It took a year and a half to realize that bringing a boyfriend to college was hands-down the worst decision that I’ve ever made.
Rewind to me, a short, stubborn, outgoing, *future potential new member*, the summer before my freshman year at college. I was on a mission. I was dead set to connect my name to anyone who could likely turn out to be a popular fraternity guy. So naturally, I took to Tinder. Talk about setting my sights high. After many swipes to the left, I landed a boy who had just rushed at my school and received not one, but TWO bids. He picked what was considered to be a “good” house and he had the attitude to match. I liked his confidence and he played lacrosse so yeah, I was trying to date — and as expected, I succeeded.
It came time to leave for sorority recruitment and then for school to start. I had accepted a bid to the house of my dreams and we thought nothing could stop us — we were the ultimate Greek power couple. We walked around Greek Town and I knew we were Blair and Chuck Bass of our school. I imagined growing old together, dutifully painting coolers while he sat reading TFM like the Bible. It was every sorority girl’s dream. Everyone knew when I went missing I could be found at his fraternity house. I bonded with all of the other girlfriends who were around his house, befriended his house mom, and even hung out with his friends. I habitually ran around his fraternity house at 2 a.m. on Tuesday nights wearing nothing but a big T-shirt. But it was okay because I was basically part of the chapter. I had the perfect freshman experience from the cooler that I painted for his formal to the matching Mickey and Minnie Mouse outfits we wore for my dynamic duos social.
And then he dropped me. The text came completely unexpectedly on a Friday afternoon.
“You probably already know this, but we’re done.”
I froze in the library. I had no idea what it was like to be single in college. Where would I go when I needed to escape my dorm? Who would pick me up and take me to get ice cream? I realized I had wasted the best year and a half of my life. My first thought was to text his roommate, who had become one of my best friends.
I received the generic, “I’m sorry. Have a good semester,” and knew our friendship had ended just like that.
It was already into my sophomore year and the only friends I had belonged to him. His fraternity brothers, their girlfriends, his roommates — everything was gone. And there I was, emotionally unavailable for the rest of my sophomore year. When I wasn’t making the two hour drive home on the weekends, I was trying to make up for all the lost time that people had already been using to establish friend groups. I had to make all new friends, find a boy, and get my life together. And I had about .5 seconds to do it because I had a social coming up.
It wasn’t until I came home for the summer and had fully gotten over the pain of being alone that I realized how much I regretted having a boyfriend in college. Once I was single, even though not initially by choice, I realized how many people I had straight up blown off. When a guy from the gym had told me he had tried to get to know me multiple times and I had shut him down, I felt horrible. He had always been in my peripheral vision but I had been blinded be the “sorry, I have a boyfriend” mentality. I didn’t even give him an opportunity to be my friend. I had ignored actual chances to date really good guys who wouldn’t dump me over text message or stand me up for their yacht parties 20 minutes before it started. Not only that, but I realized I didn’t even try to make friends because I was so secure with the fantasy I had with Josh. I didn’t realize that I had to be my own person. I didn’t even know what kind of music I liked at that point. He had always made me listen to this horrible oldies channel on the radio, and I had grown accustomed to it. My friends were all to the point where they were settling down and I was still stuck trying to make up for freshman year fun that I missed.
Bringing a boyfriend to college honestly felt like a security blanket. I knew there was one person that I could run to when I got lost on campus, I had his fraternity house to escape to, and I had an automatic date to socials. I enjoyed knowing that I had my sisters and his brothers to go to for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Everyone is scared for college and I know that I was, so having Josh automatically on my side was such a relief. When I no longer needed that security, I was left with a relationship that honestly ended up falling to pieces, anyway. Josh did me a favor.
Even though it’s now junior year and my friends are either falling in love, getting married, or just starting relationships, I’m so thankful that I was forced to experience college exposed and alone. Starting over was hard but now I’ve realized everything I was missing. I have made some of the best friends I will ever have in just the past semester alone, all because I put myself out there.
While I’m definitely famous for being a salty single at times, this is my time to be selfish, focus on me, and get the best grades that I can. This summer, when I wanted to travel, I didn’t have to tell anyone what I was doing — I could just get in the car and go. I didn’t have to make time for a relationship or have to do distance for a summer because I just did whatever I wanted to do. One day, it was going to a concert and the next it was locking myself in my apartment and binge watching 30 Rock. I wasn’t accountable to anyone for anything and it was so liberating. It was so hard to put myself out there after I lost everything but I think that I am a much stronger, independent, and happy woman because of it..
This featured image is a stock photo from our database. The people photographed are not in any way associated with the story.