When you start a relationship in high school, there’s the perception that the whole thing is probably going to end when you graduate. And look, I’m not going to lie to you–there’s is a high chance the whole thing won’t last in the long run once you leave the familiarity of school.

The thing about high school relationships is they’re pretty easy. You share classes together, sit with each other at recess and lunch and can spend afternoons watching Netflix or studying together.

You don’t need to stress about work schedules clashing and if you fight, you’re usually all good by the time last period Maths rolls around.

Once you graduate, things change (that’s why so many friendships fall apart once you leave high school). Your priorities change and you stop being the same person you were in high school. That’s what can make it difficult to carry a high school relationship into the real world–you’re so comfortable with the high school versions of yourselves that when things start to change, you can’t stick together.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. There is a chance for you to make it work and, just because your parents reckon you’ll never last doesn’t mean it has to be the reality. Once you leave high school, relationships (romantic or otherwise) require a lot more work, and if you’re willing to put it in, you can definitely go the distance. A little hard work doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort, so here’s some advice on sticking together.

1. Make time for each other

This time of your life is going to be pretty hectic. You’ll be trying to figure out your new uni schedule or managing the transition into full time work. You might be travelling, or volunteering or still just trying to figure things out. Whatever you’re doing, don’t forget to make time for each other. When you’re in high school you have scheduled blocks of time to see each other, but once you leave this behind, you have to make an active effort to hang out.

2. Don’t feel pressure to stick it out

A lot of people might be expecting you to break up. On the other hand, if you’ve been the ‘perfect couple’ in high school you might feel like you have to stick it out, even if you don’t really want to. Pressure like this can ruin any relationship because you forget how to actually enjoy all the good parts of loving someone, and can only focus on whether the relationship will last. Try and take a step back and evaluate your own feelings, away from the pressures of those around you.

3. Don’t expect things to stay the same

Things are going to change. Leaving high school means differences in ways you probably haven’t even considered yet. You’ll either grow with your significant other, or you’ll grow apart. Neither of these are necessarily bad, but they are inevitable, so don’t expect things to stay the same.

4. Don’t rely on the other person for happiness

There’s a common misconception that your partner is the key to your happiness but the reality is, you’re the only one responsible for that. I’m not saying the person you’re with shouldn’t make you happy, but if you’re expecting them to be the source of all the good things in your life, there’s no way you’ll be able to make it last.