Home » Relationships » It’s Okay to Be Noncommittal in University! Here’s Why

Fellow single-tons, you’ve heard it before; “you have the rest of your life to look for ‘the one,’ and settle down.” And the idea holds true. But you’ve also heard these:

Do you think you’ll find a date for your plus one at so-and-so’s wedding?

Is there a special someone joining us for Christmas dinner?

How is a girl (or guy) like you single?

Sometimes, it seems like it’s everyone’s duty to make me feel like an “other” from LOST because I don’t know whom I plan to commit to for life everlasting. Reality check: I’m 21 years old and I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner tonight, much less who I’m going to dedicate myself to for the rest of my life. And I’ve come to realize, as these four years at university come to an end, that I’m happy that the scary unknown of singlehood is an affluent part of my life. So chins up, single-tons, here’s my motivation to you about why you’re doing something right if you celebrated this Valentine’s Day with Chinese takeout (I did).

The selfish years

It’s easy to feel like everybody is passing you by when your Instagram feed is filled with baby bumps and engagement rings. So, good for them; wish them the best as they enjoy their new blessings and relations. And realize that they are missing out on some important things, too. They are missing out on what we call the “selfish years.”

“The Selfish Years.” It’s a magical time to live and learn about your own being. It’s okay to resent the feeling at first, but it’s something that every student should embrace. You have the rest of your life to be selflessly committed to your spouse and children and cats and ugly lawn ornaments. But now? Now is all about you.

In your early twenties, you’re changing. A lot. You’re not the same person when you’re 22 as you are when you’re 32. My cousin said the other day,

If I married my college boyfriend, we would be divorced today… because I’ve changed as I’m sure he has, too.

You should allow yourself to learn and grow during your short four years at university. Developing is a part of growing up. As a young adult, it’s important to embrace the freedom of being whoever you want to be and doing what you want to do. You’re not living with your parents anymore, so you don’t have to be home by 1:30 like you did when you were 17.  You don’t have to call and check-in. You don’t even have to go to class if you don’t want to. Why would you trade one ball-and-chain for another?

You shouldn’t. You should recognise that dating and meeting new people helps you realise who you are and what you stand for. A relationship typically demands settling and compromising. Ahem, gross. The only thing you should settle for is a cheaper rack of Natural Light so that you can also purchase the beer pong balls. The only thing you should compromise is a good night’s sleep for that party you and your roommates have been talking about all week.

Time commitment

Now, let’s discuss the time commitment of being in a healthy relationship. Relationships demand time. Lots of it. Let’s say you are taking 15 hours of classes at a university. To be successful, let’s put aside 2 hours of homework time per week per class. That’s about 20 hours of homework a week, depending on your study techniques and work ethic. Now, let’s consider part-time jobs, clubs, and athletics. If you are involved in any of these, you can easily put aside 15 hours a week to dedicate to these obligations. And then there’s sleep. You need it. Alone. Good, deep sleep. The perfect eight hours is probably unreal anymore, but let’s allow six hours a night with a 30-minute nap between classes. That’s 45 ½ hours of just you and your pillow every week. Now, it’s hard to put a number on how much time you spend bathing and primping, but let’s go gender neutral and say 7 hours a week in hygiene and beautification (that’s a measly hour a day).

So now we have about 102 ½ hours a week that you used up for you time. You have 65.5 hours left in your week for freedom. That’s mealtime, gym time, friend time, whatever. Do you want to commit those hours to a relationship? Consider your partner; do they deserve the dog-tired version of you that just wants to chill out and play video games in your down time? College is arduous. Your relationship shouldn’t be comprised of the leftover persona of your day’s exhaustion.

Moving on. Your social life; it’s changing. Toga parties, fundraisers, fraternity events: you’re getting invites to something practically every night of the week. If you bring your significant other along to everything, the invites will dwindle. If you drop the sidekick and blow off your girlfriend to attend everything, you’re “like, the worst boyfriend, like, ever.” It’s hard to find balance, and a relationship demands it. Realise that, if you’re single, you don’t have to check with your guy before you hit “yes” on that Facebook e-vite.

So take the batteries out of that biological clock and stop feeling jealousy of your friends’ wedding boards on Pinterest. It’s okay to be single and just do you for a few years. A relationship, well, you can worry about that later.

Featured image from Jhoana Tamayo

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BIO
St. Louis bar fly. Cocktail waitress. Literature student. Caffeine enthusiast. Dog mom. I have a lot of thoughts. Tweet me @brookebearbear
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