Going into my freshman year of college, I really wanted a boyfriend.
In retrospect, I think it was a defense mechanism because I was so terrified of making new friends. I was so close to my friends from home that there was a part of me that genuinely thought making any new friends was sort of cheating on the ones I already had.
So, I decided I would focus my attention on boys instead.
I met someone at a party my third night of college. We had our first kiss the night we met, and we were pretty inseparable for the next month or so.
From hanging out and watching TV in each other's rooms to meeting in the dining hall for every meal, we spent more than enough time together.
Then, slowly but surely, things started fizzling out between us, and I started realizing I had invested literally no energy into making friends of my own.
Any parties I knew about were parties he knew about, too. Any friends I had were friends he had, too.
We had paved a (short-lived) life for ourselves in college that revolved around us as a couple, not as individuals.
I was sad things didn't work out between us at the time, mostly because I was so scared of how I would go about navigating college without him.
But then we officially broke things off, and you know what happened? I was fine.
At first — I'm not going to lie — I was upset and a little lost on what to do on my own. But then, I started making friends with people because I liked them. And I started going to parties because I thought they were going to be fun, and the dining hall because I was hungry and felt like it.
You get the picture: I started living my life by my own rules.
A day doesn't go by that I'm not so incredibly happy it didn't work out between me and my potential freshman year boyfriend.
Here are four reasons you shouldn't have a boyfriend freshman year of college, either:
1. Freshman year is your time to figure out where you fit on campus.
Maybe you're really into drama, so you can go to an improv club meeting. Maybe you were just made for Greek life, so you can rush.
Maybe you were made to be an honor student, so you can hit the library. Maybe you were made to just party without any concern for anyone or anything else, so you can rage your face off.
Maybe you were meant to do all of the above, so go DO IT! No one is stopping you.
The point is, freshman year is your chance to figure out what you want to do.
Once you've figured that out, sure, date someone. But, don't commit to spending all of your time with someone who maybe likes to hang out in a world you don't necessarily want to be a part of before you find out what you life.
2. It's a time to establish a new routine.
You're in a new place filled with new people, and you have way more free time than you've ever had.
In high school, your life was structured. You were in school taking classes from 8 am to 3 pm. Then, you probably had some sort of sport or extracurricular until 6 pm. Then you went home, had dinner, talked on the phone with some friends, and did your homework.
In college, your schedule (besides classes) is filled with a lot more open space for you to fill in for yourself. You should spend it wisely, and not all with one person.
3. Freshman year is your time to make new friends.
Take it from me: You don't want to be the girl who breaks up with her boyfriend senior year of college only to realize she never made any friends of her own.
And trust me, there will be plenty of versions of that girl by the time your final year rolls around.
Even if you really like this guy you've been hooking up with, do your best to keep things light and casual until you've really built some solid friendships for yourself.
Boyfriends will come and go, but those friends are the ones who are going to last you forever.
4. It's your first chance to really embrace your independence.
I'm not saying being in a relationship throughout your time in college is a huge mistake, but I do think freshman year is such an awesome time for you to really do your own thing and figure everything out for YOURSELF.
It's your first chance to really do whatever you want without having to report back to anyone. It's your first taste of pure, unadulterated FREEDOM.
Do you really want to jump into a codependent relationship right now?
You've never been truly on your own before. Up until this moment, your life has been spent living by the rules of teachers and parents and coaches.
Now is your chance to do whatever in the world your little heart desires without reporting back to anyone.
Make the most of it. Take some time to figure out what makes YOU happy, and do it.