By Lauren Shaw
College boyfriends are unnecessary, at least if you ask sophomore marketing major Christina Esqueu.
“Dating in college is nothing like dating in the rest of the world,” said Esqueu. “People are like, ‘I’m bored! Let me go look for the love of my life by making out with some random person tonight at Bentley’s!’”
It is hard to deny that college lends itself to a hookup culture. Recent studies conducted by Stanford University show 72 percent of college seniors reporting at least one “hookup” experience in their college careers. Men average 9.7 hookups in college, while females average 7.1, according to the study.
Most of the participants said they have no intention of seeing their partner again after engaging in a hookup, according to the study.
Some students, however, are more optimistic about the long-term effects of a university love life. Kinesiology major Ashley Brannan prefers having a relationship and said it is extremely important to date during college.
“I believe it is important to date a few people who are different from each other in order to find out what qualities are truly important to you when looking for more serious relationships in the future,” said Brannan.
Dating can also help college students develop better communication and trust, according to Brannan. Esqueu thinks there are opportunities later in life to work on those skills.
“Sometimes people wind up getting married or learning more about themselves from their college relationships, but you can definitely go throughout college without dating anyone and still marry the right person,” said Esqueu.
Balancing classes, internships, work and a relationship can be difficult to manage, but can also be worth it, according to junior chemistry major Melissa Borts. She prioritizes her time so she always has room for her boyfriend in her schedule.
“[My boyfriend and I] try to see each other at least twice a week, even if it is just to sleep over at each other’s places,” said Borts. “We text and talk every day.”
Brannan agreed and said she tries to see her boyfriend every day, even if they are just doing boring tasks or working on homework together.
“I think it is extremely important to have a few hours a week set aside to give a significant other your full attention,” said Brannan.
The time commitment can be enough to keep some college students away from relationships, according to Esqueu. She said it is easier to focus on personal goals and keep your dating options open for the future.
“I’m not saying I would never have a relationship in college, I just don’t think you need to go actively seeking one. And you don’t need to get too serious too quickly,” said Esqueu.
If a relationship seems too stressful, it probably is not worth it, said Borts. She said the key is finding what is right for you.
“Don’t waste your time on a relationship that is going nowhere,” said Borts. “Better off to be single than stuck in a relationship that is not going anywhere or is more stressful than enjoyable.”
While they are both in long-term relationships, Borts and Brannan try to keep their options open by not limiting themselves to only dating within the Jewish community. Brannan is currently dating a Catholic, and said she is open to dating members of other religions because her own parents share different religious views.
Borts and Brannan shared advice for people looking for committed relationships in college.
“If you are going to date, put the effort in,” said Borts.
“Always remember that when you are in a relationship, you are a team,” Brannan said. “Act as a team, and work together to accomplish both of your goals.”
Not sure what you are looking for yet? Take your time – there is no rush, said Esqueu.