Why It's Hard To Stay Bound To Boundaries In College
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Politics and Activism

Why It's Hard To Stay Bound To Boundaries In College

Chaos breeds where boundaries are absent.

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Why It's Hard To Stay Bound To Boundaries In College
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Boundaries are hard. Point blank, period. Whether we are talkin' physical, mental, or emotional, boundaries are unnatural, sometimes unenjoyable, and from my experience, boundaries are harder in college than ever before. Why though? If the purpose of boundaries is to protect us, to help us define who we are and who we are not, then why are they so difficult to maintain? Here is my two cents on the matter.

What was the most common hashtag thrown around during your first couple months of college? #collegenoparents, naturally. Freshman year of college = newfound freedom. You no longer have your parents breathing down your neck (love you, mom) and mandating your life (love you too, dad). Curfew, "Eat your vegetables!," and "My house, my rules," are things of the past (definitely still eat your vegetables though). With this newfangled freedom, however, comes a new level of responsibility. It is now totally up to you to get your homework done, do your laundry, and keep your personal boundaries in check. Even though you aren't under your parent's roof anymore, you are still under the moral standard that they raised you with.

Accountability, or lack thereof, rather, is an overarching reason why boundaries are too easily broken—especially when first starting college. Not only do you not have your parents physically there, but chances are you don't have a solid friend base yet either. To that, I say give it time. The friends you'll want to have for life are the friends worth waiting for; I guarantee it. Once you find those few gems and let them into the parts of you that you choose not to put on display, accountability becomes natural. It sounds contradictory; you have to let people break down your walls so they can help you keep your walls up. But, with the right people, it will make sense.

Another thought process that I think lends to breaking boundaries goes something like, "Well, what do I stand for? How far is too far? Could I handle ________?" I am all for getting out of your comfort zone, ask anyone who knows me, but there is a difference between fostering personal growth and putting your morals on the line. As cheesy as the adage is, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. Know what that something is before the limit-testing occurs.

Other culprits include the fact that college students are pre-occupied with plenty of other stresses to worry about coupled with the fact that self-control takes a huge amount of extra effort that we are not always wiling to put forth. Because of this pairing, boundaries sometimes fall by the wayside.

If your automatic association with the word 'boundaries' throughout this entire article was 'physical', that's fair. Not the only type I was talking about, but that's fair. Physical boundaries in a relationship context are paramount in the 13th-16th grades. College relationships are different from high school ones, or at least they should be. You are older, hopefully more mature, and ideally thinking about the future at least a little bit. With potential wedding bells in the far, far future, and supervision in the not-so-distant past, who need boundaries, right?! WRONG. You need them. I need them. We all need them. "I'm gonna marry him/her anyway" (cue Rude by MAGIC!) is not a valid excuse. Nobody wants to look back at a relationship and think, "I wish we hadn't gone that far."

Take time for yourself. Form your own beliefs. Set your own boundaries. They are hard at this age, but they are necessary at every age.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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