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As soon as your first semester rolls around, groups of family, friends and even strangers have advice for you to take. How to navigate campus and what you need to do to make friends are among their words of wisdom.

You heard it here first. The best advice someone can give you is to not start a relationship during your first year of college.

I know what you’re thinking. ‘That sounds so dramatic’ or ‘What if I find the one sitting next to me in College Algebra’? All I can tell you is this thought process is a slippery slope.

There is already so much going on when you start school. You’re beginning a new chapter of your life and discovering who you are on your own. You have a planner to manage, class material to study for and friends to make; do you really want a partner to add to your plate?

I know this advice does not apply to everyone. Some people do find the love of their lives in a moldy classroom of 200 other wide-eyed freshmen. But, for most, the timing is all wrong.

As you explore fresh groups of people and try new activities, focusing on just one person then giving them all of your energy might not be what is best. Relationships take work that someone who is already juggling so much does not want to commit to.

Not to mention, you are just starting to grow into your personality, as is every potential partner you meet during your freshman year. With the expectation you’ll grow, and they will too, you may not see something long-term with this person you’ve already dedicated so much time to. You possibly won’t know what you want yet in a partner.

College is a time to learn. You learn new material, you learn how to be a good friend and you learn more about yourself. You don’t have to add learning how to be a good partner to the list just yet. There is more life to live before settling down in a relationship.

This all is not to say you shouldn’t date or flirt. Go as far as you want in the romance department, it just makes more sense to leave yourself open to every opportunity that may come your way. Closing yourself off to things or falling deep into the habits of a couple before you know who you are can be hard to bounce back from.

It is honestly best to just have fun and see where your experiences take you. Starting college is such a large step and is all about what you make of it. Plus, it’s almost a rite of passage to have one story of a bad relationship from when you were 19. I can go on all I want, but you’re going to make the decision that is right for you at the end of the day.

Who knows, perhaps you’ll sit next to your future partner in classes to come.

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