by Nikki T
Michigan State University
College is all about finding yourself. It’s about experimenting, figuring out what you like and what you don’t, who your true friends are, what kind of people you’re attracted to, what your interests are. It’s about drinking too much and hooking up and learning lessons, figuring out how to stay afloat financially and academically, discovering what you’re good at, what you’re terrible at, so on and so forth. If this isn’t how you do college, you aren’t doing it right, right? If you’re tied down to someone then you can’t actually do all of these things and live the “real” college experience, right?
Think again. I’m twenty-two years old, recently graduated, and engaged. I don’t have a permanent job lined up, I live out of a suitcase bouncing from my apartment to my fiancé’s to my parents’ house, and I’m just about flat-broke. Am I scared? Yes. Do I regret going through college with a boyfriend and getting engaged before even getting a job? Hell no.
My boyfriend (now fiancé) and I started dating as kids in middle school. We went through high school dating on-and-off, and the same through four years of college at different schools. Sure, we broke up long enough to do the “get drunk and hook up with someone because I can” thing, but it didn’t last long at all. I didn’t feel tied down then (and I don’t now), and I’m perfectly okay with not having the “real” college experience that my friends say I should’ve had. But what I have trouble understanding is who decided what the “real” college experience is supposed to be anyways? Why is it such a bad thing to be “tied down” to someone? And why isn’t it socially acceptable to tell somebody at the bar, “sorry, I have a boyfriend/girlfriend” without being called a b!tch or prude?
Maybe you’re that person who feels like having a relationship in college is a waste of time, and maybe you’re that person who can’t stand being around couples or people who are in relationships. But if you’re a part of the less popular college crowd, the long-term-relationship-goers, and are settling down at a young age or thinking about doing so, here are 5 reasons that make it all worth it:
1.) We Know We’ve Got A Good Thing
So many times throughout college I listened to my friends cry over all the guys they barely knew, but were always getting into bed with. And so many times I heard them leaving drunk half-crying, half-hiccupping voicemails for the guys who never called back. As for me, and you if you’re lucky, I was perfectly content drunk calling my boyfriend while eating Jimmy John’s in bed and laughing at my hiccups so hard I was crying.
2.) You Grew Up Together
I don’t mean from toddlers to teenagers, even though in my case that’s kind of true, but I mean in college. You both entered college as scared, dumb, naïve freshmen. You failed classes, drank too much Burnett’s, had anxiety attacks over unclear futures and spent a lot of time apart. You broke up, hooked up, made up, cheated on, hated and loved each other. You learned and matured from those experiences together.
3.) We’ve Been There, Done That
Okay, so obviously you haven’t mastered all of the obstacles that will eventually come our way, nobody has. But you’ve been through a hell of a lot and manage to make it out alive. You’ve been through petty break-ups, fights, cheating, death, illness, accidents, and crazy family occurrences. But each of those things made you stronger. How sappy.
4.) Nobody Else Compares
That sounds cheesy, but it’s true. That doesn’t mean that we don’t find other people attractive, it just means that even when we do see someone attractive we know they still aren’t as good as what we’ve got at home. People change a lot both physically and mentally, and to find someone that you love and who reciprocates that through all of the changes, both good and bad, is worth keeping around.
5.) The Time Spent Together Wasn’t Wasted
While we could have been waking up next to strangers, going on blind dates, getting someone’s number from the bar or making out with a new friend on the dance floor, we were making memories that we will always look back on and be thankful for. College is where you find yourself, and if you’re lucky enough to be able to do that with your man/woman by your side, then that is time well spent.