I met Kylie at one of the first events I ever attended for my sorority and, at first, I could not believe how quickly and frequently she spoke. We ended up in the same honors statistics class and bonded over how difficult probability was to understand. Kylie is a junior journalism major with an emphasis in design and an IT minor in the audiovisual sequence. Besides hanging out with me at the J-school, Kylie drives for STRIPES and is a member of the Transfer Experience and Advising Mentor Program. She also works as a hostess at Longhorn Steakhouse. Kylie is one of my closest friends from college and I know that I can always count on her to “give it to me straight.” Some say she has a problem with being too blunt, but that is just her personality. She is one of my few friends who found a boyfriend in college and has stayed with him for more than a year. Because of this, she was able to offer some interesting insight into dating in college.
1. Are you currently dating someone?
Yes, I am currently dating someone.
2. When was your last relationship? (Or the last time you went on a date)
Senior year of high school, it was spring 2012 to spring 2013.
3. Why did it end?
Because… *laughs* we thought we were going to two separate colleges and we didn’t know if we wanted to be in a serious relationship starting out college as a freshman. That’s the main reason… there were some girls but *laughs*
4. How long was your longest relationship? When was that?
My longest relationship is the current relationship I’m in and we’ve been dating for a year and three months.
5. What do you think are some of the differences between dating in high school versus dating in college?
I think one of the biggest differences between the two is dating in college you have to have more initiative and actually declare whether you’re dating or not. Um, in high school, it’s pretty obvious, everyone will know if you’re dating someone. In college, if you want to make it pubic, you have to tell people because people aren’t gonna notice and also you’re not bringing them home to your parents the first time you meet them. In college, you have to take the initiative to bring them home for the weekend or have your parents meet them when they come to visit. As opposed to high school, if they come over to hang, you’re parents will already be there.
6. How would you describe the dating scene here at Mizzou?
I would say it depends on the grade. I think this is pretty standard for most colleges, but freshmen, sophomores it’s definitely more casual, hook-up culture. You’re just getting to college, experiencing new things. I’ve definitely seen a shift now that I’m a junior. There’s a lot more serious relationships, a lot more of my friends are looking for long-term relationships that they continue junior and seinor year. And not as many people are bringing some random home as opposed to when we were freshmen, a lot more people would just hook up with random guys on the weekends. Now, people are looking for more of a commitment when we go out.
7. How would you describe the dating scene for people age 18-22?
I think Mizzou is a pretty good representation of 18 to 22 year olds in a college atmosphere. I definitely think most of the people I surround myself with at Mizzou are educated college students who are focused on school and not so much who they’re gonna marry and things like that. As opposed to, students age 18 to 22 who may not be enrolled in a full-time university, I’ve definitely noticed some of the smaller-town people from Columbia tend to start dating at a younger age, tend to get married at a younger age, have children at a younger age as opposed to college students don’t usually start dating seriously until they’re past 22. Non-college students tend to date more seriously in the 18 to 22 range. I think it depends on whether or not they’re a full-time student.
8. How do you normally meet people?
I would say the best way to meet people to have serious relationships is either through friends or through classes and school activities.
I met my boyfriend through another member of my sorority and she was good friends with him, lived in the same apartment complex. And we just happened to meet out at lunch one day, and we’ve been dating for a long time. However, the people I’ve met out at the bars don’t usually tend to bloom into long-term relationships. So, I think if you have your eyes set on long term, looking for a year, two years, potentially marriage after you graduate, the best way to meet people is through friends or classes, organizations, things you can see their leadership and know more about them rather than just drunk at a bar.
9. Would you say that most of your friends have found long-term relationships at school? Why do you think that is?
I honestly would say no. I have two really good friends, one at Mizzou and one who’s not at Mizzou who have found long-term relationships. Other than that, my only other friend in a long-term relationship has been dating her boyfriend since high school. And I definitely think most of my friends, though, are looking for it. A lot of them haven’t found it, but they’ve got their eye open, and I think that’s a change because we’re juniors and they see the few of us who have serious relationships, and they’re looking towards the future. And they, potentially, would like to find someone in college.
I think involvement and timeliness in the sense that they haven’t found the right person, and they’re either super-involved, don’t have the time for it haven’t found a person that clicks with them. And I think that’s probably the primary reason is simply it just hasn’t worked out. A lot of my good friends have gone on dates. It either hasn’t been the right timing, hasn’t been the right guy, or they’ve simply been too busy focusing on school or other commitments to be able to devote the time it takes for a relationship because having a serious relationship in college is definitely a huge time commitment. And, I think a lot of people just don’t realize how much of a commitment and don’t have the time for it at this moment in time in their lives.
10. If you could tell your freshman self something about dating in college what would it be?
I think if I could tell my freshman-self something, it would be to be patient with the guys you meet and don’t expect a lot until you’re older. As a freshman, I definitely got my heart set on a few other freshmen and I had my heart broken in ways that I really shouldn’t have had my heart broken. I was just very naïve, and I think I would tell myself to just wait it out. And, enjoy your early years of college, becoming better friends with your girlfriends or guy friends that you aren’t romantically involved with. And, focusing really on a good GPA from the start. And just wait until junior or senior year or later in life to wait for the right guy to come around. I don’t think freshman year is the time to try and find a serious relationship. And, I definitely wasted a little bit of my freshman year on boys that I thought would prosper into something that really didn’t. And I could’ve been focusing on school or the friends that I had around me.