“During my moving day as a freshman, I remember walking up the stairs and catching a glimpse of who I know today as my husband. As soon as our eyes met, I knew he was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with,” my cousin said. Almost everyone has heard a passionate and cheesy story about someone who met the love of their life in college. Whether it described the fascinating, first eye contact they made with their future significant other across the foyer or the accidental cliché bump into their soulmate while grabbing food at the dining hall, the notion of meeting ‘the one’ in college has been around for years.
Throughout my first day of my freshman year, I recall a particular instance that was heavily influenced by this idea of meeting ‘the one.’ When bringing four heavy boxes to the entrance of my residential building, I remember facing the grand challenge of keeping the boxes from falling to the ground while attempting to tap my key card to unlock the door. Witnessing my obvious struggle, another male college student approached me and helped me with my boxes, carrying them for me until we reached my dorm room. Not only did his chivalrous act and charming smile impress me, but more so did the thought that maybe this was the beginning of the story of how I met ‘the one.’ Flashing forward to the present, I never saw or encountered that boy again. While some people might indeed meet the person who they will spend the rest of their life with in college, that idea doesn’t apply to the vast majority; in fact, many people will meet their future partner years after they graduate from college.
This misconception often encourages students to deprive themselves, as has happened frequently with me, from creating relationships with new people they meet on a daily basis. Disposing of unrealistic college-related stereotypes and popular misconceptions is key to truly allowing yourself to enjoy every second of the experience prompted by your four years of higher education. ‘Living in the moment’ is one of the only cheesy mottos that actually provides achievable and adequate advice for undergraduate students. While it seems almost impossible to live every day without being affected by romanticized societal ideals, recognizing their existence is the first step to making more self-informed choices. Meeting ‘the one,’ your soulmate, the love of your life or whatever label you choose to utilize is a goal for many. Whether you will meet them during the course of your undergraduate career or at another moment of your life, they will find a way to cross your path. The college experience, however, is about so much more than finding one person; rather, it’s about the connections you create with the new people you meet and the challenges and rewarding moments you face throughout the college journey that help you become the person you desire to be.