The Politics of Beginning College With a Significant Other

By Victoria Sananikone, Assistant Editor

Featured image by – Meme content by Victoria Sananikone

Loneliness is certainly the bane of human existence, which is why the prospect of beginning college with a boyfriend or a girlfriend seems like the best decision you’ve ever thunk. Well, think again. When asked if one believes they should kick off their freshman year of college with a significant other, my opinion on the matter steers towards a definite and dramatically aggressive “NO.” This conclusion was confirmed by personal experience, one that shaped my character and taught me lessons that I wish I had known beforehand. All of our lives are different so I can’t speak for everyone, but I will agree that there are a plethora of pros and cons to beginning college with a love interest.

To beginning college with a significant other:

You have that “go to” person

Bored on a Saturday night? Unable to find someone to attend a party with?  Lonely and in need of cuddles? Want to take a spontaneous trip to the city? Having a boyfriend or a girlfriend will cure these searches because you’ll always have that person who will be there whenever you need them. If you’re having a bad day, they’ll be there to pick you up. If you need a study buddy, they’ll whip out their textbook right alongside you. If you’re overcome by homesickness, you won’t succumb to a puddle of tears because they’ll be right there to comfort you as if you were back at home.

“The greatest perk is having someone there for you all the time,” first year student Meritt Rittenhouse said. “It’s great to have that constant person who’s there for you because he was always there for me at the beginning of the semester.”

You don’t have to deal with unwanted advances from creeps

Let’s try to avoid any Title Nine accusations. Depending on how big your college is, everyone with know soon enough who you’re already dating or who you’ve just begun dating. Girls, you won’t have to worry about any BOYS grabbing your booty at a party because your MAN will be right there to falcon punch him into next week if any BOY so much as looks at you wrong. Men (boys, for some of you), girls can be creeps as well, but having a girlfriend will save you from their constant flirtation and obsession for a man of their own.

You don’t have to worry about impressing anyone/Looking like a hobo is acceptable

One of the greatest perks of college is the fact that not a single person gives a flying flip what you choose to wear to class. One would certainly be judged if they were to wear a onesie through the halls of a high school, but on a college campus this person would be regarded as a genius. This notion is heightened when you have a significant other, for you have no one to look good for except that lucky someone you were fortunate enough to tie down. Within a healthy relationship, that person will stay by your side even if you lost your eyebrows, so you could wear your favorite groutfit every day of the week if you so desired.

To beginning college without a significant other:

You can devote more time to yourself

There’s nothing wrong with being selfish for the right reasons such as dedicating your time to making yourself a better person. College is known as the time of “finding yourself,” and speaking from personal experience, as well as observations from the ones around me, I’ve found that it’s harder to achieve this when you’re with another person. You’re expected to spend a portion of your efforts on this person, and in some circumstances, they may end up becoming a priority over your own self growth. It’s hard to truly find yourself when you’re in a relationship because your perception of the world is not tailored to your outlook alone, which ties into my second point.

You begin with a different perspective

College is an entirely different ball park than high school. The people, the environment and the freedoms that you encounter are in stark contrast to what you have been used to. It is all too easy for your judgement to become clouded by another person you’re involved with. When you have a significant other, you see the world through the eyes of someone who isn’t alone, the eyes of someone who doesn’t focus solely on how they feel about certain things, but takes into account the perception of their significant other. This alters your viewpoints, your opinion and your decisions. If you start off your freshman year without a partner, you’ll find it easier to perceive the world through your own eyes.

“It was nice to have a boyfriend and be in a relationship, but I felt kind of trapped,” first year student Haley Rey said. “It was fast, and I was going against the goal I set for myself to be alone for this first chapter of my life. I ended up telling him that I felt pinned down and then we broke up. He wasn’t the reason I felt trapped, I was just feeling so overwhelmed because there were so many new things happening. I was sad but I also felt relieved because I could do what I want. I realized I wasn’t ready for a relationship when I got here, but now that I’ve spent time alone, I’m in a healthy relationship. I’m glad that we broke up because the person that he’s with now I see as my hero because she makes him happier than I ever could and that’s something I always wanted for him.”

You’re not confined to a small circle of company

People often spend most of their time with their girlfriend or boyfriend. They feel obligated to devote a portion of their day to this person which should be expected. However, this can quickly turn toxic in the sense that your significant other is the only person that you spend time with due to obsession or the ever absurd “honeymoon phase.” This limits your ability to meet new people and expand your horizons.

Deciding to end my amusingly childish relationship that survived freshman year was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because I have met so many new and amazing people who I never would have met if I had stayed in that relationship. When asked what she learned after getting out of a relationship her freshman year, Haley Rey’s older sister, junior Sydney Rey, had much to preach.

“I learned that I can do whatever the f*ck I want,” Rey said. “I like that I don’t have to worry about somebody else’s schedule, and I don’t have to prioritize anyone over myself, in the least selfish way possible. When I was dating this guy, all my free time was devoted to him. Getting out of that I realized I could hang out with so many more of my friends and not feel bad. It’s my decision and it doesn’t directly affect anyone. I am in a place right now where I don’t feel the need to shave my legs all the time. If I shave it’s for me. I don’t feel the need to wear makeup. If I do, I do it for me.”

The younger Rey left me with some words of wisdom when asked what she learned from ending her relationship in the first semester of freshman year, words that people of all ages should abide by.

“I learned that I should have stuck to my goal of being alone to get settled,” Haley said. “This place is so different from high school. If you’re even questioning whether or not you want to be in a relationship or if you’re ready to be in one, then you’re not ready to be in one.”





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