Dating in College: What to Know Your Sophomore Year

A couple dating in college, kissing in the grass in the middle of campus.

So you survived your freshman year. If you’re anything like me, your first year of college ended on a high note. Countless friends, priceless memories, a few (or more than a few) hook-ups, and maybe a few extra pounds. (Hey, it happens).

Starting your sophomore year in college is exciting because you’re just that much closer to 21, you (may) have a better idea with what you want to do in life, and you know who your real friends are. However, it’s not all fun in the sun. Cliques form, friends lose touch, and dating becomes just that much harder.

So there you are. Older and maybe a few pounds heavier than you were a year ago. Trust me, not all is lost. Yeah, you’re not 18 anymore. You may not be rolling onto campus feeling fresh and new and ready for everything. But you also have a better idea of who you are as a person. Knowing this can help you form relationships on a deeper level instead of just a one night stand or hookups with people who aren’t enriching your life.

As you begin to mature throughout your college experience, there are three things to keep in mind when it comes to dating:

Be open-minded
If you’d only date (or hook-up) with self-proclaimed “fratstars” or sorority sisters your freshman year, maybe it’s time to broaden your horizons. Trust me, there are so many more different kinds of people out there than ones who rock the Greek letters. Same goes for other types. If you think you only like one type of person, trying getting to know another. Get an internship, study at the library, actually go to class… There are countless ways to meet new people on campus rather than just at parties. Open your mind and your heart and maybe you’ll meet someone who’s right for you.

Be selective
I know, I know, I just told you to be open-minded, but you also need to be a little more selective. Don’t sleep with every person who gives you attention. (Well, unless you’re into that sort of thing which is totally ok if it’s making you happy.) Yeah, getting attention from someone is nice, but is it the right kind of attention? Is this person just trying to hook up with you? Or do they genuinely find you to be someone they’d like to get to know more? Not every person you meet will be a potential soulmate. Be open to new people and new experiences, but also respect yourself and make sure you’re getting what you need from your relationships.

Start to find yourself
I am a steadfast believer that before you can find someone to share your life with, you need to find yourself first. What are your passions? Dislikes? What does being in a relationship mean to you? Now, this may not happen until your junior or senior year or even later on in life, and that’s totally fine. But if you’re wanting a serious relationship know that the first step is to be happy and confident with yourself, and there’s no time like the present to start.

While sophomore year is not all fun and games, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Study hard, go to parties, and make out with that cute person in your survey course, but also recognize that you’re here to grow in many ways. Take this time to get to know yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or in a relationship. You can still have a ton of fun in college, even if it’s not quite the same as it was a year ago. But hell, live it up and enjoy it, because you’re only young once.

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