There Is More To College Than Finding Your Significant Other

There Is More To College Than Finding Your Significant Other

We don't pay $70k a year to search for a soulmate.

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The weather is getting colder, the Starbucks beverages are getting warmer, and the only topic of conversation seems to be that cuffing season is right around the corner. Ladies, I am all for wanting cuddles and attention, but it's 2018, we don't need a man to make us happy.

This is not to say relationships are an absolute no-go. If you have someone who genuinely brings you happiness, props to you, but stressing and obsessing over someone right now, is NOT the most important aspect of life to focus on.

Sometimes as women, we tend to look for love in all the wrong places and that's the first mistake.

I apologize in advance for the blunt nature of this observation, but you will meet many boys in these next four years, and drunk connections don't necessitate love connections.

The random guy at the bar grinding on you will not care about you in the morning. The hot frat guy in your math class isn't trying to link this weekend. The boy next door who you seemingly always run into right after a shower and a face mask is not the boy next door the movie industry loves to romanticize.

There is nothing wrong with a one night stand or a casual hook up, but it's important to understand the intentions others may have before growing attached or catching feelings.

Plus, if these men are genuine, they will ask you out to dinner, not for your Snapchat.

It's crucial to guard your heart, especially as you learn more about yourself throughout college and learn of what will cultivate your personal happiness.

Boys aren't everything, but friends sure as hell are.

Like I said, cuffing season is around the corner, but the pursuit of a boy can be empty. The girls you call your best friends are definitely not, though.

They become your home away from home. You eat with them, you study with them, you hit the bars with them. My friends, whom I have come to love dearly, are the best girl gang I could ever ask for. We're crazy, obnoxious, and slightly out of control, but we always have each other's backs.

The comfort that you're searching for is in the girl, or girls, you'll probably end up rooming with one of these four years.

Don't underestimate your best friend either. Guy or girl, they are your shoulder to cry on, your therapist, and will more often than not call you on your bullshit. When you get the chance, thank them for keeping you sane.

Remember what we're really here for.

Let's also not forget that while college, especially at a school like Syracuse, is filled with blurry weekends and Snapchat memories to laugh, or cry, at on Sunday mornings, there is so much more to a prestigious university than tailgates, bars, and boys.

We pay $70k a year for reputation, prestige and a heated promenade, not heartbreak and disappointment.

In 2016, Whitman School of Management was ranked the 23rd best undergraduate business school by Bloomberg. In 2017, College Magazine ranked S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications the no. 1 school for communications in the nation.

With rankings as such, we, as college students, should be invested in maintaining this reputation. If the goal is to be successful, no matter how one defines their personal success, now is the time to invest in the future.

Stop missing assignments, failing exams, and sleeping through class. I am certainly guilty of each, but it truly is time to stop bullshitting.

If you say you want to become that powerful businesswoman, CEO, politician, writer, activist: go do it. Put your words to action and put in the hard work it takes to achieve that level of success.

It's all about you this season.

The right person will walk into your life when you least expect it. We create this preconceived notion about how someone is supposed to sweep us off our feet and by doing so, it only sets the heart up for rejection and disappointment.

Let life play itself out and good things are bound to come.

As for now, you have the power to dictate who you are and who you will become. Focus on self-care and develop a mindset that will lead you to achieve the goals you set. I cannot stress how important mental strength is as it is key in surviving the bullshit life will throw at you.

As women, we are independent and have so many opportunities at our fingertips. It is truly a waste of our time and energy to pursue anything other than something that will bring us the utmost happiness. It's okay to be single this season, we're stronger on our own, anyway.

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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