Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

“Everything changes.” – Professor River Song

Alright, so right off the bat you are probably wondering why I opened up my flagship art

icle with a Doctor Who quote.  To put it simply, there has never been a more appropriate time to use this than for College because LITERALLY EVERYTHING CHANGES.  Homework, classes, friends, life, and…DATING.  If you aren’t sure what this article is about after that last sentence allow me to spell it out for you. D-A-T-I-N-G.   More specifically your first college relationship!  This is going to be a tad weird, but I want to outline college dating and then proceed to explain the one end all be all rule of dating.

College dating has its ups and downs, I mean, you are in a whole new environment and it won’t be similar to high school in that you spend the majority of time with your significant other on the weekends. “No way!” is what I’m sure everyone is saying at this point to which I say, Yes Way!  The relationship is literally what you make of it. The key to a healthy college dating relationship is effort: the more effort you both put in, the greater the rewards will be down the road.

As freshmen you will be essentially required to mix with your hall and form those friendships, but almost always there will be that one person who catches your eye and you spend your nights pining over the thought of being with them. Fast forward a few weeks and you two are “facebook officially” dating. The time you spend with your newfound significant other will provide a fresh breath of excitement into college life because let’s face it: this is a brand new frontier. Occasionally, as with all semi-serious relationships, there will be bumps along the road.  But these bumps will serve as a test of maturity because now you are on your own. Aside from your friends, which I strongly avoid consulting especially if they dislike your significant other for any reason, you will have to make these decisions and act as your own person. Unfortunately, for some of us we tend to still believe we are in high school and as such, make immature decisions reflecting our own lack of experience.   That is completely okay though.  The main point of college is to experience new things and grow from them.

Now it’s that time of the article where I lay down the coldest and hardest truth you will ever hear. Whatever you do, do not make your whole friend base mutualAlways have your own set of friends and the same should go for your significant other.  The reasoning behind this should be quite apparent. Essentially, should things take a turn for the worse, you don’t want your friends in that awkward situation of having to pick sides. If you are the dumper and not the dumpee, it is never a good sign because then you stand to lose all of your friends and spend time trying to acquire a new set of friends.  However, if you have your own friends, then both parties have a safety net of comfort, which could either facilitate a make-up or solidify a break-up.

With all of that said I want to leave you all with a few do’s and don’t. DO cherish the time you spend with your significant other.  DO grow from the experience.  DON’T forget to create your own independent circle of friends. DO actually form a friendship before you form the romantic part.  Dating may be hard, but only those who are willing to try will reap the benefits.

Stay Fantastic!

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the author

Carlton Smith is a junior at the College of William and Mary currently majoring in Government. He loves to sing and dance and is involved with one of his school's A Cappella groups known as DoubleTake. He has served as the Class of 2015's Vice President for the past three years.

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