I spent my first year of college boyfriend-less and by myself. After realizing the April prior to leaving for college that my high school boyfriend just wasn’t going to fit in my luggage, we broke up and I was alone. But I wasn’t happy about being alone. I was single and desperately wishing for that next relationship, for a person to tie up my Friday nights and make me feel safe and stress-free, like breakfast on Saturday mornings.
I was free. I could do whatever, whenever, with whomever and, for some people, that is the best feeling in the world. But I was always searching for a different kind of freedom, the heavy kind that tugs at your heart as you fall asleep, knowing someone loves you. Weeks passed, midterms came and (painfully) went, semesters ended, and breaks flew by. And then it was the middle of a hot July. I was sticky from making smoothies all summer and it happened. I fell in love. Quick and deep, cannon-balling before I could even catch my breath one last time.
In love I stayed, as time unstuck and the weeks began to pass again, as the midterms came and (still painfully) went. Semesters ended and breaks became exciting like I was being handed a prize for surviving my long-distance relationship.
I spent my second year in college taken. My Friday nights taken, my Saturday mornings taken up too, lazy with sleep and wrinkled t-shirts. My calls taken when I was crying with the door closed, my tears taken and swept away like the dust you get rid of when company’s coming. He took and I gave. And I took his heart and he gave me kisses, only his and no one else’s, from sophomore year until graduation. When I crossed that stage to get my diploma, I looked out at him clapping, smiling, and I realized that this is what I learned:
Being single in college is overrated. Really, really overrated. Sure, maybe I could have kissed more guys and made more friends than I did. But instead, I had a guy who wanted to kiss me even during finals, when I wore the same sweatpants for three days in a row and my hair got ratty and snarled from forgetting to shower. Maybe I could have had wild nights that I’d never forget, but I had quiet nights where I learned how his heartbeat sounded and what it’s like to never be lonely, even when you’re alone and I’ll never forget that.
Before you cross that stage and pull your tassel from right to left, by all means, be single. Have a lot of first kisses and random sleepovers. But if you find someone who wants to go to brunch with you on Sunday and the library with you Thursday, don’t you dare let that person pass you by. Being single in college is overrated. Trust me.