It seems as though when the topic of the “freshman year” is brought up, many people’s minds flash to nights out, parties, and meeting new people, which is an amazing part of the freshman year experience. In these images everyone is single and everyone is having the time of their lives. Or at least that’s what I see in movies and on T.V..
As a first year student, I’ve met a large number of friends who love being single, yet have found themselves at the borderline of starting relationships with people they’ve established a connection with here at the U. All of these friends, however, have told me they are holding back for what seems to be the same reason: the little voice in their heads telling them they can’t have fun their freshman year unless they are single.
This stigma for women around “not being tied down your freshman year of college” seems a bit unfair to me. I’ve heard phrases along the lines of “I can’t be in a relationship in college because then I can’t have fun,” countless numbers of times. Which then leads to the also overused, “right person, wrong time.”
I would like to think, however, it doesn’t have to be the wrong time if you don’t want it to be. Young women shouldn’t have to stop enjoying their lives because they meet someone they want to be with. When I googled articles about being single freshman year, lists on lists appeared explaining that if you’re in a relationship, you can’t meet friends, find yourself, plan for your future, keep good grades, join student groups, be spontaneous…the list goes on and on.
This seems irrational to me unless a relationship is unhealthy. Being single is great. Being in a relationship is also great. In my opinion a healthy relationship should entail being able to go out, meet new people, have late nights with friends, find yourself, try new things, be spontaneous, all while being in a relationship with someone you care about, if that’s what you want. So for my friends with this voice in your heads, you’ll benefit from being single during this first year and you’ll also benefit getting closer to someone through a relationship, and either way you’ll learn and grow from the experience which is what freshman year is about.