Even though I wasn’t all that thrilled at the time, I am so happy now that I started college single.
My first two weeks of college were spent crying to my best friend about a boy. I had hoped that he and I would be able to make things work out, and that we would be dating by the time I got to school.
Obviously, my plans fell through. So I started college single, as I had been for the past 18 years, and very unimpressed.
Looking back now, though, only two years later, I am so incredibly grateful that I wasn’t in a relationship when I started school! There were so many opportunities and areas for self-discovery that I would have missed if I had been dating someone at that time.
Now, this post isn’t hating on high school sweethearts at all. I think those love stories are adorable and should be celebrated! Finding love when you’re young is such a blessing. That being said, this post is written with the assumption that if I had been dating in my first year, I would not have been one of those lucky 5% or so of high school couples who stayed together. I’m assuming we would have broken up, but I would have spent the first 6 to 10 months of my college life in a relationship that was going nowhere.
I also know that a lot of freshmen right now are going through breakups with high school boyfriends, or are more like me and feel intimidated entering a world of college kids when they’ve never been in a “real” relationship before. And this post is for them.
So here are the 9 reasons I’m happy I started college off as a single girl!
1. I was free to mingle
Since I was single going into college, I got to know absolutely everyone and there was no grey area of “is this OK?”. I met tons of great guys and hung out with them quite a bit. I went on coffee dates. I went to see movies. These are things that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I was in a relationship, and because of it I’ve made tons of great friends, and met my now husband!
2. I was free to change
College is a huge transition, and it changed who I am. If I had been in a relationship, I think that allowing myself to change would have been much more difficult, since my personal growth and how I changed would have affected not only me, but another person.
I was able to go into school with a completely clean slate. I didn’t have a boyfriend tying me to the “old” Becca, I was allowed to explore who I am without having to answer to anyone (except myself and my God), which is a gift I so value and treasure.
3. I learned how to be independent
Now, I don’t think this is impossible by any stretch of the imagination when you’re in a relationship. I have a friend who goes to school with me who’s dating her high school sweetheart long-distance and I am incredibly impressed with their relationship. They have stayed in contact and extremely close while still allowing the other to grow and have their own life. That, however, is very rare, and I know how hard it can be to not tie your entire identity to the relationship.
I learned how to just be Rebecca, completely independent of anyone else. My family lived in a different city, and I wasn’t anyone’s. I was just me.
4. I could be spontaneous
My life really just consisted of school, since I didn’t have date nights or skype dates waiting for me. You have no idea how many times I got texts saying “Hey, we’re all hanging out at (person)’s place! Want to drop by?” and it ended up turning into a hilarious all-nighter watching stupid shows or discussing politics and philosophy until the morning with a ton of wonderful people. I’m so happy that I had next to no commitments that first semester, because it was at one of those last minute hangouts that I first connected with Connor.
5. The odds were in my favour
Let’s be real here: there are way more Christian girls than Christian guys on this planet. Connor is extremely handsome, friendly, charming, and just overall wonderful (and that’s not entirely biased–I had definite competition). If I had been in a relationship, I may have missed my window to be with him, because I firmly believe some other girl would have stolen him away. Yes, I know often people believe that “if it’s meant to be it’ll work out!” but I don’t believe that. I think it’s a cop out–relationships take work even before you’re in them.
Listen, girls, the prince may have come looking for Cinderella, but she got herself to that ball.
Now, I don’t think that the entire point of college is finding a husband. But I am so grateful that I wasn’t so caught up with a guy from my past that I missed out on the great one in my present.
6. It gave me a chance to really focus on my faith
I am happy that Connor and I both had extremely solid and independently strong faith lives before we started going out, and I owe a lot of that to me being single when I started school (and all the years before that, to be honest). I learned how to rely on God, and how to force myself to follow him without anyone else keeping me accountable. I got myself to church, knowing full well that no one would be disappointed in me if I didn’t go. When I started going out with Connor it got much easier to motivate myself to do things like read my Bible and go to church because I knew he’d check up on me, but I am so glad that I learned how to motivate myself to do those things on my own first.
Being able to have an independent faith life makes it much easier later to not need your SO to carry you through your spiritual walk, but to be able to travel side-by-side!
To those of you who are in successful relationships with people you met before college: I am so happy for you. :) Life would certainly be easier if we could all be as lucky as you, that’s for sure! Let me know what some things are you and your SO do to make sure that you’re each able to grow and change together while you’re at college!
To those of you starting college single: I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you a very bright look on the opportunities available to you in this stage of your life!