In a few weeks I’ll graduate from Anderson, move home for the summer and be off to graduate school in the fall. I spent four years here and I found a lot of things: my passions, my best friends and, arguably, myself. One thing I didn’t find, though, is a boy.
I know those of you who went to Anderson with me will agree, and I’m willing to bet it’s the same at Christian colleges everywhere. We leave here believing there’s something wrong with that, or something wrong with us because of that.
Four years ago my best friend and I walked onto this campus as students for the very first time together, and within thirty minutes had a comprehensive list of all possible future husband candidates in the general vicinity. I won’t lie and tell you there weren’t times when I wholeheartedly chased after a boy (I once left a bouquet of Olive Garden breadsticks on one’s doorstep) or prayed (read: begged) for God to send THE ONE down from Heaven with a flash of lightning so I’d know for sure.
Over the past four years I’ve watched my friends move into and out of relationships. A few have gotten engaged, some have gotten un-engaged. A couple have even gotten married or will very soon. Meanwhile, I (clearly) have had little luck in this area and I have other friends who are in that same boat.
And I think the environment at a typical Christian college sends us all the message, even subtly, that this is not normal or okay or good. We leave here thinking there’s gotta be something wrong with me if I couldn’t find a husband HERE of all places. We compare ourselves to the girls walking around with rings on their fingers, posting their engagement pictures on Instagram, and think what’s better about them?
The enemy would have us believe they are prettier or more interesting or smarter or just all-around more attractive. He would have us believe we are somehow less and they are somehow more.
But the true answer is: nothing.
I also think somewhere along the line we got the idea that if we don’t meet someone NOW, everything is hopeless. We think as soon as we leave the safe little bubble that is Christian college, nobody is looking for anyone anymore and we’ll be the sad little single girl that everyone feels bad for because they’re all happily married. And granted, I don’t expect to hear the words “ring by spring” thrown around much wherever I end up after this (read: I hope to goodness I don’t hear those words). BUT I hope you won’t let yourself become discouraged just because everyone you meet from now on isn’t running around obsessively looking for a significant other.
Get involved at church, start workout classes, go to work parties, let your friends set you up… you might have to step out of your comfort zone a little but there are plenty of ways to meet people in the “real world.”
If you, like me, are leaving college without a ring on your finger, here’s the bottom line. You now have that much more time to invest in yourself. You now have countless opportunities to try new things, step out of your comfort zone and just maybe you’ll meet someone along the way.
And until that time comes, know that there are more important things in life than a relationship status. You were created to be much, much more than someone’s someone and now is the perfect time to find exactly what that means for you. Don’t stress, don’t worry, don’t chase after people.
Aaaand before you say that’s way easier said than done, I’ll say you’re absolutely right. It’s not easy feeling like you’re missing out on something. It’s not easy waiting for something you think you really want, especially when you’re watching those around you get exactly that. It’s a challenge and a learning experience and sometimes just plain not fun. You can’t really sugar-coat being single in a world that’s so wrapped up in doing whatever it takes to not be single.
But you are lacking nothing, and God is busy preparing your heart in ways you couldn’t even imagine. Have patience because His timing is perfect. Have faith because His plan is better than anything (or anyone) you could plan or pick for yourself.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, look forward to the unique road He’s setting you down. Let Him lead you and see what you might find along the way.