I spent my first year and a half of college in a long distance relationship. We were in love, and every minute of my twelve-hour train ride to see him was worth it. A relationship with someone special can truly be a wonderful and fulfilling experience, but let’s be real, girls, as a twenty-something, there is absolutely no need to freak out about being single.
Our culture tends to push some serious single-shaming propaganda. The first thing I was asked when I visited for the holidays wasn’t how my friends were doing, what the weather was like in Canada or even what I had been working on in school, but if I had a boyfriend. And for some reason, they all seemed disappointed when I told them I did not.
So, we as a society need a general PSA about relationships: it’s okay to be single! Actually, it’s possible to be single and still be happy. This seems to be a concept people don’t easily understand. “What? You don’t want me to set you up with the cute guy from econ?” Being single doesn’t mean I’m looking for a relationship!
Not to hate on relationships (I’m a big proponent of you-do-you), but there are so many worthwhile reasons to be single in college. Here are some of the many pros of “going it solo.”
Focus On Building A Life For Yourself.
When you are not tied to a person or place, you’re free to make your life whatever you’ve always dreamed it to be. You don’t have to commit yourself to moving in with someone or even living in the same city! As a college student it’s important to focus on building a life for yourself, through networking, traveling, investing time in work as well as extracurricular activities, and figuring out your own interests.
When you’re in a relationship, it can feel difficult to leave your loved one and explore the rest of the world. But now is the time to travel and discover what the globe has to offer. With the freedom of single-hood, the world can truly be your oyster. Do a summer internship abroad! Study away for a semester or even a year! Take a weekend trip with your friends and crash in a cheap hostel—you’ll meet the most amazing people and expand your worldview immensely. While it can feel comfortable to spend every Saturday in bed with the boyfriend, now is the time to take adventures, do something that scares you, meet people you never would have if you had spent every moment by his side.
Make Lasting Friendships.
Following family, friends are the most important people in your life. And unlike a relationship, they will necessarily be by your side no matter what. It’s so important to spend time developing friendships, because let’s face it—who’s gonna be there for you when you’re a disheveled mess at 3am after failing a midterm and need a bottle of wine and tube of Toll House cookie dough? Maybe your significant other will cry with you, but your best friend will always be right by your side, and she’ll bring the Ben and Jerry’s.
Figure Out What You Want In A Partner.
So you’re single and searching—how can you ever know what you’ll want in a partner if you’ve only spent your time with one person? While some swear by “love at first sight,” how can you dedicate yourself to one person for the rest of your life without knowing what else is out there? Dating different people can help you lean more about yourself, and, consequently, figure out what you want in a significant other. Being single can give you the chance to better understand what (if any) kind of relationship you truly want.
Above all, it’s important to do what’s right for you. Make your life what you want it to be, whether you’re single or committed. The subject of dating is impossibly subjective, and everyone needs to figure out what works best for them. Just remember, being single does not equal being unhappy. There’s nothing wrong with where you are at.