Relationships are fun and all, but for a minute, let's all just remember that there are only two ways they can end: you either break up or you get married. It's kind of scary to think that at twenty years old, you might meet the person you spend the rest of your life with. It can also be exciting — you have the rest of your life to love this person and you found them so early! That rocks! That being said, it can be daunting to juggle academics, social life and becoming a young professional with the needs of your partner.
College is a lot. There is no sugar coating the influx of responsibilities that every week seems to bring. It seems that once my "one bad week" ends, another one is starting and before I know it, we're taking midterms and making spring break plans and suddenly it's the end of the semester. That's not even talking about extra responsibilities from clubs and on-campus jobs and also looking for the perfect summer internship, preferably in New York City. Adding a relationship and all that pressure is just asking for trouble.
Now, I'm no expert on marriage, but if I learned one thing about relationships, it's that breakups SUCK. It's not just that you're not dating anymore, it's the not talking, the way none of your hilarious inside jokes are funny anymore, and most of all the constant reminder that a piece of your heart is missing and walking around campus without you. Yeah, it sucks. And honestly, who wants to deal with that on top of all the other stresses of college?
I get it though, I really do. I've been in my fair share of relationships in high school and college and it's so nice to have someone who cares and wants to know all about your day. I learned how to care for, worry over and love another person so fully and entirely, that I completely forgot to do those things for myself. I let my grades slip a little, gave up going to the gym as often as I enjoy and put so much emphasis on the inflections of their texts, that I neglected the way I communicated to friends I loved.
When it all came crashing down, I was lost. I didn't know what to use my phone for if it wasn't texting my now ex-boyfriend. I didn't know how to spend my evenings because I always spent them with him. Dealing with that fall out on top of finals and everything else was so overwhelming, I contemplated whether or not the entire relationship was even worth it in the first place.
One thing college is good for is change. It lets you explore parts of the world and parts of yourself you never had the chance to before. You might come into college sure you're going to graduate as a biochemistry major, and at the beginning of your sophomore year, decide that psychology is more your speed. Or you come into college, swearing up and down that you'll do musical theater until Hamilton becomes less popular (let's face it, that's not happening for a long time), and within a year, decide writing for the newspaper is your thing.
One thing is for certain, a lot of changes in college. Academically, you find new interests, socially new friends and professionally, new opportunities. You mature through these new experiences and figure out "how-to-adult" with other students who are on the same page. And yeah, dating is fun! Date, get to know people and see what happens. Through all the bad times and the good times, you'll figure out what your "type" is. Yeah, you'll have your fair share of breakups, but try to view them as a learning experience — Ariana Grande's "thank u, next" should inspire you to thank your ex after each and every failed relationship for the lessons they've taught you about yourself and about what you value in a relationship.
At the end of the day, yeah, they suck, but as I said in every relationship, you're either going to break up or marry that person. Yeah, Jackson is cute, but he doesn't have any drive and you want someone with a passion. Joe is sweet, but he doesn't communicate well and often leaves you feeling frustrated. Breakups aren't all bad.
College is full of changes, and maybe one of those changes will be finding your happily ever after. But don't beat yourself up if it isn't. There is so much of you to love and so many things to explore that I guarantee, not having a significant other isn't going to make or break your college experience. And, chances are, your Prince Charming will fall in love with you while you're doing what you love.