Originally published on CUIndependent.com on Aug. 26 2016
Beyond the pressure of grades, friends, jobs and whatever else you’re juggling, there is always the hope and curiosity toward meeting the person who may be the love of your life in college.
Here are the five must-read tips on getting that much closer to finding love.
- Change your outlook
It’s easy to enter college with preconceived notions on what your time might look like. And once you’re there, it’s not so easy to shift those ideas.
Do your best to do it anyway, especially when it comes to finding love.
Your love is not necessarily the president of your favorite fraternity, the barista who remembers your drink order at your local coffee shop or the guy that helps you up from your first bike accident.
Your love IS the guy who inspires those feelings, however your paths may cross.
Work toward dropping your idyllic standards and choose to have an open mind!
- Don’t change yourself
College is a major growing experience. You are always changing and evolving, and these four years away from home is THAT on steroids.
What stays the same or changes around you is out of your control. The sooner you accept that and realize that your reactions and behaviors are the only things you can manage, the rest can start to look a little brighter.
You bring an extraordinary version of yourself when you get to college, and throughout your time you will learn what parts need work and which need sustaining.
Remember that including someone romantic in your life isn’t about being who they need you to be, but how you can grow together in order to bring out the best in each other.
- The hook-up culture hoax
The rumors are true — college is a hotbed for sexual activity. But that doesn’t mean it’s a necessity, nor does it mean it’s wrong, and it also doesn’t guarantee it’s for you.
We’ve all had the sparkly kiss where feelings weren’t returned — or at least not a phone call — and these moments can insight a lot of self-doubt.
Stop right there. Just because hook-up culture exists in college, doesn’t mean it’s where you’re messing up.
There is nothing wrong with getting down on the beer-stricken dance floor or the over-crowded bar. But there is somehow a lot of emphasis on what will grow from that, and that is often disappointing.
Don’t sell yourself short. Your soul mate is not necessarily the drunken guy you tongue tied with. It’s easy to forget that he could also be in your classes, in your dorm or in your neighborhood.
Hook-ups may feel exclusive to the party scene, but it doesn’t mean that the man of your dreams is.
- There are no givens
A lot is expected, but nothing is a given. Nothing is as obvious, promising or perfect in the stars, although it might seem to be clear to you.
This doesn’t mean you should give up.
You are unique, brilliant, exquisite and there is no one quite like you. You are deserving. Anyone would be lucky to share time with you. This is all true. Now, pinky promise you won’t forget it.
Despite the facts, love in college is not a guarantee. It’s a harsh reality, but you need to hear it.
Opportunity in college, however, never goes away. This is exciting! Every day you have the opportunity to meet someone new, learn something that inspires you, see a new sight, make your next best friend and explore the possibility of falling in love.
It turns out what they tell you at orientation is true, anything can happen over the years you spend on campus.
- There isn’t one, so stop waiting
Here’s the good news and the bad news all wrapped into one — there just isn’t one way to meet the love of your life in college.
Love is not your calculus homework, it’s not your go-to sandwich order, not the boots you outgrew or the heels that fit just right. It’s not cut and dry, and it’s definitely not simple.
Everyone’s experience is different, and yours will come along. The sooner you stop wishing and waiting for love to satisfy you, the sooner you’ll be ready for it.
Channel your energy into loving yourself.
You are as great as it gets, and when you start believing that, it radiates! You must be the love of your own life before you can truly find someone to share that with.
Love with another can come and go, but the love that you build with yourself is everlasting.