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The start of the school year always comes with the excitement of a fresh start, full of new connections and friendships. As we all adjust to college life this fall, I want to leave you with one reminder: don’t get caught up in trying to find a relationship.


It feels like each fall as we return to school, everyone finds themselves searching for a partner, desperate for the connection that comes with dating. It is common to feel like you need to find someone to date when it seems like all the people around you are quickly finding themselves in relationships. College presents us with a unique opportunity, the chance to truly get to know ourselves and make lifelong friends. Yes, relationships and dating can be new, exciting, and fun, but don’t forget about yourself! 


College provides us with a lot of opportunities that will partially dictate where our lives go, from  picking your majors, studying  abroad, and choosing what you do in your free time. More importantly, this is the time to discover your interests and hobbies. What makes you, you.


Try out new things! Hang out with new people, eat in the caf alone (I mean it), go to a new club, take a walk in the Natural Lands at dusk. Stay in and watch a movie! Go out with friends, try new restaurants in Northfield, the options are endless! There is so much college has to offer, and none of it requires having a partner by your side. Yes, it is comforting to have another person around “who makes you feel complete,” but it is even more powerful to feel whole on your own, and then later find someone who compliments you well! 


I challenge you to spend time this fall reflecting on what makes you you and to celebrate this. Invest in your relationship with yourself! There is truly no relationship that is more important than the one you have with yourself. This means learning what you value most and how you find self-fulfillment. What do you find joy in? How do you cope with challenges and stress? Learn to cherish the friendships you have and always make an effort to build new ones. Own being single; there is no rush to find a partner this minute. In times when being alone feels lonely, turn to your friends for fun and support. 


I leave you today with one final reminder: there is a time and place for dating, but there should also always be time for yourself!