ADVICE COLUMN: Loosen the knot

If you want the most from your college experience, here’s my advice: Don’t tie yourself to someone else while you’re here.

Many of you have succeeded in unraveling this deep, dark secret and haven’t even realized it until now. I’m proud of you for discovering being single is the key.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “This poor kid couldn’t get a girl, how sad.” But hear me out.

After graduating high school, you’re granted the opportunity to fly the coop, and, with it, the dependence on your parents.

You’re supposed to jump and learn to fly on your own, whether it takes a singular fall or 40.

College is a multipurpose tool with endless potential to help you do so, if tapped into.

It prepares you for life in the “real world.” It molds you into the person you’ll be for the rest of your life. It allows you to make the first steps toward a career, and the inevitable first falls as well.

But spending it in one long-lasting relationship, or hopping from one lily pad to the next, cuts that potential in half.

Rather than going for a swim, you miss out on all the unexplored wonders this time in your life has to offer.

It’s called settling down because you're supposed to be worn out from your adventurous life. You’re not worn out after 20 years.

I couldn’t say it any better than Kyoko Escamilla: “Your 20’s are your selfish years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little and never touch the ground.”

Being tied to another person during the beginning of that decade, and even the two years leading up to it, goes against Escamilla’s last point – get off the ground. Life is supposed to be scary, but embracing it makes you better off down the road.

This isn’t to say people who get into serious relationships in college are going to live miserable lives of failure. If this were the case, my eight siblings and I would probably cease to exist.

But spending your college years tied to someone else is a good way to never reach the full potential of the experience.

Imagine the people you could meet and the places you could go if you weren’t held back. Think of the job outlook across 50 states, or seven continents, rather than limiting yourself to a 30-mile radius from someone else.

It’s a lot harder to move multiple lives than simply your own.

Once you’ve experienced life this way, you’re setting yourself up to be that much better of a life partner down the road anyway.

Be independent. Be adventurous. Be single.

Because 10 or 20 years from now, you’d rather have the stories to share than the regrets.

Hindsight is only 20/20 after all, but I’m a fan of “I told you so’s.”


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