Dating is one of the many difficult yet exciting experiences of college that almost all students will confront at some point, whether it is throughout all four years of college or just a few short months. Some students prefer to be single their first few years to enjoy the freedom of college without any relationship constraints to hold them back, while others prefer to have a significant other by their side every step of the way. In any case, all relationships are fundamentally different and should never be compared with one another. While some may be successful and smooth-sailing from day one, others may experience several patches of ups and downs over the course of time, but still turn out to be a success. This is especially common in college, as students are still coming to terms with who they are what they see for their potential future, whether or not that includes the current person they are dating.
At FSU specifically, I would say that at least half of the student population is in a committed relationship, maybe even slightly more. After all, there are a ton of students confined to the city of Tallahassee, so going out to the same places on the same night is a common practice of the FSU population. This makes it exceptionally easy to meet people and develop relationships with someone new almost any night of the week. However, the downside to this is that you will oftentimes meet people while intoxicated at the bar on a Saturday night. This frequently results in one-night stands that come with a disappointed stance the next day when you don’t receive the text you were originally promised as you parted ways. Unfortunately, several college students at a party school as big as FSU are more interested in the hook-up than the long run, especially freshmen, who believe they can conquer the world their first year. This makes going to bars and house parties difficult to find anything serious, but still not impossible. Of course, there are always exceptions and those who are truly serious about finding a partner.
Almost every restaurant or coffee shop you go to in Tallahassee is packed with couples showering each other with PDA. There are a number of local bars and nice restaurants that attract couples to enjoy a nice dinner or just a drink for a date night. A huge spot for meeting someone for a first date or enjoying dinner and drinks with your significant other is Madison Social. It turns into a bar at night, but quickly retreats back to a restaurant, especially on Sunday morning for brunch dates. College town in general is a romantic spot for couples, with Moda’s Italian restaurant and frozen yogurt for nearby dessert. Some of the more expensive restaurants for date nights include Bella Bella or Harry’s, which are usually visited for special occasions, such as “anniversaries” (ex: dating for a year) or birthdays. Momo’s Pizza and Monks are also spots that call for a cheap Friday night for couples on a budget. Brunch and coffee is also a Sunday morning ritual for FSU couples at places like Brooklyn Water Bagel and Prime Time.
Meeting people either in classes or through mutual friends is probably the most successful way for relationships to develop at FSU as opposed to the hook-up scene at the bars. While strolling the beautiful campus on a typical school day, you will find young lovebirds chatting on benches during their breaks, enjoying a coffee date at Starbucks, or simply walking each other to class, hand-in-hand. It’s impossible to walk the campus any day of the week without noticing at least one couple, smiling from ear to ear as they share with one another the events of their day and the test they forgot to study for. This may be surprising for a school with such a big party scene, but it’s obvious that meeting is not hard to come by. Believe it or not, Tinder has become another means through which several people meet, which is increasing with time due to the huge reliance our generation has on chatting through social media sites.
There are actually several Greek life couples at FSU also, meaning that fraternity and sorority members are usually in relationships with one another. This may be because they are frequently paired up for occasions, specifically date functions and nights out at the bar. In a case like this, it is very easy to meet multiple people through mutual friends from your Greek organization. This is one of the reasons people rush to be a member of Greek life in the first place. It promises meeting people, whether that be a strong group of friends or a significant other. Whatever the case, if you are really looking, you are bound to eventually meet someone in those four years through just your Greek organization alone.
Finally, several students at FSU are from south Florida and in long-distance relationships with their high school sweetheart from back home. I have spoken to various amounts of students that have healthily maintained their relationship with their significant other hours away in sunny south Florida, which is actually surprisingly hard to do considering there are so many people attending FSU. You’re bound to meet someone new. Trips home on weekends have become a way of life for these couples, driving along I-75 with music blasting to see their boyfriend/ girlfriend for the weekend, resulting in another Sunday of disappointment as they pack up and leave for Tallahassee once again. It’s an exhausting process, but not impossible.
It’s important to remember, however, that every couple has their own story. While we may oftentimes see the happy couple claiming to be in love blowing up our social media feeds, little do we know that just met drunk at a party a month ago and are bound for failure once the honeymoon phase has diminished. Our generation has become so consumed by basing our lives around social media as a means of bragging that we easily forget the truth behind each couple’s story. So, while FSU may have a number of couples frolicking along its beautiful grounds, this does not necessarily mean that these students have officially met the loves of their lives. I have heard multiple stories of couples meeting at FSU and eventually moving on to engagement and marriage, but I have also heard of couples breaking up after just a few months due to immature jealousy issues and so on. College is a learning process that you will both fail and succeed at in multiple ways, which certainly includes the whole experience of dating and finding your soulmate. Have fun with it and appreciate every person you meet throughout your time in college. The first person you meet may not be “the one,” which is completely okay. Remember that if any relationships don’t work out, it’s just another learning experience, which is what college is really all about.