Opinion: Choosing life over love


by Steffi Lee, editor-in-chief

It’s a Saturday morning here at Simpson College. I’m sitting in my room, carelessly scrolling through my Facebook feed and I see yet another Facebook engagement announcement.

A lot of us are hitting the age where hearing about steady relationships, engagements and wedding plans aren’t unusual anymore, but there’s another aspect of this millennial life where finding love shouldn’t matter this early. Some of the engagements are between people who aren’t even legally allowed to drink alcohol. I’m not saying alcohol matters more than love. I’m only trying to point out how young we all are and how much of our lives we still have ahead of us.

We’re at a college where tuition isn’t cheap, even with plenty of scholarships and financial aid. We’re thrown into this world of liberal arts where our minds keep changing. We’re not going to be the same in the next few years.

So why not use this time to focus only on ourselves?

I’m a strong believer that these four years at Simpson are a time for us to be selfish. We should be taking risks, but doing so in a way to get a chance to reach our goals. We should be less panicked over finding a significant other and more excited about experiencing life. Less stressed about what our texts to whomever we like may come off as.

Why can’t the conversations we have be more focused on what we want out of our academic passions? Why should those of us who don’t care for forming romantic relationships in college be viewed as bitter for being single?

A CNN article said “experts say people who marry at age 21 or younger are more susceptible to divorce.” It also said “the longer you can wait to get married up to approximately age 30, the greater your chances are at having a successful and stable committed relationship stay intact.”

I’ll admit I’m guilty of drowning myself into work and worrying about how I might be missing out on having someone. Just the other day, I was having a conversation with a friend who was once in my shoes, waiting for her career to finally launch as soon as she walked across the graduation stage. She was giving me life advice, which eventually included dating and career balance.

Life all eventually falls into place, she reminded me. And that’s what matters most – life. You can’t build a life for yourself without focusing on your own passions and wishes. Relationships and marriages take a lot of hard work and plenty of sacrifice. And this isn’t always the case, but sometimes people might have to say goodbye to their ambitions. The emotional toll that comes with looking for love during college isn’t worth sacrificing what life potentially has to offer.

If we’re not looking for love, there might be a feeling of pressure to participate in what some may deem as the “hookup culture” to feel included, which has its pros and cons. It helps distract us from the stress of college and work, but it could also become messy. And that might not be worth the time investment.

A Slate article said “marriage these days signals that you’ve figured out how to be a grown-up. You’ve played the field, backpacked Europe, and held a bartending gig to supplement an unpaid internship.”

Maybe finding love in college may jumpstart maturity, a better understanding of commitment and really brings joy into life. If you’re in a steady relationship, on the track to getting married or already married, I wish you nothing but happiness and hope your relationship is filled with adventure.

But can’t adventures where you aren’t obligated to anyone but yourself also help with growth?