Once I got to college, I made the decision I wanted to date. When I was in high school, dating was not something I really did. Growing up with strict parents, their main concern was to make sure I was receiving an excellent education so I could fulfill my goal of attending a four-year university. While prepping for finals and making sure I went to office hours were things I was not prepared for, but was confident I could do, dating in college was a whole other ball park.
Dating in college was a great experience in I met many different types of people that I learned what I wanted in a relationship in regards to personality traits and shared interests. In many ways dating can show you not only the type of person you want to be with, but also what kind of person you are. From learning about your sexuality, how well you are at balancing your time as a student and your social life, to what quirks you like to which you dislike, dating is one of those experiences that may not be easy but a great life lesson. Dating in college also showed me the dangers that will always exist in dating, such as sexual assault and being with a toxic partner.
Like toxic friendships, toxic relationships can be a drain on yourself academically as well as on your mental and emotional health. Anyone can find themselves in a toxic relationship, but what matters is that when you get out of it you take care of yourself and remind yourself of your self-worth and focus on you after that. In regards to sexual assault, this is something that can happen at almost any place at any given time. As a survivor, the impact this has not only on your academic life but on your personal life is life-changing. One of the things I remind myself, and I try to remind others is that, you should not let one bad experience make you believe this is a bad life. You have yourself and your goals to focus on, at the end of the day.