Marleigh was my very first roommate freshman year. As an only child, one of the things I was most worried about in coming to college was living with a roommate, but Mar and I hit it off immediately. We had both danced pretty much our entire lives and are extremely dedicated to our schoolwork. That translated into study breaks filled with busting moves to Beyonce’s latest album. She is a junior studying English and Classical Languages (but she dropped out of the journalism school second semester freshman year and I’ll never let her live it down). She has helped a professor in the English department through the Discovery Fellows program by scanning essays, reconstructing Old English manuscripts and attending medieval conferences. She is also a founding member of the Honors College Diversity Committee and attends meetings monthly. This year, when she isn’t poring over ancient Greek or Latin, she’s doing side work for her internship with a small poetry publisher. If I hadn’t met her freshman year, I don’t know where I would be today. She is my rock through hard times and my constant companion for Andy’s runs. I managed to grab her after class yesterday to ask about her experiences with college dating.
1. Are you currently dating someone?
No ma’am, I am not.
2. When was your last relationship?
My last relationship was from the beginning of my sophomore year [in college] until basically the end of my sophomore year. And that’s probably the last time I’ve been on a date. I haven’t really dated outside of boyfriends.
3. Why did it end?
Because I was going to be abroad for the summer, I studied in Greece this summer and so we just wouldn’t see each other all summer and decided it would be better to try to be friends.
4. How long was your longest relationship and when was that?
3 years – in high school, pretty much all of high school. It started November of my freshman year and ended September-ish of my senior year.
5. What do you think are some of the differences between dating in high school versus dating in college?
I feel like dating in high school, even though people will always have their different interests, it’s like… your lives are so similar and everyone is kind of on the same track. In high school, you’re not quite thinking all the way into the future yet. You’re just kind of focused on the day-to-day.
Whereas in college, I feel like it’s really easy to be going down different paths with the person you’re dating. And you’re thinking so long-term that sometimes that makes things harder.
6. How would you describe the dating scene here at Mizzou?
Um… it’s kind of a conundrum. The only real way to meet people, at least in my opinion, is going out, you know like bars or whatever, but also the people that you meet there aren’t necessarily people that you really want to date. So, that’s why it’s this huge oxymoron of this is the only way I know how to meet people, but this is not leading to good relationships.
*Paused and thought about it* Actually how I met my boyfriend here was living on the same floor [in the dorms freshman year]. And so, there are certain opportunities like, you know, I’ve made friends in classes, not like dating friends, but still it’s possible for you to meet people outside of going to bars, but it just doesn’t seem like it happens that much.
7. How would you describe the dating scene for people age 18-22?
Probably… I don’t know… from 18-22 it’s mostly college life, and so I think Mizzou represents that well. I would imagine no matter what school you’re at it’s probably a similar dating scene. And if you’re not in school, then really the only place you meet people are in bars. *laughs*
I don’t think it’s quite as bad as people make it out to be sometimes. I think there are still good people out there who aren’t going to treat you poorly like you hear about mostly, but I do wish it was more of a thing to like go out on dates. Or just like ‘let’s go get dinner, go see a movie’ instead of usually when you see people it’s like ‘let’s go out.’
8. How do you normally meet people?
It usually would start with mutual friends or classes or something like that, because the people I do meet out I try not to give out my number, and if they try and text me if I do happen to give my number, then it just gets really weird. That never leads to even possible relationships for me.
I think mutual friends would probably be the most likely way.
9. Would you say that most of your friends have found long-term relationships at school? Why do you think that is?
No… none of my friends have found long-term relationships at school, and I think that’s because -I’ve actually talked about this with a couple people lately- but I think it’s because, now this is a broad generalization, but girls have this idea in their head of when they go to college ‘That’s when I’m going to meet my life-long partner.’ Maybe your parents met in college and so you just go to college and that’s the expectation you have in your head. Whereas I feel like a lot of guys come to college and they’re like ‘This is my time to have fun and party’ and they’re not looking for commitment. They’re holding that out for after college. And so, I think that’s why none of my friends, or me myself are in long-term relationships. Because there’s an inherent un-matching up there.
10. If you could tell your freshman self something about dating in college what would it be?
I would say to tread carefully, especially if you’re someone like me who gets hooked on people really easily and stays very loyal to people really easily. You really want to be careful of getting hooked on people who aren’t necessarily hooked on you, because that can be really dangerous and damaging.