Emily was one of my three roommates last year when I lived in my sorority house. I knew her a little because we were both in the same group of friends but I definitely started sophomore year closer to my other two roomies. By the end of that year, Em had become one of my closest friends. She is a junior health sciences major studying physical therapy. Although her term ends in December, she is currently the Sigma Kappa banner chair, which means she designs and paints every banner the chapter displays. She hopes to be able to travel to Nicaragua on a service trip with other students in her major because she has never flown in an airplane and she has an intense desire to help others. When I first met Emily, I wrote her off as the stereotypical sorority girl wearing monogrammed everything and flicking her bleach-blonde hair. However, I quickly learned just how incorrect of an assumption I had made. She is an extremely dedicated student who desperately wants to become a physical therapist. She is also one of the most empathic people I have ever met. If she ever needs to visit my room for any reason, she will leave me a note that simply says “I love you –Emmi.” I cannot imagine my college experience without her as we have already learned so much from one another. Because she has been dating her boyfriend for over a year, I thought her views on college dating would provide this work with some brand new insight.
- Are you currently dating someone?
- When was your last relationship? (Or the last time you went on a date)
It was during high school, off and on sophomore year through senior year. We never really dated, we weren’t actually, like, boyfriend and girlfriend but we had a couple classes together and so we just kinda hung out during the classes. I went to his hockey games and stuff, met his parents a couple times, but other than that it was nothing. [We] went on a couple dates that was it *laughs.*
- Why did it end?
We stopped talking because he was gonna go to Alaska to play hockey and I was going to Mizzou for college, and so we didn’t really want to do that whole long-distance thing. So, we kind of thought it was better to just go our own way.
- How long was your longest relationship? When was that?
Um, it’s right now, and that probably started… okay well… oh God *laughs.* Okay it’s been over a year. Dating-wise it’s probably been a year and a half, but then official was December, and so that was… I-I can’t do the math. I don’t know how long ago that was. *smiles and laughs to herself.*
- What do you think are some of the differences between dating in high school versus dating in college?
I think dating in college, you’re a lot more mature. High school is just kind of ‘Oh, like, let’s go to high school events together or let’s go to the movies’ and stuff like that. Whereas college, you guys actually talk about what you want to do, not, like, what you want to do together in the future but your personal goals and stuff. And I think talking about that kind of stuff, you guys actually relate more and you get into those deeper conversations. And, high school, I mean given, after college, everyone departs they go their own ways, but in high school you know that you guys are all going to be going to different colleges and so deep in your head you’re like ‘So, okay, well it’s probably not going to last until college. Whereas in college, you can always find a job, not with your girlfriend or boyfriend, but, like, in the same city or 20 minutes away from each other and that’s just a lot better because you guys can do whatever you want. You don’t have your parents telling that you need to live this place and that place, whereas in high school some parents are like ‘you need to go to this college’ and you can’t follow your boyfriend or girlfriend.
- How would you describe the dating scene here at Mizzou?
I think it’s just kind of like people hooking up. Um, you rarely rarely ever hear about people saying ‘Oh, I’m going to the movies or I’m going to dinner with this guy I met at a frat party’ you just don’t really hear that kind of stuff. So, it’s definitely more casual.
- How would you describe the dating scene for people age 18-22?
Um, I think Mizzou is a good representation of the dating scene for that age range just because, especially with other schools, and, like your friends and stuff, you’ll hear about people just meeting at frat parties and they just kind of hook up and stuff. You don’t really hear about people, like I said in the last question, going out on dates and stuff.
I personally don’t [like this dating scene] just because I feel like going on legit dates, real dates you can establish a closer relationship. You know, you actually get to talk to the person, you’re not just making out with them at a frat party and I just think that’s better for trying to pursue a relationship during college.
- How do you normally meet people?
I wasn’t really looking for a relationship. I would go out with my friends and have fun with my friends, and then, coming upon Sam, it just so happened that I met him one night out. I wasn’t looking for anything and I never really was during college just because I was a lot more interested in my studies and not trying to rely on a boyfriend. And then, it just so happened that I met Sam one night and just kind of fell into what we’re in right now.
- Would you say that most of your friends have found long-term relationships at school? Why do you think that is?
Um, only a couple *laughs.*
I think it is because a lot of my friends and I, well before I was dating Sam, we all had the same idea that we were more interested in our studies and that being in a relationship wasn’t necessarily our thing at the time. And I think some of the girls are still like that, which isn’t a bad thing because a lot of us, well a lot of my friends, are juniors in college we’re trying to figure out what we want to do after college. And, trying to go out and meet a boyfriend at this time, just kind of isn’t relevant. So, I don’t know *laughs nervously.*
- If you could tell your freshman self something about dating in college what would it be?
I’d probably say honestly to be yourself. I know that’s super, really cliché, but honestly you don’t want to be stuck in a relationship where you’re acting like somebody that you’re not. And then, you grow up, you get out of college and then you end up, granted I’m not out of college, then you end up with the same person, who thinks that you’re somebody else; I just don’t really think that’s fair to the person that you’re dating. So I think that being yourself in a relationship can really bring out the positives.