Single in the 'Seo? Not a problem

Although spring is generally thought of as the season of rebirth and renewal, in the life of a college student, autumn is also a time for new beginnings: new semester, new classes and new living situation (for most of us, anyway).

New relationship? Not so fast. While the prospect of a new boyfriend or girlfriend might be tempting in the spirit of starting fresh, be sure not to disregard the merits of single life before rushing into a relationship.

That's not to say that all new relationships are undesirable. They can certainly be exciting. Who doesn't enjoy that fluttery feeling they get upon sight of their significant other? But if you are unsure about pursuing one so soon, you might want to reflect back on the time when you were single.

Were you content with the single life or constantly searching for that "special someone?" If you answered the latter, consider the benefits (in my opinion) of staying single if, at least, for a little while longer:

1. More free time to hang out with friends, study, etc.

2. Self-reliance. Knowing that you are not dependent on anyone else is a satisfying and empowering feeling.

3. Having the bed to yourself. Let's face it, sleeping with someone else in a single bed doesn't always guarantee you a good night's sleep.

4. Guilt-free flirting. No explanation necessary.

5. Alone time. This can be a time for relaxation or a time to discover more about yourself.

6. Saving money. Spending it on dates can really add up. (But seriously … on to number seven).

7. Being able to do things or yourself. This means not having to make as many sacrifices and even allowing yourself to be a little more selfish sometimes.

Hopefully this list doesn't sound like a tirade against people in relationships. I don't in any way mean to attack relationships in my defense of "singledom," nor do I want to label myself as an advocate for the unattached, but I do believe that there are (often overlooked) benefits to being single. Too often in our society single people go unrecognized, or are even looked down upon.

As Carrie Bradshaw mentioned in "Sex and the City," there are no special occasions to commemorate being single like there are for married people (engagement parties, bridal showers, weddings, honeymoons, and the list goes on). In the episode "A Woman's Right to Shoes," she said, "If you are single after graduation there isn't one occasion where people celebrate you."

My purpose for this column is to teach single people to appreciate their circumstance, not gripe about it. Instead of hunting for a potential mate at a party, why not just enjoy the atmosphere and company of your friends without any higher expectations? If you still feel uneasy about being single though, just remember that another synonym for the word is "free."

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