I've been asked a thousand times why I refuse to approach guys in my everyday life or why I use an alias when approached by someone out in public. Perhaps part of the reason is my complete inability to flirt or my track record for stammering out unnecessary questions about math than actually having a conversation with people, but truly I have an entire list of reasons why college "dating" or "talking" or whatever it is, is not a priority of mine.
1. Nobody Has The TimeA full-time college student taking the minimum 12 credit hours is expected to put in at least an hour and a half of outside reading and homework for each hour spent in class. Assuming that student is also involved in one or two extracurricular clubs or activities, they spend an extra 7-10 hours a week in school involvement. Add in 20-30 hours at a part-time job to pay for all of this and 20-30 hours at a required internship with a few hours set aside each night for sleep and you are left with approximately 12 hours to spend eating, bathing, calling home, doing laundry, going to the bank, crying over your bank statement, walking the dog, etc. Oh, and you’re expected to cram all of that into just four years, tell me where you find room in your schedule for a significant other, you wizards of time.
2. What Time is Spent Here is Fleeting and TransitionalLike trying to forge an entire all-knowing, close-knit friendship while waiting for the bus, college makes up less than 5% of an average person’s lifetime and goes quickly before you’re off to your next stop. People change their minds easily and can transfer or change their minds easily, sometimes you’re better off free to do so without all the extra "goodbyes".
3. Commitment is Harder for Most College Students than 8AM Class on a Monday
As if deciding on a major, signing a lease, and agreeing to pay back student loans wasn’t difficult enough, committing to be with only one person is excruciatingly difficult and terrifying for most students who don’t yet know what they want out of life.
4. Dating Isn't Really Part of the College Culture
Long gone are the days of being picked up and taken for an evening on the town filled with polite discussion and instead, we have ushered in the era of online communication and one night stands who never speak to each other again after meeting up to Netflix and Chill. Isn’t it romantic?
5. Branching Out is Essential to the College Experience
College is only meant to take up a few years of your life in which there are countless opportunities to meet new and interesting people, travel the world, or learn about things you never knew were possible. Searching for a long-term relationship which can often take focus off the exploration you’re truly on is like going to an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet and only visiting the salad bar.
6. These Are the Only Selfish Years We Get
The only years you will find unattached from the curfews and watchful parents you had in high school but free from the adult responsibilities of paying a mortgage, shopping for health insurance, or monitoring your caffeine intake are right now. Being unattached from what any extra influences want or expect of you is the most freedom you will ever experience again in your life.
I realize that for many people, dating is essential to their college experience, however creating an experience around the need to be constantly dating is not one of my priorities in these precious few years of exploration and discovery.