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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ohio U chapter.

College is one of the places that have a dichotomy of stereotypes. It is said that it is the one time in your life when you’ll only have a commitment to yourself, which should be to have adult-aged fun with members of your class. While others say that college is where you’ll meet your soulmate and have an epic romance that ends with an engagement during your graduation pictures. However, both situations include you desperately trying to find the “right person” to get into bed with or date to marry, or both. The unfortunate side effect that comes with this involves meeting potential bedmates or soulmates who fail to live up to these hyped-up expectations of your ideal partner. Accompanying this, are long nights filled with Taylor Swift’s new old heartbreaking songs, practically inedible dining hall leftovers, and increasingly alarming nonstop renditions of “Drivers License” for the 10 people on your private Snapchat. This is all due to the perfect image you created inside your head to blissfully pair with your warped idea of what college should be. 

We all fall victim to this harsh reality at some point in our college careers. Whether that be matching with the pseudo-celebrity you and your friends find weirdly fascinating on Tinder, only for them to never respond. Or finally talking to your gym crush and realizing that they are in a relationship. These situations shouldn’t hurt as much as they do but there is some force behind the pressure that builds in your chest when reality smacks you in your face. That force is the time you spent lying in bed, fantasizing about your dream life with your headphones on. It’s all the time you spent overanalyzing their every word and action in your silent study session with your friends. The pain that sits in the middle of your throat is the realization that college isn’t what it was supposed to do.  

There is no surefire way to escape this habit. Anyone who tells you differently is lying. Now and then there will be nights where you and your friends spend hours mulling over someone’s new crush of the semester and happily sing along to the heartbreak of the new Sabrina Carpenter album. There will be times when you zone out during class, daydreaming about a faceless partner taking you on romantic dates around campus. But we can minimize the wasted time and disappointment that inevitably brings bouts of depression and misery in the long run.   

That moment when you finish Heartstopper for the fifth time and find yourself yearning to be in a whimsical relationship with your crush, stop and ask yourself if you would like to be in a relationship or that specific relationship that is depicted in a perfect world. When you’re mindlessly daydreaming about cuddling in their bed and binging Criminal Minds, consider their actual personality traits and characteristics versus the personality of the fictional character that you assigned them because they look like Spencer Reid or Jennifer Jareau. If you’re not up for all the reflection, just drop and do 10 pushups every time you think of them. (Thank you TikTok!) Regardless of the method, try to break out of the habit of comparing everyone and everything in college to the idealized version that has been sold to us through addictive media and recounts of the “good old days” from our parents and grandparents. Most importantly, remember that you can’t miss what you never had. Don’t let some fantasy ruin your day, week, or semester because odds are that whatever picture you painted in your head is not as fun as living in the moment and experiencing everything that college has to offer.  

Sharnee (Shar – Nay) is a junior at OHIO studying Psychology and Forensic Studies. They are also a resident advisor on campus, so you may see her mingling with her residents on campus. In her free time, you can find her at any coffee shop rewatching her new Netflix obsession of the month. Follow their angsty but relatable Tumblr (scarterofficial).