In today’s world of Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel and countless other dating applications, it can be easy to fall into the trap of constantly swiping left or right in hopes of finding “bae.” Newly released, Harvard’s list of things to do in college includes dating: “Date someone: it’s harder than you think.” While dating can be an important aspect of a college experience, I do not think it is crucial to having a “complete” college experience.
To add some context to my own opinions, my parents met in college, began dating, married soon after graduating and have been happily married since then. I have friends who have stayed together with their partners from high school and have been able to maintain a long distance relationship. These relationships involve constant texting, messaging, Skyping and visits to each other’s campuses to sustain the relationship. Seems like a lot to do in addition to schoolwork and other on-campus commitments, but those in a long distance relationship say the positives such as emotional support outweigh the time commitment.
The emotional support that comes with dating someone can stem from other people and places. I personally get my emotional support from my friends and family, in particular from my best friend. Despite being at different schools, we are still able to support each other through texting and talking on the phone. I agree that emotional support is a definite plus of being a relationship; however, emotional support can come from other places.
I personally have not dated yet for various reasons. First, when I arrived at Wellesley, I had just broken up with my high school boyfriend, so I was not ready to start dating just yet. Second, while I did partake in dating applications as a joke, I did not see how any of them would lead to anything meaningful. Thirdly, I have just been too busy with schoolwork and other commitments.
Just because I have not dated does not mean I do not want to date someone. If I serendipitously meet a guy that I want to date, then I will date him. That being said, I do not think my college experience would be incomplete if I did not date anyone because I know that I can find sources of support and happiness through other outlets.
When I think about college, I think of it as a place and time to learn how to be independent, grow intellectually and cultivate friendships. I think society and the media are obsessed with relationships so much that is becoming ingrained in the psyche of college students. In today’s era of “Netflix and chill,” I honestly do not think that dating in the classical and possible archaic sense is easily accessible to the majority of college students.
For some of my friends, college has been the place where future spouses have been found. Others have dabbled in dating applications and have gone on a few dates from those encounters, but nothing really concrete has happened. Some, like me, have not dated yet.
Finally, there are some that came into college with a significant other from high school. All of these friends are happy in their own way, with or without a partner. While it seems like dating in college makes or breaks a collegiate experience, I disagree. I think that dating in college can enrich one’s experience but it certainly is not pivotal in having a great college experience.