Midterms more important than matrimony

Kayla Charleston

Contrary to the antiquated clich‚ that college is for “husband catching,” secondary education should present an opportunity for self-discovery, personal growth and fun.

With a new semester well underway, the inevitable pangs of obligation for an ambitious college girl begin to resonate. Which organizations on campus would boost my resume? What classes would best supplement my major? Who would I want to be my bridesmaids?

As the child of a seemingly all-knowing, been-there-done-that sort of mother, I was always advised that college had two purposes as opposed to one. The foremost purpose was to get an education, of course. The other was to secure a meaningful relationship with someone and hope for a promising future together. Or, simply put, to find a husband.

Though my mother usually has the accuracy of a skillfully trained sharpshooter when it comes to the facts of life, she may have missed the mark this time.

The idea of “husband catching” in itself seems like an antiquated cliche that resembles life as told from a happily-ever-after fairy tale.

Girl goes to college, girl meets boy and is everything she could ask for in a partner, girl and boy stay together for the duration of college and, ultimately, get married. Or even better, girl doesn’t have to finish college because now that she’s found someone, her future is secure. Somewhere in that series of events fits the k-i-s-s-i-n-g and the baby carriage.

Oddly enough, it’s been a year and a half and counting since I’ve had anything remotely reminiscent of a relationship. Whether this is because I refuse to concede to the aforementioned southern belle mentality or because I just haven’t found anyone interesting enough is unclear. Some would take this as a menacing sign of impending doom for my marital status. I, on the other hand, see it as an opportunity to work on myself and, more importantly, have fun.

It seems nonsensical to anticipate that the people whose most burning daily conundrum is Easy Mac or Ramen Noodles can ably undertake the task of finding a soul mate. Few possess the same fickle, flighty feelings of a college student.

For me, a trivial choice such as which shoes to wear becomes an all-out brawl between the black peep-toe sling-back pumps and the black, strappy, lace-up wedges. In addition, rarely ever is this showdown settled without consultation from at least two other unpresuming spectators. And I’m supposed to be able to determine the man with whom I want to spend the rest of my life? However, that’s not to say a feat such as this is futile. One of my closest friends has been with her significant other for more than five years and shows no signs of retreat as of yet. While it escapes me how she managed such a formidable exploit, I marvel at the thought of a relationship even half as enduring.

If you’re anything like I am, the likelihood of a relationship even a fraction as serious for a preoccupied college student is a dream deferred. At a time when exploring options and freedoms becomes such an integral part of life, a committed relationship is probably not in the best interest of students. It may even be hopeless from the beginning. If every time I became enamored with a new prospect counted as additional credit hours, I would have graduated before the rest of my class, with honors.

In short, college is a springboard for introspection and self-discovery. If we knew exactly who we were and what we wanted to be from the very beginning, changing majors wouldn’t be such a sought after option.

So, contrary to the intuitive words of my sagacious mother, I’ll be entertaining thoughts of midterms much more readily than those of matrimony.

The above column, by Kayla Charleston, appeared in The Kentucky Kernel Friday.