Hey loves! It’s no secret, I’ve spent most of my college career so far as a single human being. And to be completely honest, that’s the way I like it. I have so many things I want to get done in my 4 years at Loyola, and I’ve discovered that dating right now takes time away from things I love.
I’m also a CRAZY busy person during the school year, so finding time to hangout with someone means I have to cut time from something else-homework, blog stuff, clubs, or freelance work.
I like to stay single in college. I’m happy with where I am as a person right now. I know I’m still growing, and I haven’t quite figured out who I am yet. And on top of that, I know some day I will figure all of that out. That version of me will be more than ready to take on the dating world. For now, I’m happily single.
Kristina approached me about doing a guest post on how to stay single in college. After reading her post, I couldn’t agree more with her points. This article is about you. It’s about self love. It’s about finding yourself first before you try and be the other half of someone else.
This is a long one, but an awesome read, so grab a cup of coffee or tea, a favorite blanket or pillow, and stay a while.
I love college more than any other stage of my life. I didn’t attend college because I wanted any degree or academic achievement. Of course, we’d be proud of ourselves to have reached such goals. What makes college important is that it’s when most of us need to be seriously thinking about what we want to do with our lives.
“What do you want to do with your life?”
Haven’t we all been asked that question? When I was confronted about my goals and aspirations, I couldn’t give a straight answer.
I hope you did. I hope you know what you really want right now. If not, let’s all wish we know what we’re asking for. What are you doing with your life? If you are single and in college, consider yourself lucky. Not everyone gets to have enough time for themselves. If you have been in a string of relationships and can’t live without one, I’d tell you to slow down and get a breath of fresh air.
But I’m not your mother. Neither is Haley. This is only girl talk.
Before you read this little guide, remember that this is about YOU. Not about you not being attached to anyone. Just you.
Here are things to remember if you want to stay single in college:
1. I am beautiful all by myself and nothing can stop me.
You need to know what goes on inside of your mind and take care of every part of your body. Taking care of ourselves is not all for vanity. The favorite sister of self-love is self-respect.
We are what we eat—junk or healthy?
We are how much we drink—just enough or wasted?
I’m a big fan of spicy potato chips and french fries but one day, I realized that I’d rather be eating proper than processed. The problem is, healthier meals can be more expensive. But for us girls, if there’s a will then there’s always a way.
And no, this is not about being fat or skinny. You can be any body shape or size and be beautiful inside out. What you can’t be is unhealthy.
I don’t know if you do this but try to look at your reflection every chance you get. It could be on a puddle, glass wall or your phone’s front cam. Don’t worry if anyone calls you a narcissist. Shower, look presentable and if you’re wearing any makeup, make sure it’s all in place.
And if you are tempted to think about that ex who broke your heart, remember that you’ve wasted enough mascara to ever waste tears over him again.
2. Focus on your goal.
When we try to hit two birds with one stone, only one gets hit and the other flies away. What do you want most? You will get it in the future but for the present, it’s work work work for us and some fun in between.
I’ll ask again—what do you want?
Make a list and divide it into smaller lists: the most important, the easiest, and the ones that need to get done the soonest. Tape it to your mirror, your wall, or wherever you can see it as soon as you wake up. Nothing keeps us focused than a good reminder in the mornings. If you are a scatterbrain like me, use an app.
3. Seize the romance but do it for YOU.
We love in different ways. We love by appreciating beauty. A cup of coffee, good sushi, and Adele. The restful weekend with cold but cozy rainy days that keep you in the dorm. Two lovers laughing and holding hands while walking. You don’t envy them or you may, but seeing them makes you happy. Isn’t life wonderful?
Then there is that guy on a bench reading Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. You hope he is enjoying that book because you’ve read it and if not, it’s a good reason to ask him if he likes it. You can be friends or you can sleep with him but still remain single. It’s a choice.
Yes, it’s flirting. And in a sexy, intelligent way too.
What if you fall for someone? Friend zone yourself before they do. If you both like each other that much, ask yourself again if it’s really worth the compromises you’ll have to make being in college and in a relationship at the same time. The difference between the two is, college is the challenge you face and the learning ground for your future. A relationship is a part of you, like your own heart or all of it and makes the most passionate of your emotions work which makes you unable to focus when pressure get intense. In short, it’s a massive distraction.
So, what do you want?
4. Learn to be happy being alone.
Maybe having someone to cuddle with and talk to when you desperately need someone to listen has been your comfort zone. It’s not bad but it won’t help us grow. We need to be able to learn being on our own to see how important it is.
For some of us, there will come a time when we forget how to live the single life. We get too emotionally dependent on other people—our best friend, boyfriend, parents and even our followers on social media. We’re not telling you to quit posting, or to avoid all these people. Sometimes, your best support is YOU.
When was the last time you did something for yourself?
When are you going to do something alone for the first time?
I love to write about my feelings and discoveries in a journal. Thoughts usually come when I’m taking a cab on the way to the city. I think of anything and suddenly memories make sense, questions are answered and new questions are born. Sometimes I wake up thinking or go to sleep wondering just about anything. In college, we don’t have time to be thinking about negative things. We stay positive because we want that treasure at the other edge of the rainbow. And while we see that our glasses are half-full, it’s a long way to go to the finish line.
You just need solitude. Some serene space even only if in your mind for a few moments. People are nice to hang out with but you need yourself more than anyone.
Listen to your soul. You are your soul. You are your beauty. And if you can’t sit with yourself contemplating your life, it’s something you need to work on.
5. Do what you love.
You may be thinking of doing someone and there is nothing wrong about that. But exploring about things you love to do is essential in being an independent woman in college. Read more, listen more, and travel more.
You will find yourself inspired. Never be insensitive to everything that comes to you. If you can love yourself, you can love more. Pour it all in a poem, a painting or a soup you’ve learned to cook.
There must be something that you love to do. Whatever it is, don’t lose interest. If it’s a strong passion for sports, finance, film or writing, keep it. You need that in your character. You have to stay loyal to yourself for love.
6. But first, believe in yourself.
I would. In fact, I do. Being born in this world is amazing and so much more if you grow up to be the person you want to be.
This is a tough phase. We might find ourselves on the wrong side of the bed or wake up not knowing how we got there. We could be falling in and out of love or dreaming of someone to date but no one’s coming. Or, we could always wake up smiling, deciding that from now on we will have positive expectations and deal with unexpected things in a brighter disposition. It’s all in the mind. That’s where the power is.
Being single doesn’t only mean that you shouldn’t be in a relationship. It means that you are whole without someone else. It’s not easy.
Yes, you can be strong. You have no time to be weak in college. You are after that career you want.
Again—what do you want?
And you can be single. Try.
Kristina Antonio is a poet, mother, bookeater and blogger learning the art of slow living in the Philippines. She prefers to start the day writing before 5 a.m. and vows to eat healthy and learn to swim before she turns thirty.Her favorite things to see are ocean shades of blue, her daughter’s mermaid drawings and sunshine on her bed in the morning.