What I learned from staying single in college

In a few months time I will be graduating from college, completely and utterly single. Like many, when I first started college I was wide-eyed and nervous. I dreamt of bumping into my perfect match, the two of us colliding in a flawless moment whilst simultaneously realizing that we share a variety of common interests, perhaps in Economics 101 or on a crisp autumn day in the quad?

I realize that of course this was only a fantasy, shaped by romantic comedies and Hollywood dramas. And the closest my reality ever got to anything near this daydream was an awkward collision, at the end of a tutorial, when I nearly knocked my crush in the face whilst putting on my leather jacket as I clumsily rushed out of the room. Nonetheless, I am still a hopeless romantic. I know one day I’ll find that match. But I have discovered that being single for all of college taught me a lot about myself.

It’s OK to be selfish sometimes

During college you go through periods of self-doubt and questioning. What do I want to do when I graduate? Who am I? Or what do I want to achieve in life? Sure, many of these questions will remain unanswered even after graduation, but by being single during college it allows you to focus on what it is that YOU want to achieve. Being single during this period of my life taught me that sometimes it is perfectly okay to be selfish.

Free time is precious

It is no secret that being in a relationship is a huge commitment. But sometimes during college you find you barely have any free time as it is. As a singleton in college, I had the freedom to spend the time doing the things that I enjoy. You can take those evening graphic design classes, guitar lessons or attend book club meetings, without feeling guilty about not spending that time with your significant other. Being in a couple has its benefits, of course, but it was pretty nice to head out on my own adventure, or one witha  group of friends, rather than waiting around for anyone else.

Being single makes it easier to focus on schoolwork

Obviously grades are an important and fundamental part of college life. Yet, it can often feel like a stretch trying to balance friends, family and work with your study commitments. Romantic relationships require a huge amount of your time and effort. Both physically and emotionally, they can be a huge distraction from your academic work. However, being single during college made it easier to focus on my grades.

Not paying for two means you save that money

Dating is costly.Studying is like a full-time job, which means that even if you do have a job you will usually be working part-time. Consequently, money is likely to be tight. But being single during college taught me that saving during this period is possible. Being single means you don’t have to worry about spending that extra $50 celebrating an anniversary with your significant other but instead can put any additional funds into your savings. And then when you do have an anniversary to celebrate, you have that much more of a fund to put towards it.

Learning how to be alone is important

Being alone, especially during college, can be awkward, lonely and hard. But being single during college taught me how to appreciate my own company, especially at such an unrestrained and tumultuous period in my life.

Looking back over my three years at college I realize that by being single I have been able to focus on creating the best version of myself. I’ve also been able to improve my self-confidence, learnt the art of independence and discovered the traits and morals that shape my beliefs and goals. Also being single meant that I was able to improve and solidify my existing relationships with my friends and family.

It’s totally normal and okay to be single during college. During this time you are allowed to experiment, discover and learn new things and being single definitely makes that a lot easier. And that grand romance? It can still happen. It might be just around the corner.

[Image via Universal Pictures]

Filed Under