Most people consider college the time to go outside of their comfort zones, try new things and say yes to new experiences. Subsequently, committing to a long-term relationship usually falls wayside while becoming friends with benefits or dating in general becomes most students’ easy alternative. However, finding yourself a serious relationship might just be what you need.
1. Your SO will always be there for you
Indiana University senior Sarah Cherie McDaniel was one of those people who went into college “looking for fun” and ended up in a pretty serious relationship. “I started dating a guy freshman year and, after trying to keep it casual, it became something more serious,” she says. For Sarah, her serious relationship was her support system throughout college. “Many things changed during the last four years including majors, friend groups and career choices, so it was nice to have that one person that was a constant in my life.”
Although Sarah credits the majority of her stability during college to her relationship, she also made it a point to have a balanced university experience. “For example, I studied abroad for a semester,” she says. Now that person Sarah didn’t want to get serious with is her fiancé.
2. You’ll have the confidence to try new things
Abby Givens, a junior at the University of South Carolina, agrees with Sarah. Abby’s long-distance relationship allows her to feel that same stability as Sarah, but in a different way. With the support of her boyfriend, she has been encouraged to branch out and join clubs on campus she might have otherwise shied away from. “Griffin is my best friend, so to me, even though we’re in a long-distance relationship, all of that time apart is worth it because at the end of the day, he’s the person I want to tell about my day, and who I want to hang out with,” she says. “Really, he’s who I want to do everything with. I’m so lucky that he supports all of my passions and encourages me to go after my long-term goals.”
3. It’s nice to have someone with the same interests as you
Amanda Goecke, a junior at Carthage College, met her current boyfriend of one year through the track and cross country team at school. “I’ve never been in a serious relationship before him, but I am extremely happy,” she says. Amanda realizes being in a serious, committed relationship isn’t for everyone though: “I think it all depends on what you want to get out of the dating experience in college.”
4. You’ll always have a date to formals and semis
There’s literally nothing worse than trying to find a date last minute to your sorority or club formal. You could always bring a friend, but somehow that always turns out badly, ya know? As a senior at the University of New Haven, Lindsey Allen, has had to find a date to quite a few formals. In fact, one of her favorite things about being in a serious relationship is just that. “It really helps when my college offers events like formals because I always know I’ll have someone to go with.” Wouldn’t that be nice?
Although it seems like college is stressful enough itself and you’ll never find the time to devote to a relationship, it’s definitely worth it in the long run. Stephanie Huynh, a freshman at Lehigh University, can attest to that. “Coming into college I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do, but now I’m so happy I continually have a support system and someone I really trust. It’s possible and I wouldn’t give up hope!”
5. You will learn more about what you value in life
Although it can be hard to find the perfect person, finding someone who gets you can help you realize what’s important to you. Pennsylvania State University junior Becca Smart didn’t know what was most important to her until she met her boyfriend. “You’re better able to understand the values you want to emulate in life and look for in a partner,” she says. “Plus, having someone to share great memories with that will later shape both of you is really special.” It sounds like having a serious SO just helps you become the best you that you can be.
If you’re someone who thinks being in a serious relationship isn’t for you, maybe it might be time to settle down. After all, you never know when you’ll meet your future fiancé.