I remember my first week on campus at college. All the returning students were helping move the new ones into the dorms, helping us tote bags of clothes and books and snacks into our brand-new living quarters. There was one particular guy who carried all the girls’ mini fridges into their rooms. If we’d had emojis back then, there would have been heart-eyes flying from every direction for his chivalrous act!
A lot of the guys I met the first few weeks on campus were cute and friendly and loved the Lord. Some of them are still my friends today. There were a few I developed a crush on from the very beginning (hello, Fridge Carrier), though, and looking back—I wish I hadn’t. Though none of these initial crushes culminated in relationships, I did watch many of my peers pair off in the first two to three weeks…and break up by the end of the semester or the year. Hindsight being 20/20, there are a few reasons you shouldn’t fall for the first guy you meet at college. Here are four.
1. Your freshman year is a foundation.
The first year you study on campus, you’re laying a foundation for every year that follows. The groups you join, the friends you make and the GPA you achieve all establish your starting point for years two through four (or your final year, if you’re a transfer).
Relationships take time, energy and attention. When students jump into a relationship before 1) really knowing the person and 2) while juggling a load of brand-new responsibilities, the first thing to suffer is almost always their work. When academics and work study both fall to the wayside, the foundation of your college experience doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. Focus on your academics and your work, make friends, and if the guy you like is still around next semester or sophomore year, you’ll have a better foundation with him, too.
2 Jumping into a relationship limits your friendships.
When a student leaps into a relationship with the first person they meet—or the first who carries their mini fridge!—they often struggle to develop friendships on their hall and in class. When they’re not studying or working, all their time is consumed with the relationship they’re in. The sad thing about this? College is one of the BEST times to make friends! Never again will you be in such close proximity to people your age for so long a period. If you’re at a Christian college, never again will you have access to such an enormous population of fellow believers! Take advantage of this by waiting on an exclusive relationship and instead focusing on friendship opportunities—with guys and girls alike.
3. You need time to really know the guys you meet.
A lot of the guys I thought were super cute at the beginning of the semester totally turned me off by the end of the year. Why? I got to know more about them! A cute face and first impression can be very deceiving. By the end of the year, I knew which guys had great character and which guys just had good looks. If I had jumped into a relationship with any of the guys who first caught my eye, I would have found this out in a much harder, more painful way.
Instead of rushing into a relationship, take time to really know your guy friends. Hang out in groups, ask questions and facilitate study times to see them in different settings. You can never know too much ahead of time.
4. Dating the first guy you meet keeps you from meeting other guys.
Finally, when you jump into a relationship impatiently, afraid you’ll “lose” a particular guy, you can miss out on guys who may have been a far better fit for you. Months later, when you’re breaking up with the guy who caught your eye at the get-go, you might wonder what happened to that nerdier—but far kinder and more godly—man you overlooked at the beginning of the semester.
When you jump into a relationship hastily, it limits your options. Be patient. Get to know multiple people. Go on a few dates. Don’t be in a rush! This season is very short. Be faithful with what God has already given you, stewarding your time and energy well. Forge new friendships and keep the old ones. And if the first guy you meet really likes you, he’ll still be around in a few months!