Summer 2016 was a blur to me. It was filled with some great moments such as getting accepted into my dream professional program but noticeably marked by a bitter end to a relationship. When I walked onto campus for my first day of school, the only thought running through my head was “ I have never been to this school single. Can I even do this?!” Not the best thoughts to have. And because I am human, these thoughts proceeded to ruin my first couple days of school. I felt aimless, extremely confused and overall was just focusing on how terrible being single was. However, as the semester has progressed I have discovered there are some awesome benefits to being single and some great ones that pertain to being a university student. Here are the three perks I’ve discovered as a result of being single:
1. You have time for your friends and time to make new friends.
One aspect about school that you have to master is time management. There always a multitude of assignments, tests and readings to do that actually consume a ridiculous amount of time. While keeping up with your assignments to the best of your ability, you also have to balance time for your friends and your family. It is easy to slip into a pattern of only making time for your partner and letting friendships slip by the wayside. The most immediate thing I noticed this year, is that I actually have time to hang out with my friends. I have rekindled old friendships and I have even made new friends. I enjoy having the time to be able to do this again.
2. Your schedule is exactly what you want
When I was in a relationship I felt compelled to wait for my partner, even if I finished classes and had nothing to do that couldn’t be done in the comfort of my own cozy room. Now, when I am done school for the day, I can just immediately head out completely guilt and carefree. Moreover, I no longer have to coordinate my schedule with someone else, trying to compromise and organize our breaks together or placing at early morning lab so that it coordinates with my partner’s 8a.m. class, when I actually like to go to the gym at that time. My schedule is exactly the way I want it to be, - no concessions, and it feels so great. I spend the exact amount of time that I want to at school the way that I want to.
3. Lots of opportunities to join some clubs and delve into your hobbies
Clubs were one thing that I hard-core avoided in my first few years of university. I, somehow, always get so busy! But University is filled with a bunch of clubs and activities that you would never think to try, so why not? I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and joined the Squash Club even though sports are really NOT my forte. I got to meet some cool university students while destroying my own ego. (Side note: I consistently miss the ball.) I also love to write, so I tried my hand at writing for the university’s newspaper. Outside of clubs, the U of A also has a fancy a recreation facility (which includes a climbing wall) as well as fun (and reasonably priced) exercise classes that you can participate in.
If you ever find yourself grasping for a bit like I did, remember that University is actually an amazing place to be single. While on your own, you have the opportunity to step beyond your comfort zone and to really learn how to organize your time in a way that lets you focus on you! So if you’re single and on campus this holiday season, remember that you aren’t actually “alone,” you’re a part of a large community that’s full of new opportunities.