not daydreaming about declarations of love and marriage), relationships could become more intense and fraught-filled than they really need to be.

Possessiveness, jealousy and obsession are all factors that can lead two happy college students to becoming psychotic, emotional messes. We’ve all been there, and if you haven’t yet, get ready for it.

It seems to be a rite of passage for everyone in college to go through: your first heartbreak scenario. Unfortunately, at eighteen or nineteen, you can be a bit too immature to deal with it in a sensible manner. But if it has to be done, proceed with caution. Remember that you have friends who need attention too. Make your college experience about unforgettable fun, and not wedding vows.