It is officially “cuddle season” here in the Carolinas, as our temperatures have finally lowered to welcome fall-like breezes, colder nights, and the wearing of cardigans and boots. Finally. (And all the girls said “Amen!”). “Cuddle season” also brings the memes and social media posts about #relationshipgoals, whining singles, and boyfriend applications. All this is cute and silly, but how serious are we really and how desperate are we for relationships that we see other people in?

Sometimes the desperation of my generation and hyper focus that is placed on being a relationship, having a man or a girl, scares me. Quite honestly, I feel sometimes that if it were possible, people would buy a boyfriend or girlfriend just to feel like they are #relationshipgoals. However, it is important to think about what other kinds of goals we can focus on that will better propel our future.

I see my generation falling into a precipice of hyper-sexuality. We are way too focused on intimate relationships rather than on self-betterment and amelioration of ourselves to higher aims. We could achieve a lot more if we would focus on ambitious goals and our visions for improving the world and not so much on #relationshipgoals.

A relationship is not the be all and end all of life. If you find love, by all means, embrace it and let it happen, but if not, don’t dwell on it. Let love come to you naturally, don’t go looking for it. Pursue your own values and ambitions instead.

If we, millennials, would exert the amount of energy we do trying to find “the one” into pursuing more ambitious goals, the brilliance of what we could create would be astounding. The time of your youth is the time when you are most energized. It is a time you will never get back. It is a time when you have the energy, the courage and the resources to pursue your goals and to make shift happen!

Education is a major key to this type of success. Whether that means going to college, or becoming the best at your trade—singing, welding, cosmetology, art, etc.—it is extremely important that you do that. From personal experience, I can testify to college being an avenue to success.

College is a very valuable institution and not many young people realize just how valuable it is. There are so many resources available to students who seldom take advantage. If you have a research idea while in college, you can do it there. You have a whole library available to you. You have access to online resources. You have one-on-one tutoring freely available in various subjects. If you want to write a book? Oh my goodness! A majority of professors are themselves authors, there are English professors and other administrative staff who would be able to point you in the direction of editors or publishing firms.

Sometimes, people don’t take advantage of opportunities and they get left out and left behind. Then, all of a sudden, they are 30, married with kids and have not made any strides toward their personal goals, which makes them unhappy.

There comes a time, after having achieved much, that there is still an emptiness inside and there will be that emptiness because we all have a longing for love. It is okay to be motivated by love and for many, love is actually what drives them. They are encouraged to pursue their personal goals by the person whom they love the most. However, I think there is greater strength in being able to pursue these in spite of having or not having a significant other.

I am not bashing love or intimate relationships in any way. I just believe that attaining a spouse or partner is only one part of our amazing, multi-faceted human experience and should not be the sole or most prized goal in life.

My hope is to energize young people to realize our full potential, and not only for acknowledgement sake, but for application. If we do this, we will improve our society, raise the bar for future generations, and create something amazing for our children and grandchildren to appreciate.