The college dating dilemma

On your mark, get set, go! As last week marked the onset of the spring semester, thousands of St. John’s undergraduate students zealously await their own shot at love. And although I’m not referencing Tila Tequila, this pursuit by college students is just as serious.

Deciding whether or not to commit during college is arguably one of the most demanding decisions that college students are forced to make. For you freshmen this commitment could ostensibly control the next four years of your life-from whether you decide to join student organizations or choose to spend all your free time with your significant other, to whether you dedicate considerable time towards your studies or cut corners just to hang out. And upperclassmen contemplating commitment must at minimum assess their partner’s career plans and juxtapose each other’s goals of personal development.

Some students search out commitment only to neglect the paramount reason that they are in college, whether it be academics or athletics-based. On the contrary, other students operate a one-track mind geared solely around academics, athletics, work, or extracurricular activities and never even contemplate entering into a relationship.

But is it worth it? College students undoubtedly have mixed feelings about this matter. On one side are those who feel college provides the most opportune time for self-discovery and academic advancement. Sophomore Hadia Sheerazi noted, “I have four years here at St. John’s. I want to spend these four years discovering who I am, meeting new people, engaging in activities that interest me. Discovering who I am now will help me determine who I want to be with in the future.”

However, a campus Resident Assistant particularly asserts that many underclassmen females spend considerable time pursuing and trying to maintain relationships. She suggests that this phenomenon could result from increasing societal pressures forcing women to commit at a younger age.

In the middle lies junior Ravi Vohra who argues that his relationship has allowed him to enjoy his significant other while maintaining his focus on studying. He states, “My girlfriend and I spend quality time with each other, as well as study in each other’s company without any distractions.”

Nevertheless, a common thread evidenced by each of these responses is that differences in one’s disposition towards commitment stems from one’s personality. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that personality should be the deciding factor in determining whether or not you can commit yourself to a serious relationship while establishing or maintaining both a superb collegiate and academic record.

If you have a “Goo-goo Gaa-gaa” personality and will be blinded to everyone and everything other than your companion, including school, priorities, and work, then maybe seeking out such a relationship shouldn’t be your top priority. You never want to compromise your achievement in college for what could be an ephemeral fling. However, those with the mentality that they incessantly need to like or be liked by someone-consistent with the “I-need-love” personality-might want to consider settling down with a dedicated partner, provided that they’ve found one. That way, once they’ve conquered that battle, namely the urge to be involved with someone, then they can truly begin to focus on schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and employment, because they no longer have to obsess over when they’ll meet your perfect match.

And although the issue of commitment appears to have polarized some college students into being strictly for and against relationships, the possibility of sustaining a balancing act between the two is not inconceivable. In this difficult yet manageable feat, the brave must be willing to prioritize and adhere to strict time management schedules. If that means penciling your significant other in for a movie date on a Sunday afternoon because you know you must study that evening, these are the sacrifices one must make if you want to have your cake and eat it too.

This win-win situation can potentially amount to something beautiful. One of the benefits of having a stable and committed relationship with the right partner is that he or she will understand if you two cannot spend every waking moment together, and must inevitably dedicate extra time to studying or handling other personal matters. If your partner understands you then he or she will probably support you while you undergo this demanding and decisive step in your life.

In the end, commitment in college can either be the pinnacle of one’s college experience or stigmatize it as a time filled with regrets. The decision to commit mustn’t be motivated by pressure, fleeting emotions, promiscuousness, or the fear of the unknown, but rather by how beneficial it can affect your academic and collegiate growth.

Although the metaphoric race is just beginning, proceed with caution. Fastidiously weigh the pros and cons of each of your relationship options. Remember, no one knows you better than you do.

Therefore, notwithstanding this critical decision, the best relationship that you can commit to is the one you form and develop with yourself.