We’ve all heard the myth that we’ll remember college as the best time of our life. However, when people perpetuate the “best years of your life” trope, they essentially tell you that you’ll transform into a new person, an all-powerful flirt monster that has the charms to wrangle in every sexual partner you conceivably want. This anti-monogamous theme-song creates a foundation of infidelity for our age group. Our generation holds this mindset of believing that the grass will consistently be greener in all corners of campus. However, in this wasteland of counterfeit greener grass, love still finds a way to constantly grow.
Check out the following tips for dating during your freshman year of college.
1. Simply Avoid It
In a time when many students undergo self discovery, students should avoid dating in search of a serious relationship like the plague. Most students do not feel confident enough in themselves to properly support another person, especially during their freshman year. Even so, if you do decide to jump into a relationship, proceed with caution.
2. Beware of Early Latchers
Early latchers, or just plain lonely people, lurk everywhere as you start your college career. Regardless of what those liars tell you, everyone feels lonely as heck their first few weeks of school. And loneliness makes you act quite weirdly and quite out of tune. You cry a lot, call your parents too often, and already look forward to summer vacation. In that state, people latch. They need someone to burden their craziness, and that someone may be you.
As a person, you talk and walk and can hold hands and kiss. They need all of these things to get by. These latchers just need another living soul to know their name and acknowledge they exist. These latchers also don’t necessarily like you, but rather, they like that you hold them when they come back from a party disheveled because a frat boy acted rudely towards them.
So, my advice? Beware of these latchers. Check your own life and ask yourself if you actually see a future with the person you started exclusively dating a month into school, or if you just befriended a lonely latcher who momentarily needed you.
3. Beware of Small Towners
If you grew up in a small town, you understand the shortage of possible mates. This will automatically make everyone at college feel like “the one.” Growing up only knowing a meager sample size of 40 girls or boys doesn’t allow you to make an accurate profile of the person you could love eternally. Basically, small towners actually also act as latchers, though they latch less out of loneliness, and more out of a lack of experience. Look out for it.
4. Thou Who Art Falsely Ready
These people tell you, “I’m ready to settle down,” while banging on your door at 3 a.m. and simultaneously throwing up on your shoes. However, don’t let them fool you, as these people have no intention of settling down. They occupy the “I’ll ruin your life if you catch feelings for me right now” phase that most college student seem to go through. This portion of the college experience strikes fear into any student who may want someone to lean on at the end of the night, yet without the strings attached.
Although we desire both freedom that comes with single life and the benefits of relationship, having both proves impossible. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Instead of succumbing to this phase, read whether someone is willing to honestly date you or if they are going to ruin your life.
5. Understand Backstory Clues
The place you came from, your parents and your high school do not define you as a person, although they sure help contribute to how you approach relationships. Someone with a religious background may secretly hope to settle down at a young age with you. Someone from a small town with slim choices may take extreme measures to pursue the hottest guy at the party.
A person’s background certainly holds clues to how someone will act in a relationship, since people partly develop their personality in response to their environment. Remember that so you can better understand people and can avoid people that will not make you happy.
6. Be Sure or Be Single
The minute you question whether something will pay off in the end or if you feel ready to jump into a relationship, consider ending it. “You can’t wait for someone person to be ready, because chances are if they were the right person it wouldn’t matter,” University of Iowa senior Paige Roghair said. Use the start of your college career to grow as a person rather than feeling hindered by someone. You need to go out and quite literally find yourself: what you like, what you hate, all while puking in the 3rd stall at the crusty bar your friends dragged you to. You need to feel more sure than you’ve ever felt in your life, or simply remain single.
7. Realize College Doesn’t Follow a Template
College doesn’t need to serve as the best time of your life. If you have an old soul and already know what you like, continuing to do those things will serve you well. Our college experiences need not become carbon copies of each other. You won’t miss out on anything if you don’t go out every weekend or if you choose to study more than socialize. Attending college doesn’t automatically turn you into a typical frat boy or sorority sister.
“I like being in a relationship and kind of living life, working together with that one person instead of trying to get the ‘typical college’ experience. You can experience new things while at the same time dating someone,” University of North Iowa senior Deon Cleveland said. If you have a girlfriend coming in, or find one very shortly after first arriving to university, you can dedicate your life to them and not miss out on the best years of your life.
8. Bring the Ones That Make You Smitten
If you’ve strapped yourselves to your favorite tree stump, at least uproot it and carry it around with you. In a new and fragile relationship, you’ll want to spend as much time with your significant other until you feel comfortable enough to become more independent. Consider joining clubs together, attend campus events together and eventually grow together. You don’t have to miss out on making friends while in a relationship;; experience everything with an eternal plus-one mentality.
9. Keep Them Out of Your Future Plans
Relationships prove situation in college. You can’t possibly, regardless of your puppy-love for another, expect to last forever with someone who lives in Portugal, or someone who constantly puts on a facade for the first couple years of college. “Don’t plan your whole life out with your freshman year boyfriend/girlfriend in mind. Plans change, and so will your relationship,” University of Iowa senior Marieka Drovin said.
People have specific sweet-zones in their lives. Most of the time, students don’t have their sweet-zone during college, and thus cannot share a stable relationship with anyone else. So, with as unsteady a platform like newfound love, try putting all your trust into yourself and where visualize yourself going.
10. Remember That All These Rules (Yes Even Number 1) Have Exceptions
Every rule has an exception. Dating may seem difficult your freshman year since you have little experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find the love of your life at the age of 19. Even so, consider your own prosperity and longevity first. Ultimately, don’t make large decisions based on pleasure in the present.