The Case for Riding Solo
There are far worse things than being a third wheel to your lovesick friends.
By Kristina Fernandez, Florida State University
In college, there is a lot of pressure to be in a relationship; after all, it’s the natural cycle of life to find someone, get married and have kids.
But, why is there so much pressure to begin right away?
When you’re in college, you’re still young, and there’s too much life to live for you to be tying yourself down to another person. The best solution may be to just stay single. As a college student, there are so many things you have to worry about.
The older you get, the bigger the responsibilities become, but in these four years, most students move away from home and deal with adjusting to more responsibility than they are used to. Relationships can be filled with joyous days of companionship, good times and laughs, but they can also be torrential downpours of despair that cloud your mind and leave you bedridden for days.
Not to hate on relationships, because they are fantastic, but more people should view them as something that can wait until they are ready, rather than something they have to do as soon as possible. Growth as an individual requires upmost attention.
It’s important to grow and experience new things on your own, so make the most of it in college. There are plenty of ways to rationalize staying single in college, but if you’re not convinced, here are a few that may help you change your mind.
1. Focus on Yourself
Study, workout, eat, sleep, go wherever you want and do whatever you want. Being single means you only have to think about what you want to do. You’re allowed to be selfish.
You can go on random trips with your friends without having to run it by anyone first, or you can use the free time to pick up new hobbies or get strengthen preexisting skills. You don’t have to be worried if a significant other will think your talent for underwater basket weaving is odd, and you shouldn’t care. If you like it, do it. Period.
2. Let Your Ugly Flag Fly
Getting all dressed up is not the kind of thing a sane person would want to do every day. When you are starting a new relationship or dating, you want to present your best self to the other person.
I’m not saying that being a pig is the way to go or that you should avoid presenting yourself nicely, but sometimes, you need to unhook the bra (the girls will understand), slump on the couch in your sweatpants and veg out. Constantly trying to be clean-cut is annoying.
3. Your Bed Is Your Bed
It may seem like an insignificant reason, but sometimes, you want the entire bed to yourself, and in college, it’s rare to have a bed where you have enough room to sprawl out.
Take out the overcrowding of another person in your happy place, and you’re golden. So, go ahead, and sleep like a starfish; there is no one there to keep you from doing it.
4. Focus on Personal Priorities
Relationships can often be a huge distraction, and that’s not a bad thing.
You should be crazy about the person you’re with, or think the person you’re with is crazy (it depends on the condition of your relationship.) But, never let another person get in the way of accomplishing your goals or deadlines.
5. Enjoy Your Friends
Sometimes, people lose friends because they would rather hang out with their boyfriend or girlfriend than attend the “Bachelor” watch-party tradition. Balancing people in life is difficult, and regardless of how hard you try, someone will feel left out.
You can’t please everyone. Your friends are the people you will remember and most likely actually stay friends with after school ends. Also, if you were in a relationship, it could be an issue if your significant other hates your friends.
If you’re single, you don’t have to worry about whether or not they like your friends. You can be friends with whoever you want, and you won’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend getting pissed off about it. Plus, you can talk to whoever you want, so you won’t feel bad if you strike up a conversation with a person who has a perfect pair of baby blues.
6. Don’t Rely on Anyone Else
Too many people think a relationship will make them happy, or if they fall in love with someone who accepts all of their flaws, they will finally be content with themselves. These are false assumptions because your happiness comes from accepting yourself.
You’re stuck with yourself for the rest of your life, so it would be helpful to love who you are, no matter how long it takes. Of course, these are all suggestions, and if you find someone you really like and the stars align, then go for it.
The point is that you shouldn’t be actively looking for a soulmate when your main focus should be on yourself, setting up your future and having fun. Once you put your future into someone else, you run the potential of losing yourself.
College is a time to change and mold yourself. Go to class, take care of yourself and make crazy memories. People say you can’t love someone else until you first love yourself, so why not spend these formative years getting to know yourself, so you can have deep, authentic relationships in the future?