High school seemed like the ultimate popularity contest when we were all in it. Only the cool kids can hang with the jocks, and the dorks have to sit by themselves. The cheerleaders ruled the cafeteria, and the book club had to sit in the corner of the lunchroom without intruding on anyone's space. It was always rules and regulations, and order; a hierarchy of sorts. However, college diminished all that. No matter how weird or quirky or odd you were, everyone was accepted. Everyone was welcomed. But somewhere in all that, it became a trend that you find a guy or girl in college. Among the South-Asian community it was more so because of the urgency to get you married off sooner. Earlier marriages meant the earlier the grandkids would arrive. I'm not saying this is primarily in the South-Asian community that we go and find relationships, but just among the general young-adult population in college. It's become almost a necessity that everyone be a couple on campus. But that's not what college is really meant for. It never was.
College is what shapes our characters for the real world, for our future lives. So with that, academics is what should always come first. A boyfriend or girlfriend isn't going to ace the exam for us or present the project on our behalf. It's all on us. We need to build a future for ourselves and make it great! Most of us are going to college with money our parents probably worked hard to make or take a loan they can hardly afford just so we can have better lives. Others will be paying for college themselves and either way, it's not cheap. We can't let society or trends or anything tell us we need to find someone in college when we have excellence and success waiting for us if we stay the course.
Now with that, by all means we shouldn't hinder ourselves from fun! College is also about making friends, creating memories, forging live-long bonds. We should crave those nights that we never want to end, with the people we never want to forget. Being silly, being weird, being a college family. Among my group of friends, I'm the one who never drinks, and my friends always do a bunch of stupid things on our nights out and I love it. Not because I'm the only one who ever remembers what happened each night, but more so it's always an adventure when we're together. How many of us can say we had adventures in college? I'm entering my last and final year at Drexel and I'm counting down the days till I can't say I'm going on an adventure.
I've definitely fallen prey to the trend and had my share of relationships when I first entered college. And I'm not going to lie and say they aren't fun and exciting, and totally "bro-like" to show off your girl to your friends. But being out of it, I see the difference in what college should have been from the start. It's not the dating apps, likes on Instagram or followers on Twitter. And it's most definitely not, "Did you see the picture of him and his girl on Snapchat?" or "Was he the one she brought to the party?"
Most of us only hit our early 20s when we graduate college. We have our whole lives to focus on love and marriage and, for most of us in the South-Asian community, grandkids. College should mold our skills to a successful future, our minds to unforgettable (and responsible) fun and our bonds to undying friendships.