4 Actually Helpful Tips For Dating In College That'll Make Your Life Way Easier

Picture a young woman on her way to college, excited and nervous for what's to come. She was never allowed to date in high school (not that there was anyone worth dating there), so she readies herself for the world of dating possibilities at her new campus. Spoiler alert: The young woman was me, and I sucked at dating in college. I was completely overwhelmed at all the potential baes, but perhaps if I had some helpful tips for dating in college, I might've handled it better. Hopefully, you can fare better than I did with the help of these expert-approved tips.

Dating in college can feel like an entirely new playing field. There are literally thousands of single cuties out there, and no matter what you're looking for out of a relationship, you're bound to have some fun meeting new people. On top of that, when you first arrive to college, you'll probably feel like an actual adult for the first time in your life. You get to make your own decisions and choices about so much that it makes sense dating would be another new territory to feel overwhelmed by.

"College dating is different due to time!" professional dating coach Nina Rubin tells Elite Daily. "Many college students live in dorms or apartments and get to make choices with their time. Their parents are not looking at their every move, so dating in college offers more independence and freedom."

So, how can you make the most of all that newfound freedom when it comes to dating? According to Rubin, it's fairly simple.

1. Be Receptive To Meeting People

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There are tons of new people to meet in college. They might not all be lifelong friends, but you never know if the person sitting next to you in class will be your life partner or your forever best friend. For this reason, try not to shut anyone out unless they give you a reason to. Not everyone will be your type, but college is also a great time to learn what your "type" really is (or to abandon your "type" all together). "Be open to dating new people whom you may not normally think you’d date or meet under other circumstances," Rubin says.

Don't turn someone down just because they aren't the "type" of person you would normally date. College is all about trying new things, after all.

2. Remember To Stay Friends

If you go out with someone who you can't see yourself dating long-term, "develop friendship with your dates," Rubin suggests. If nothing else, it's nice to have plenty of friends in college you can go out with, watch games with, study with, or even lean on when life gets stressful. Friendships can make your huge campus feel a little smaller.

3. Keep Your Values At Heart

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College is a time of self-discovery, and you might really get to know yourself and what you want from a relationship while you're there. And while you might feel yourself changing as time passes, keep in mind that you don't have to compromise your values. "Know yourself and your values," Rubin says. "Speak up if something doesn’t feel right to you."

4. Remember That You Don't *Have* To Date

Finally, if you aren't ready to date or simply don't want to, you do not have to. It really is that simple. You can absolutely be single and happy in college, so don't let the pressure of being in a relationship get to you. "Know you don’t have to have a girlfriend or boyfriend to be happy," Rubin explains. You might just find that when you stop looking, you'll find someone special.

Dating in college doesn't have to be an overwhelming nightmare. There are so many people on campus, you're bound to find someone with whom you share qualities and desires. And if you find that there aren't, try to remember that college is only the beginning of the rest of your life. You've got plenty of time. Now, go tailgate.