Hi! My name is Kai Owens. I am a senior Psychology major with a Spanish minor at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia. I am originally from Queens, New York, but have lived in Georgia for most of my life. On my campus, currently, I am the President and Bass section leader of the University Chorus, a member of the University chorale, a member of the University Concert Winds, and a member, former Vice President, and founding father of the Sigma Beta Chapter of Kappa Sigma. I also have a part time IT internship as well as a position as the tenor section leader for a local church in my area. Most of my spare time is spent studying (unfortunately), singing, playing the drums or the keyboard, hitting the gym, or hanging out with my fraternity brothers!
Uh oh! The dreaded “R word!” Relationships! These are really easy to come by and they always come naturally….said no college student, ever! A relationship is one of the most tricky and stressful things that come along with the college experience. There are constant worries about how that person feels towards you and how they feel towards the relationship. There are many uncertainties about the differences in opinions because, let’s face it, no two people will agree on everything! Ultimately, the biggest things that people battle with in a relationship are insecurities. Yes, insecurities. It’s ok to say it out loud. Everyone has them; they just vary from person to person. No worries, I am going to give you 3 simple steps on how to handle relationships while in college: 1.Be yourself 2.Be personal, not physical 3. Why so serious?
1. Be Yourself: When beginning college, everyone wants to start fresh or reinvent themselves. This is normal! I’ve done it myself….starting with dying my hair blonde, but we won’t get into that! Trying new looks and styles is normal while in college and it’s perfectly fine. This is the time when you’re free to do nearly whatever you want before you get into the real world! Live it up! While living it up, you will meet people and will eventually encounter someone that you find attractive or that you just really enjoy their company. Kudos to you, you’ve just completed half of the battle…not really. People have the tendency to want to be liked. Even the most hipster of people want to be liked by others, even if they are just fellow hipsters. While wanting to be liked, most people alter their normal habits in an attempt to conform to the norm and habits of the person that they like or would like to date. This is where many problems start! It is perfectly acceptable to try new things in college, however, if these new things are contrary to your personal beliefs or if they do not sit well with you, you ought not do them, even if that means disappointing a person that you like. Trust me, it’s not worth it. Just be yourself. If that person is truly interested in you, they will like YOU for who YOU are.
2. Be Personal, not Physical: Alright, so the hard part is over. You have found yourself a friend who you enjoy spending time with. HOORAY!! You are, however, still in the very fragile stages of the relationship. This is the time where you get to really know someone. What do they like to do? Where are they from? How many siblings do they have? Coke or Pepsi? You know, things like that. Give that person a chance to reveal their personality to you. Watch their actions towards you. Are they sincere? Do they seem engaged in conversation? Are they attempting to learn of your personality? Or, are they wanting to have a “make-out” session? You never want to be in a relationship where the other person is only interested in physicality. That’s never a healthy relationship. In college, you need a friend more than you will ever need a “physical” companion. Connect mentally, not physically!
3. Why so serious?: Wow! So, they’ve passed every test so far and seem to be a great person to begin a relationship with. Awesome! Now comes the hard part of figuring out how serious a relationship will be. Many times, college students will want to rush into a serious relationship and start to live together and spend all of their time together. There are many, many, many issues with doing that. A relationship, in college, should be taken extremely slow for the first year or so. Maybe the two of you should hang out once or twice a week and maybe study or go to a movie. You know, something simple. This way, you can truly enjoy the company of that person without having the worries that come along with a serious relationship or end up with a “broken heart.” Wait, Kai, what do you mean, “Broken Heart?” No worries, I’ll explain! Most people, in the beginning of a relationship, envision their perfect soul mate who would never make a mistake, never do anything to hurt them, and basically, never tell them no. Their perfect soul mate cannot possibly be human. While envisioning this perfect soul mate, they also envision how the relationship would go and, ultimately, put an extreme amount of pressure on their significant other to be “perfect.” Once they figure out that their significant other is a human and is incredibly imperfect, they are now “heart broken.” There, you have it! Your best bet is to take things slowly and just enjoy being young. Be best friends to each other. Go to a concert or for a walk under the stars. Do fun things! YOU’RE NOT MARRIED!!! Don’t be boring as if you are married. Have fun with each other.
And those were Kai’s 3 simple ways of handling a relationship while in college. Mind you, every relationship is different and my 3 simple steps will require adjustments to fit your specific personality and the personality of your significant other. I hope that you enjoyed reading this and that it was extremely helpful and beneficial! Go out there and grab your relationship by the horns!