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If your family is anything like mine, the holidays bring nothing but an abundance of questions. “Do you have a partner?” “When are we going to meet your partner?” Even better, “do you see yourself getting married any time soon?” To which I answer, “I’ll think about that once I’ve finished my degree.”

It’s crazy to think that there are so many expectations set on us from the moment we graduate high school. As young adults, people assume we know everything, including what we want to do for the rest of our lives, who we want to marry, when we’re going to have kids, and everything else under the sun. Of course, older generations were expected to know these things much sooner, so it only makes sense that they think we have our whole lives planned out at our age. If you do, congratulations. But, if you’re like me and you’re just trying to figure out what to have for breakfast tomorrow, that’s okay too. 

It’s hard to know exactly where your life is going at such a young age. Most of us are between the ages of 18 and 22. We still have ages to go, but we only have four years of college. Why not make the most of it? Now, making the most of it for some people may be finding that special someone, but for me, it’s about figuring out who I want to be. 

Learning More About yourself

College should be the time when you actively go out of your comfort zone, push your boundaries, and discover things about yourself that you weren’t able to before. Although it’s possible to do these things with a partner, I find it easier to do it alone. There are only four short years from the time we start university to the time we finish it, and during these years, we should be selfish with our time. In a relationship, you have to divide your time between yourself, your partner, your friends and family. This may be nice at first, but at some point, it’s going to stretch you thin. Without a partner in the picture, all of the energy that would’ve been spent learning the ins and outs of another individual is now reserved for yourself.

Figure out who you want to be, when you want to be, and how you want to be. It’s just you, your dreams and your goals. There’s no one to derail you from your finish line. More importantly, you’re going to become the person you want to be — not the person someone else wants you to be.

You’ll Learn How To Be Happy Alone

It’s easy to allow your happiness to become dependent on other people, especially in a relationship. Once you’re able to be happy alone, you’re going to be unstoppable. You won’t fear being single — you’ll embrace it. You won’t view staying home on a Friday night as depressing; you’ll be happy to do so. When you master being alone, you’re in complete control of your emotions, and the best time to do that is now.

relationships are stressful

With everyone going in different directions, most relationships in college have an expiration date. Knowing this puts unnecessary stress on you. Sure, you can say that you’re living in the moment and not thinking about it, but in the back of your mind, you probably are. Add this to all of the other stress that comes with being a student, and you’re going to collapse. 

No regrets

Last but not least — if you’re single in college, you won’t have to say “I wish I did this” or “what if…” With no commitment to anyone else, you’re free to do whatever you please. If you spend these years being single and “selfish” with your time, you’ll never have to look back and wonder what could’ve been.

You have your whole life to be in a relationship and find “the one,” so why start now? There’s plenty of time for you to figure out who you are and enjoy your time in college before jumping into a serious commitment. Just sit back and enjoy being single. 

Leah Copeland

Virginia Tech '23

Leah is a sophomore at Virginia Tech. She is a double major in English and Political Science.
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