Lauren Smith, Staff Writer

The four years we spend in college are all about inventing ourselves, not just into the professional we want to be one day, but the human being we’ve always imagined.

We learn more about ourselves, how much we can take, who our friends are and about our strengths and weaknesses in college than we ever will during the remainder of our life span. During a time so crucial to our own development and growth, many question if maintaining romantic relationships in college is a good idea.

As someone who managed to keep up their GPA all throughout college, had a suitable social circle, was in a relationship the majority of her college career and is now engaged to the love of her life before graduation, I say it is more than a good idea. Although the upkeep of a romantic relationship throughout college, on top of the millions of responsibilities students already have to endure had its drawbacks, I wouldn’t change a single second of it for all the essay extensions or BuckStop points in the world.

Some believe that getting the true college experience includes not settling and experimenting with as many men/women as possible. From my own experience, I learned a lot more about myself and the kind of person I should be with, by allowing myself to have serious relationships. These relationships challenged me, taught me to be selfless and always remember that there is another person in my life who is affected by the decisions I make.

Many people steer away from serious relationships at the college age because of how much we individually change during this time and the likelihood of staying together decreases. This is true, and my relationships that didn’t work out were mostly because of how much we had changed and we wanted different things in our own lives. However, I wouldn’t go back and change these relationships for anything because what they taught me about myself and what I needed in a partner ultimately led me into the arms of my soul mate.

I’m not saying every relationship you have in college will end in growing apart and disaster, because there are also numerous college relationships that end in marriage, mine included. Who knows, the person in your class that you’ve had your eye on for a while could potentially be the love of your life! As much I’d like to sit here and say that college relationships are for everyone, I’m going to sit here and say that college relationships actually aren’t for everybody.

I believe the ability to maintain a happy and mutually beneficial relationship in college can also to be based on personality types and maturity levels. There are some fiercely independent people out there that are so focused on all the things they are doing in their own lives that they couldn’t possibly devote the time and energy it requires to keep a partner happy, and that really is okay!

If you can acknowledge that you are enjoying working on nobody but yourself and your day-to-day schedule really does not leave time for somebody else, then waiting for the right time and the right person may be the best way to go.

There are also those that openly accept that they enjoy experimenting with different people and aren’t ready to settle down with just one yet, and that is okay too! I believe it’s better to acknowledge and accept this rather than committing to somebody you know you aren’t ready for. College is about learning about who you really are, so embrace it and know when you are and aren’t ready to devote yourself to another human being.

Overall, I found my relationships in college were rewarding and even fun! If someone were to ask me for my advice about the subject, I’d tell them to always give love a chance.

It could either turn out to be a learning experience that takes you another step closer to your soul mate, or end in your happily ever after.


Photo courtesy of Wyatt Fisher via Creative Commons