I spend my time channeling one of two personas when it comes to relationships. On one hand, there’s the (sometimes) strong, independent (ish) single woman who definitely doesn’t need a man in her life. On the other, well, picture a girl crying into her glass of rosé and you’ll get the idea. Thankfully it’s more often the former, but relationships are tricky to navigate, especially at university. In my experience, it’s possible to say you want to be with someone and to also swear off men entirely, all in the same day. They do say get a girl who can do both…
But I don’t think I’m the only one whose opinion of relationships at university changes sporadically. Anyone who’s spent time in the Warwick bubble can see that there’s a huge spectrum of attitudes when it comes to being single on campus.
“What do you mean you’re graduating this year and you’re still alone?”
During Fresher’s Week, I found that it was much more accepted to be single and just ‘have fun’ – a mentality that definitely helped me get over break-ups and make the most of my first couple of terms at Warwick. However, there’s been a noticeable shift in opinion going into second and third year. It’s understandable that after a year or two of building meaningful connections, people do start to couple up. But this sense of inevitability doesn’t stop it from being slightly terrifying to someone like me who is perpetually unlucky in love.
You enter second year and suddenly singletons are a dying breed. Going into my final year, I can only think of two of my closest female friends who aren’t in relationships. And of course, your elderly relatives’ expectation that you will find the love of your life at university only gets worse the further you progress through your degree. “What do you mean you’re graduating this year and you’re still alone?”
Sure, sometimes you’ll get sad about being ‘alone’, perhaps resembling Renée Zellweger in the opening scenes of Bridget Jones’ Diary…
My only long-term relationship ended one week into Fresher’s Fortnight (impressive, I know), so it’s safe to say that I’m not a firm believer in long distance, or in men in general. With this mind-set, it’s tricky for me to approach the topic of relationships without being majorly biased.
I think that university should be a time to focus more on your relationship with yourself. This is your chance to experience new things, learn about yourself, and build strong, fulfilling friendships. Sure, sometimes you’ll get sad about being ‘alone,’ perhaps resembling Renée Zellweger in the opening scene of Bridget Jones’ Diary. But we’re all allowed lapses in judgement; I’m certain that I wouldn’t have enjoyed my first two years at Warwick half as much if I had been in a relationship. I’m content with Ben and Jerry being the two most important men in my life, and it would take someone pretty special to change that.
The truth is, self-growth and empowerment and being single are not mutually exclusive…
However, as much as I’d like to shout from the rooftops that you should swear off romantic relationships entirely, my heart wouldn’t be in it. The truth is, self-growth and empowerment and being single are not mutually exclusive. A healthy and loving relationship should let you get the most out of your university experience without making you feel like you’re missing out. That said, I just don’t think finding a partner should be your priority at university.
When it comes to relationships, you just need to do you. So, to those of you dreaming of finding your ideal partner at Warwick: go for it. For those happily single but ready to mingle: have an amazing time (and download Tinder, even if it’s just to laugh at your friends’ profiles). And to anyone who has cried over a failed relationship: from someone who’s been there, done that and definitely got the T-shirt, university is the perfect time to make up for all the fun you’ve missed out on.