College campuses, other than being a place of learning and scholastic achievement, are also filled to the brim with young men and women who are constantly shoved together in both academic and extra-curricular activities. Being in college also means that it’s probably your first time outside of the home you grew up in, either staying in on-campus dorms or an apartment near campus. Where does all of this independence and unsupervised behavior lead to? Dating.
Dating is an inevitable part of college life. You are meeting a whole new pool of people, from varying places and experiences; you are all spending a lot of time together, and most likely there will be alcohol involved. The combination of youthful vigor, a keg of Pabst and the opposite sex, are a heady cocktail to handle. So how to manage? Here are some pointers we picked up from our experience in the situation – from initial meeting to actual relationship and everything in between:
Go with it. There are a ton of opportunities to meet people in college – parties, class, study sessions, sports, and sororities, to name a few. When you do meet someone, don’t overthink the situation, just go with it and see where it takes you.
Balance. The most important thing about this topic is the concept of balance. Now we’re talking not only balance of your own wants and needs, but also your academic ones. If you do find yourself spending a lot of time with someone, make sure your class assignments and exams are not being overlooked. It’s easy to get swept up in a new and exciting ‘thing’, but at the end of the day you’re here because you want to get an education.
Groups. Now if you find yourself dating around, not finding just one person or being in one relationship (which is the case for most college students), do yourself a favor and don’t date more than one person within a certain group. There is not much worse than causing friends to fight over you, or having people talk about you in that way. The campus is filled with tons of other prospects; sure, the heart wants what the heart wants, but we’re pretty sure it’s not the heart that’s thinking here.
Remember. This tip is for dating in general throughout your life, but in college it becomes a practical survival method – do not under any circumstance forget who you are and what brought you here. Like we said in part 2, balance your life. Make sure you see other friends (or make new ones), go to social events, keep up with everything you used to do before this person, or any other romantic prospect came into your life. Remaining true to yourself will not only serve you now and in the long run, but it’s sure to make the person/s you’re interested in respect you much more.
Have fun. After all, you’re in college, it’s supposed to be one of the best periods in your life. Dating is a pretty huge part of the fun in college – trust us, we know. Go out and collect experiences (but try not to catch anything else), take as many pictures as you can, and try to be in the moment as much as possible. College life is also full of stress and fear of the future, so make sure to get your responsibilities in order before going ham.
All kinds. There are those who find the love of their lives in college, super awesome for them. There are those who date nonstop throughout the four years like it’s a competition, right on. There are also those who don’t date at all, or very little, nothing wrong there either. There are all kinds of people and ways to date in college, you just have to find what works best for you and go along with that. The single best piece of advice we got when we were in this very situation was this – trust your gut. If you feel something off, it’s because there is. If the situation flows and feels like it’s right, then it probably is.
Do not overthink or analyze situations to death. It’ll just end up driving your insane. Do you. Focus on your school-work, your friends, your world outside of college (as distant as it may seem), and keep the order of your priorities as close as possible to its original form. If you manage to do that, then date, party, kiss, hug, jump, love and even marry whomever you see fit, as long as it makes you happy.