A Guide to Dating During the First Semester of College

The transition from being a high school senior to being a "newbie" college freshman is one that can feel really overwhelming. From trying to cope with the idea of sharing a small dorm room with a roommate for the first time in your life to navigating the campus itself, it's all new, exciting, and can even be slightly terrifying. Change is in the air and with that comes brand new adventures, encounters, and possibly even the start of something new (cue the High School Musical soundtrack). With all this in mind, yes dating may become a big part of your college experience, but there are five important tips to consider before you start dating during your first collegiate semester. 

Be honest...

The most important thing when starting to see someone new is to be completely honest about what you are looking for in a possible significant other. This may seem obvious, but in college, there is so much confusion when it comes to dating. Many people either have just gotten out of a high school relationship or have been involved with someone for so long that they may not be looking for anything new or serious just yet. Although there is nothing wrong with casual hookups, be honest with yourself and make sure that's what you're looking for. On the flip side, if casual hookups aren't what you have in mind, then accept that but DON'T wait around for someone who does want that to change their mind. 

Don't limit your experiences...

The biggest mistake I made my first semester of college was limiting myself to experiences that solely involved the guy I was dating at the time. The whole point of college is to maximize your experiences...to meet new people, find out your new interests, and to see who you really are. That being said there is nothing wrong with getting to know the person you are seeing as long as your identity goes beyond just the two of you. At the end of the day, if the bulk of the conversations you're having with your friends have more to do with the person you're seeing rather than YOU as a person, you may want to reexamine your relationship. 

Remember the reason you are in college...

Starting a new relationship can be fun and exciting, so much so that it can be hard to focus or think of anyone or anything else. If you find yourself in this scenario, you should definitely refocus or realign your values. At the end of the day, the most important thing about college is the education you are receiving. These four years are meant for you to discover what you want to learn about yourself as well as the world around you, so take full advantage of that. 

Your S.O. does not define you...

Much like how you should experience all college life has to offer, be open to everything new people have to offer, too. Relationships will come and go, and although it may feel sad at times, allow yourself to grow and learn from these experiences. You never know when something great is waiting just around the corner. 

Stay hopeful...

Finally, at the end of the day, all that matters is that you remain the most authentic version of yourself at all times. Not gonna lie, it can really suck when you feel betrayed or confused by something that once seemed so clear. But just because you may have had a bad experience or a bad breakup doesn't mean you should let yourself lose hope. Stay true to who you are and what you value and the rest will eventually follow.