There is no time for feelings in college.

As UCLA students and Greeks, each and every one of us has a schedule so chock-a-block full that dinner plans sometimes need to be made two weeks in advance. Thank goodness for iPhone calendars!

 Every day, you run from class to class and meeting to meeting, somehow cramming a gym sesh in there. And whatever you do for fun, it needs to be fleeting. If you went to a nice restaurant, no time for a food coma. If you went to a party, no time for a hangover. You have to get back on your feet and deal with that college to-do list of yours. A college to-do list is like a regular to-do list, but on steroids. Having so much on our plates should not even be legal, but we totally love it all the same.

There’s something I haven’t mentioned, yet, something you can’t conveniently put down in your OCD iCal. Let’s talk about feelings. More specifically, let’s talk about the feelings associated with romantic involvement. So you just started seeing someone, and they’re more than just a hookup. I know, shocking, right? You two start going on dates and, already, that takes up a lot of your time. I mean, just dinner and a movie will take a good four or five hours out of your day. That’s precious time in college, time when you could be catching up on homework or your Netflix cue (hey, you gotta know your priorities).

Now, imagine that you really like this person and when you two go out you start to feel all weird and tingly inside, not unlike when you’ve had too much to drink. You go home all giddy and silly-looking. Perhaps you even skip a little on the way. And when you wake up, you’re all hungover on lurve. Except you have to go to class. And meetings. And the gym. And you have to, like, shower and eat food, too. Not that easy to do when your mind keeps wandering back to your person’s perfect eyes and perfect smile every eight seconds! You cover your notebooks with more hearts than letters of the alphabet and concentrating on anything else is pretty much impossible. So you start to get behind, but you couldn’t care less because you’re so happy!

Only here’s the thing about college dating: it often doesn’t last. As much as I hope you’re happily coupled up, most students are not. And if you go through a tough breakup, guess what? More feelings! At this point, you probably can’t bring yourself to do anything, because heartbreak is rough! So you huddle up in your bed with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, the best of Adele and zero chance of doing homework. It could be days before you get back on track.

Even if a relationship is short-lived, it can put you so behind on your responsibilities that it may seem tempting to delay dating to when you actually grow up. But relationships and all their stages are a natural and healthy part of life; they help you grow as a person, and everyone should have a shot at love. So why do we have so little time to spare for them in college? Is there anything we can do about it? Whatever it is, my advice is to try to prioritize building strong relationships – romantic or otherwise – whenever you can afford to. And even when you can’t. Live young and wild and free, right?

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