I have been dating this guy since august and I’m so in love with him. But the problem is we are going off to college, and I can either stay at a good college and figure out how to make it work with him, or I can go to NYU (which I’m not sure I even like I just know it will let me have a great career) and leave him behind completely. But he makes me so happy and happiness is the greatest thing in life and all a good career can get me is money, and money isn’t worth throwing away happiness. Idk?
I think you’ve set up a false dichotomy between “money” and “happiness,” and you may be setting up an over-simplified prediction about what each choice will lead to. Your college doesn’t guarantee anything about your career, and your career doesn’t guarantee anything about your financial security - it’s not as simple as the formula you’ve laid out where “stay with boyfriend = relationship = happiness” vs. “go to NYU = career = money.”
Don’t limit your college choices based on a boy. Consider all the factors. You need to figure out whether going to NYU is something you really want, independent of the situation with the person you’re dating or your projections for your post-college future. Think about the experience at college that you’ll have if you stay close to home vs. go to NYU. Are there professors there you’re really excited to work with? Is there a program you would gain a lot from? Does the social and cultural climate there seem like a good fit for you? Would you end up with significantly more debt?
Many, many people don’t remain with their high school sweethearts and still find happiness. Also, you can “figure out how to make it work with him” even from NYU. I went to college far, far away from my high school love; and we ended up breaking up, but we got back together and now we live together. A lot of people leave their high school partners and meet new people in college, and that’s okay too. You might go off to NYU, realize you’re not happy there and part of the reason is that you’d prefer to be closer to your partner, and transfer back closer to him - but at least you checked it out and you made an informed decision. You might end up deciding to go to a school closer to home because it turns out to be the best choice for you academically and socially and financially, but break up with this guy early on for unrelated reasons. Who knows! Not me! Not you! Your future is yours to make - be sure you’re considering all aspects of your life, not just your romantic partnership.