Everyone has a preconceived notion of what they want out of their glorious (or not so glorious) postgrad years. But why all of the sudden are so many postgrads stressing themselves out over the social pressures of relationships? So many people are talking and writing about what you should and shouldn’t be doing when it comes to dating, and almost everyone seems to have thoughts that they just have to express on what you should or shouldn’t do in the process of finding a mate.
I think by now, after the college years, everyone understands, or is beginning to understand, that everyone has an opinion about your life. Whether it’s what you eat for breakfast as you walk into the office, your goals in life, or relationship status, it seems as if someone always cares and feels obligated to share their opinions with you. The opinions of others, especially of those older than us, cause us more stress than finals week and make the real world a living hell at times.
All this scrutiny and judgment sculpts the young years of our adult lives, and oftentimes prevents us from doing the things we really want to do. When it comes to relationships and finding a mate, who cares what other people think? Isn’t the most important thing in life to ensure your own happiness? You shouldn’t have to justify why you’re single or why you’re engaged, or anywhere in between for that matter. What should matter is what it means to you. The whole “be happy” thing may sound overrated or cheesy, but think about all the things you’ve done in life that make you happy on your own accord: a wild night out, finding a non-mainstream hobby you enjoy, even accomplishing a useless task can make you feel good.
People need to get out of their own way and just start doing the things they want to do. That’s not an invitation to go cuss out your neighbor because you constantly hear them having sex, but it certainly is an invitation to look for the things in life that will make living it worthwhile. If you like drinking until you drop every Friday in hopes that your Casanova will come sweep you off your feet in your drunken stupor, then do it. If you want a quiet night in to yourself, then do it. Worried about finding a significant other? Stop it. You’re almost setting yourself up for failure if you approach every person you find attractive and have things in common with as if they’re going to be Mr. or Mrs. Right.
Having friends isn’t a bad thing – don’t be afraid to gain more in the postgrad years. Go on trips, be adventurous, but most of all, do things for you. Somewhere along the way, you’ll cross paths with a special someone that’s looking for the same things in life as you, and you can see where things go from there. Take it day by day, cherish the development of your relationship, and make the memories last. Everyone is in such a rush to find a mate that they forget all the fun and good memories that can be made in the process.
Make these the seemingly best years of your life, doing the things you want to do, and you’ll find that down the road you’re in a place that actually makes you happy. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about being Kate Middleton and Price William, it’s about being you.