The Perks of Being Single
Eugenia Yuan ’22
Roughly around this time last year, when I told my friends that I was going to a women’s college, almost all of my friends asked me the same question: “You sure? How are you going to find a boyfriend at Smith?” As a straight prospective student at a women’s college, I am pitied by my friends for not being able to date in my college years. “Dating is a thing you must experience in your college years — it’s the best time of your life!” they told me. Now, one year of “the best time of my life” is almost gone, and I can tell you that this is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard about college life. I feel so lucky being single at Smith. Being single means you can use the abundant resources in college to fully focus on your self-development, get to know more people from the community and purely enjoy your leisure time on your own.
First things first, singlehood teaches you to prioritize yourself, whereas pursuing a relationship might result in focusing too much on your partner. I am not saying that paying a lot of attention to your partner and spending a lot of time with them is a bad thing, but the downside of doing so is that you might forget the importance of self-exploration in a place with so many great resources. Being single, you can devote your free time completely toward developing your own interests and personality. By focusing completely on myself, I had time to dig into bibliographies of intriguing readings to explore my academic interests and ponder if I was suitable to be a history major. I borrowed a ukulele from Josten to learn how to play it. Next Saturday, I am kayaking with my friend. Since I’ve been at Smith, I have tried a lot of different things, always with questions in mind. What kind of person am I? What am I good at? What do I want to be? I feel lucky to be able to fully focus on myself during “the best time of my life.”
Another thing you might miss while in a relationship is spending time with other people on campus. Talking to or texting your partner all day is romantic, but it also takes away opportunities to get to know different people, which is a pity in a diverse place like Smith. Instead of sticking to one person, I prefer to interact with many people. Maybe I won’t end up building an intimate relationship with any person I’ve talked to, let alone befriending them. But, I can always learn new things and take in new perspectives when I get to know new fellow Smithies. As an international student, I especially feel that. I am always surprised to learn how people from other countries think of my home country’s policies and how those interpretations make sense based on their backgrounds. From conversations carried out during club-bonding activities to chit-chat at the dining hall, my eyes are constantly widened by my wonderful peers. I can’t imagine how it feels like to spend the majority of my time talking to only one person.
If you still think of yourself as a kid, like me, you probably enjoy your free time at Smith alone with TV series, games and comics, instead of hanging out with someone else. After a long, tiring day, the only thing I want to do is have a cup of hot chocolate, grab my tablet and sink into the sofa … alone. I don’t have the energy to talk to people, to be considerate, and to cuddle ... Sorry, it will distract me from watching my favorite reality show.
When it comes to finding a relationship, no two people’s trajectories are identical. A college relationship is not suited for everyone, and I feel lucky not to be involved in a relationship at a time when there are other interesting things for me to experience and care about. So, my fellow single Smithies and dear prospective students, don’t be anxious if you don’t have a partner. Enjoy the perks of being single. Take advantage of it and make these four years your own!