Navigating Your Love Life in College

Author: Grace I., ’23

College is one of the few places where you get to live extremely close to the people who are very similar to you, but also very different from you at the same time. Most college students fall in the same age range, and they all tend to be intellectually curious, although in different areas. However, there are some differences between them, too: backgrounds, interests and aspirations, standards they hold themselves to, and so on. Although college students are factually different, they influence each other a lot. Knowing that many of your friends frequently eat at Chipotle might make you think that everyone likes, or at least goes to, Chipotle, while that might not be the case… and the same goes with your love life. Knowing that many of your college friends are in relationships might sometimes make you feel like everyone is dating, but again, that’s not true.

Many people say that college is a place to explore everything that one may want to do, and I totally agree with that statement. However, what I don’t advise myself and can’t advise anyone to do is exploring something because of peer pressure or because of the desire to fit in. There is nothing wrong at all with being single in college. There is absolutely nothing wrong about going on your very first official date in college or getting into a relationship with or getting engaged to someone if you really love them and they love you back, too. Note that I’m stressing really because whatever it is you decide to do must have a genuine reason.

So, is there a single way that every student should lead their love life in college? No, I don’t think so. What I do think, however, is that college is one of the major places where people get to discover who they really are. So, your love life in college shouldn’t be black and white because I believe there’s more to discover from the gray area. You might discover that you don’t want to engage in any romantic relationships in your college career, and that’s okay. Just don’t feel pressured to find someone or break up with them because you want to go with what everyone else, or at least the majority, “seem” to be doing. Whatever it is you discover about yourself, hold tight to it confidently. Do you prefer singleness? Find joy in that. Is it dating? Enjoy every single second of it. Is it eventually an engagement ring or a marriage? Have a total blast.

Whatever it is, know that the Rice community will be with you every step of the way. If you need any relationship advice whether it is to start, maintain, or terminate a relationship, please don’t hesitate to call Rice Wellbeing and Counselling Center at 713-348-3311 (24/7) or talk to your college magisters, friends, family, or anyone else who you would be comfortable talking to.