The other side of singlism

Naomi Prasad

Singlism is a phenomenon of explaining what single people experience. Psychologist Bella DePaulo is adamant about inserting singlism in the Oxford dictionary. To her definition, singlism is, “... the stereotyping, stigmatizing, and discrimination against people who are single.”

Senior business major Isaac Houston would like to disagree on the stigma against single people. When asked why he is still single he responds, “Give me a second, let me finish my chemistry homework.” His focus and determination to stick to his goals have helped him during his four years at Union College. Houston has accomplished many feats, from overcoming heart surgery to now fulfilling his dreams by entering an interview process for working at Toyota.

“It’s my senior year … it just doesn’t make sense to get involved with someone,” Houston elaborates. While he has seen new girls come, he has faithfully decided to stay single.

Junior engineering major, Yafet Woldegabriel can also agree with Houston, “It’s not like you’re sadly single. You’re active and you’re single. I just haven’t found the right person.”

Before coming to college one of my friends commented, “I’m only going to go to college to find a husband.” Her aspiration was solely to find a partner when coming to college. Many of us, men and women, can relate. Somewhere in the back of our minds,we have at least thought about finding the one during college.

We’ve learned from our old relationships in high school and we’re ready to take on new challenges from a possible “mature” relationship. But before you get all amped up about getting in a relationship, let me paint a picture of why being single isn’t as bad as you think.

College is a time for growth and a time to sift through all of your surroundings. Not saying that being in a relationship will stop you from growing, but going solo can make it a little easier to do so.

There isn’t a commitment to see another person regularly or purposefully involve someone in your life. Flying solo gives you the freedom to make plans with whoever you want, any time you want. Houston comments, “You save money and there’s a lot less drama when it comes to summer breaks.”

Because you aren’t obligated to another human being, you are free to search out what you really want in a significant other. Single people can be seen as picky for not wanting to date, and again that isn’t necessarily bad. Woldegabriel agrees by saying, “I’ve met a lot of people. Tasting a little bit of this, tasting a little bit of that. I’ve broadened my horizons.”

Studies show that single people are either more likely to settle as time crunches down, or they develop higher standards in finding a significant other. Houston says he has seen his standards rise as the years go by and he’s fine with it.

“I’ve learned that you can have great friendships without being in a relationship. A huge reason why I didn’t want to date anyone this year is because of my dad. I don’t want to meet someone to fill my holes because of my dad’s death,” Houston truthfully says.

College is the time to pursue your goals. Being single can allow you to pursue these goals and find what you are passionate about.  People who are in relationships tend to spend most of their time with each other that they forget how to live out their own life and understand who they are by themselves. While there are exceptions, the general rate or accomplishment can be a little slower.

Ultimately, being single allows for personal growth. People who are single can discover their strengths and weaknesses–take time to learn, embrace them. College is a crucial time to take this road of self-discovery, and being single can help you get there sooner.

So, before you think of pairing up to fit in, look at the pros and cons of being in a relationship. You will meet thousands of people throughout college. Don’t jump in too quick for the sake of finding someone. A relationship is like a race, the faster you start, the faster it ends.

Naomi is a junior studying chemistry and pre-med.