I would like to begin the article by saying that in no way, shape or form am I a cynic when it comes to love. I happen to be one of the biggest hopeless romantics that I know. That is why I must sit you all down and tell you the harshest truth of your college experience: College dating is something you should be wary of partaking in.

Now, I don’t think that getting to know someone or hanging out with them is a bad thing. I just feel that trying to commit yourself to a long-term serious relationship, especially early on in your college journey, is a mistake. Just to note, I am not an advocate and am indeed a cynic for hookup culture.

College, first and foremost, is about school. Whatever college you attend is literally a gigantic school. I don’t mean to sound like such a mom, but moms are correct in reiterating that school should definitely be your main priority while in college.

Secondly, college is about finding yourself and figuring out what you want to do with your life. Though it is possible to do, I feel as though it is less complicated to find yourself when you’re not concerned about how that process will affect someone else. Then again, some of you out there don’t care how the process affects someone else and that’s precisely why you shouldn’t be in a relationship.

I’m sure some of you, especially the few that know my dating history, may be reading this thinking things like “Is she bitter because she’s single?” or “She’s just mad because she got messed over by someone in school.” To respond to those defensive viewpoints, I’ll say once again that I’m not a cynic towards love, despite my experiences, and jokes on you because I’m not single.

I know that my newfound relationship status may make me sound hypocritical, but hear me out. I decided to write about this because I’m now in a relationship. I am absolutely happy and thrilled to be with someone, however that doesn’t make the complications of college relationships go away, especially when you’re as busy and involved on campus as I am or more so.

Honestly, before I found myself in a relationship with my current partner, I had little to no intention of dating anyone for the rest of college. I’m intensely invested in my growth as a woman, student and leader in my respective organizations and those are my top priorities. I think that I changed my mind because I found someone who understands that and looks at their life in a similar way, which is rare, especially at this stage of life.

For those of you who are considering settling down anytime soon, my advice is to stop and think. Think about how that looks for you moving forward. Think about who you are now and how that individual may not be who you are in the next week, month or year. Think about your prospective partner. What if they don’t like who you become? What if you don’t like who they become? Obviously, deciding something out of fear isn’t the way to go, but thinking about these kinds of things is vital to the success of any healthy relationship.

Though I don’t think it is the best idea, the decision to get in a college relationship is up to you, my dear reader. You know yourself better than I or anyone else. If that is the decision you choose to make, that is completely fine. However, if you end up in a not-so-awesome experience, don’t say I didn’t warn you!