The College Chronicles: Dating Expectations vs. Realities

I had just finished the first semester of my senior year and I was home for Christmas break. I was happy to finally be spending quality time with my family and to be able to take a break from my hectic college life…and to be finally eating real food!

Everything was going great and then it happened…

“So Mia, why haven’t you found a boyfriend yet?”

My grandma had asked the most dreaded question and suddenly all eyes were on me waiting for my response.

It wasn’t the first time I came home to questions about my love life and disappointing looks (even from my 5-year-old niece) as and when I’d tell them that I’m single for the fifth time in a row.

Whenever I go back home, I’m constantly reminded that my life is a little different from my peers. Most of my graduating class has skipped college and are in serious relationships and often raising kids, so it can be hard not to feel left out.

Even at the young age of 24, I feel the pressure from family, friends and colleagues to have a boyfriend, and even kids. I often find myself asking the same questions…why don’t I have a boyfriend? Should I date more? Am I missing something?

When I first transferred to Jackson State University from Minnesota, where I consider the dating scene to be very dry, I envisioned myself finding the perfect guy and having that romantic love story like on the movie Love & BasketballBut my story turned out a little different.

Attending JSU changed my life in a lot of ways. I’ve met many great people, gotten involved in great organizations, completed my first internship with Jessica and gained so much more self-confidence all while maintaining a 3.9 GPA!

None of that included finding my future husband and romantic weekend getaways.

I was stinging with envy whenever my friends talked about their relationships or when I saw a couple walking by holding hands until something hit me…I’m ONLY 24!!!

Those days of falling in love in college and having a family and house with a white picket fence all by the age of 26 are long gone.

The reality is that dating is hard, even in college. Some girls may come to college to find husbands but there are others, like me, who come to college to explore new opportunities, make connections and ultimately evolve into whatever woman they strive to be. Personally, I’m evolving into an independent business woman.

I realized that I can’t compare my journey to everyone else’s because we all follow a different path and I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

I may not be in a serious relationship anytime soon but I’m a young black woman defying the odds by doing something some don’t get a chance to do – graduate from college and chasing my dreams.

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