There are two things that permeate through just about every perception of college: partying and hooking up. Of course, it's the hope that we're all here for some high quality education, but the freedom associated with being on our own definitely leads to plenty of things that are a little less on the educational side. There's nothing wrong with this; as long as you can be responsible it's great to enjoy yourself on the social scene. I've met amazing people who go crazy on the weekends and equally amazing individuals who'd rather stay in reading a book or watching a movie. Everyone has the right to find their own personal balance amongst the newness of freshman year. My personal decision is that I'm avoiding the hookup scene with everything I have.
Why? I'm in a long-term, long-distance relationship. And it's worth it. I know what you're thinking - people are often told to avoid going to college with any commitments, but I've happily ignored that advice. My boyfriend is my best friend, and for over two years he has shown me every day how important I am to him. I'm not going to throw that away just because I'm in a new place a little further away. I'm definitely not going to give up an honest, comfortable love for the potential thrill of a hookup.
I have no problem with people indulging in the collegiate hookup scene around me. I believe everyone has a right to their own decisions. That's why it's important for me that people are willing to understand and respect my personal choices. I want to have fun, and branch out, and meet a multitudes of new, wonderful people - but not at the expense of my best friend. Not at the price of losing one of the most important people in my life. My boyfriend is respectful, supportive, and encouraging. He wants the best for me and I want the best for him, and if keeping him in my life means I "miss out" on a little piece of the college experience, it doesn't bother me at all.
A large part of college is about finding ourselves, figuring out where we are now and where we want to go. For some people this exploration means being with many different people and experimenting with many different things. For some it means quiet introspection. And still for others it might mean something entirely different. The best part is that none of these methods are wrong; we are all unique, diverse individuals, and we all have a right to make our own unique, diverse decisions. No one should be able to tell you how your college experience "should" be because it's your life and you get to make it what you want and how you want it. That's the beauty of being on our own.
I'm avoiding the hookup scene because nothing a one night stand could give me would ever compare to what I already have with my best friend - but some people have reasons to indulge in the very thing I'm going without. It's my personal belief that we should fully consider every piece of advice we're given, but still not be afraid to ignore the ones that we know won't work for us. I think it's important that we're all aware of the varying perspectives of the individuals around us, and that we're respectful of the decisions they make. We're adults, and we need to be mature.
At the end of the day, everyone finds what they're looking for in different ways.
Lead image credit to Kolehiyo.