Dating in College: Maintaining Perspective

College is the next step in a teenager’s life: it brings them closer to adulthood and introduces them to an entirely new group of people. With this fresh start and fresh faces, it’s tempting and common to dream about a great college love, someone who will flirt with you during class and carry your books for you across campus. But it goes without saying that that’s not all that college is about.

            Since I’m a hopeless romantic myself, I can’t say that you shouldn’t daydream about meeting someone. But college is about you and discovering who you are, and if there’s not a true love waiting for you here, that is okay. Love happens on its own schedule, and you don’t have to be destined to find your future spouse in college even if that would be fun and romantic. What will happen during these four years is that you will grow as a person and receive a wonderful education.

            So this means that if you do happen to meet someone, be sure to keep balance in your life. Keep hanging out with your friends and stay up to date on your homework. Of course you’d like to spend as much time with your significant other (SO) as you can, but don’t let them consume all of your time. Be sure to pursue your own interests even if it means that you can’t always go on a date on the weekend. You have to create your own part of campus, your own college experience that is independent of your SO. For one, this means that if you were to ever break up, you would have memories and activities in your life that are independent of that person. Thus, you could go on with these parts of your life without being constantly reminded of your ex and use them—these things you’re passionate about—as a way to cope and bounce back. Also, having your own interests can simply leave you feeling more fulfilled as a person.

            Similarly, make sure that your SO is fulfilling you and encouraging you to reach your highest potential. As much as you like each other, they shouldn’t be constantly telling you to shirk your responsibilities to spend time with them. You both need to have a balance in your lives.

Going through college with your SO by your side can be a great experience; they’re your support system and best friend, after all. But just be sure to maintain perspective. This is your time to discover you—don’t miss out on exploring yourself or finding your passions. Focus on you and make the most of your time here.