I'm an English major. The other day I wrote a poem for a flash poetry writing workshop that virtually summed up the way I feel about the holidays. I went as such:
The Worst Exam
The worst exam
is the question
that your great aunt poses
"Are you dating anyone?"
The questions regarding significant others are frequently the most awkward inquiry ever. As a college student and millennial, I rarely have time to focus on anything other than school, homework, and work. My attention and time are devoted to my long-standing relationship with my education. However, whenever someone does peak my interest, there are a lot of societal norms regarding the manner in which collegiate millennials date. Honestly, it's hilarious. The factors one has to consider are, but not limited to, among the following:
Communication: How do you communicate? Do you text? Talk on the phone?
Money: Who even pays for dates? You're both broke little college students.
Public impressions: Dealing with the never ending question "So are you guys a thing?"
Expectations: "So are you guys, like, going to get married or what?"
PDA: If you don't hold hands in public, are you still a couple?
Parents: When do you introduce a significant other to your parents? How do you integrate them into your familial life? What happens if your parents don't like your bae? What happens if they like them better than they like you?
Nicknames: When are you supposed to talk about nicknames? Babe? Baerrito? Burrito? Taco bell? (lol)
Boundaries: How do you establish communications with your partner regarding boundaries? Do you want to spend every waking minute of your life with them or do you just want to play it cool?
Thoughts about the future: When is it appropriate to talk with your partner regarding what will become of you two in the future?
Intellectually matched: Does it matter as to whether or not they have a college education? What do you want regarding conversation and intelligence with them?
Balance: Do you date someone that's exactly like your or exactly opposite?
Social media: Do you go Facebook official, or is that creepy? When you post a picture of you and your significant other on Instagram, is it official?
The road map of dating in college is awkward as hell. The up side of it all is that when you're a good and effective communicator, many of the trepidation regarding your partner can be eliminated with a face-to-face conversation (and I'm not talking about Snapchat. Goddammit have a real life conversation). The up side of it all is that you don't even have to date in college. If you want to remain a single pringle, go ahead. But if you do date, there is a difficult road map to navigate that makes things awkward af.