Don’t hate my date

Alex Rios

When most young adults start college, parents and friends advise them not to get into a relationship for at least their first full year as freshmen. They are bombarded with reasons not to even date in college, like that their grades will go down, or they’ll forget to make friends. Or, anyone’s personal favorite, that they should enjoy meeting, talking to and going on single dates with lots of people. I’m not here to crush anyone’s spirits if they’re that freshman that wants to date lots of people and go out as much as possible. I am speaking out against those college students, adults or parents who shame those of us who did choose to date seriously in college.

When I got to college,  I went through sorority rush, finding my home in Alpha Phi. I grew as a new member, and enjoyed events relating to both Greek life and college in general. Then, in November of last year, I randomly met the guy who wound up becoming my first college boyfriend. At the beginning, it was hard balancing Greek life, school work and a significant other. I felt myself falling in love, but feeling like those comments my single peers made could someday be true. I decided to figure it out, and after almost 10 months, my boyfriend and I are still in a happy relationship.

Even if many people don’t believe this, I have grown as a person just by being with him. I have learned to two step, and I’ve (somewhat) learned to understand football.  I’ve learned how to have serious conversations, how to manage monthly money for dates and most of all, how to love someone and treat them the way they deserve to be treated. I am learning valuable lessons every day and, with the help of my boyfriend, finding out more about myself.

Some people will swear up and down that being in a relationship while in college holds you back. I strongly disagree. I was fortunate enough to meet an incredible man last November, and am even luckier to have the chance to experience life with him. Together we have experienced both beautiful moments and bumps on the road. But in the end, it’s worth it because It’s way more fun to live life with a significant other, especially one I consider a best friend.

Occasionally, I still get comments like “You’re in college, you should be having fun, not being committed to someone” or “You’ll end up breaking up after college.” I’m not going to lie, those snarky remarks hurt. But I’ve decided not to let people who don’t believe in my relationship the way that I do stay in my life. Just because I’m in a serious, committed relationship at 19 years old doesn’t mean I’ll miss out on Greek activities, get behind in school or get married any time soon. I’m planning to finish college, get my degree and start my career all before any sort of more serious commitment, such as marriage or kids. If you are in college, and you luckily meet someone who makes you happy, go for it. Date them. Cherish them. You can still have fun, even if you’re not single anymore.

Alex Rios is an English sophomore.