I grew up thinking that everyone who went to college met their spouse there, got married soon after, and starting having a family. It was just a given that I would meet a guy here and get married after graduation; it happened to my parents and lots of other people I knew, so why wouldn’t it happen to me?
(feel free to laugh at how hard reality hit me)
Almost all of my close friends are engaged or married, so here’s a sneak peek of what graduation will look like.
And you know what? I’m okay with that. There’s obviously perks to both sides, but I’m just going to talk about the single perks because it’s not talked about enough.
1. I get to choose my next step for me.
Would I mind having someone who would influence my decision? Of course not, duh. But that’s not where my life is now, so I’m free to look at opportunities in cities from every state in every part of the country. That is an insanely huge decision that I get to be really selfish about; assuming life stays how it is now, I don’t have to worry about if my boyfriend has a job offer or if we will do long distance or if one of us has to stay close. I’d love to have someone to help with that, but limitless options are pretty awesome too.
2. Nights out? Yes please.
Again, this isn’t something that you HAVE to be single for, but it can be pretty great knowing that you could flirt with any guy you meet and not feel guilty about it. That also means I probably have a few more years of getting my beverages paid for (#blessed).
3. That GPA though.
I will be the first one to admit that I am very easily distracted by boys. At all times. Dang hormones. I can’t even imagine what a mess my GPA (and life) would be if I tried to manage the problems that come with relationships on top of trying to figure out how to pass Organic Chemistry. I have been stupidly stressed and overwhelmed as it is, and I probably would have exploded if there was more to deal with.
4. Boy friends.
I may not be leaving Mizzou with a life partner, but I’m definitely leaving with life people. I would not be as close to many of my friends at school if I was trying to schedule weekly dates into my crazy life, and I definitely wouldn’t have the guy friends I do. I absolutely love all of my girl friends, but there is something unique and comforting about being close to guys that you’re not in a relationship with. I can visit or grab lunch or study or talk one-on-one to a guy without it upsetting anyone, and that has allowed for some very honest and caring friendships to form.
BONUS: Columbia is definitely not the safest place in the world, so being able to walk downtown or on campus at night with a human shield is wonderful. Seriously, you just throw a good guy into a situation and all of the cat-calling/general creepiness magically disappears. It’s amazing.
5. You do things for yourself.
Running, yoga, weight loss, Netflix binging, and trying to look pretty are all things that I have undoubtedly done for myself over the years. I think we easily get wrapped up in subconsciously doing things to impress other people, which has only ever resulted in wasted time on activities I don’t enjoy.
College has easily been the most life-changing time in my life. I am a completely different person than I was 3 years ago, and I love myself a heck of a lot more now than I did then. I’ve been able to slowly discover the kind of person I want to be without worrying how someone else wants me to be.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get jealous of my friends who are getting married, but it clearly hasn’t been the the right time for me; I needed to go through a lot of challenges and changes before that could even remotely be possible. My story won’t be the same as my parents’, and it’s taken me a long time to accept that is completely fine; I want to have a healthy relationship when the timing is right.
If you’re single in college, you aren’t alone (although you may feel like you are). I always suggest trying yoga or running, but find something that sparks a passion you didn’t know existed.