Op-Ed

Why being single is the smartest thing a student can do

 Jesse Colautti | Fulcrum Contributor

I’ll never forget what my mom told me the day I left for university. “Jesse,” she said. “This is going to be the greatest time of your life. Your father and I look back at those years as some of the fondest memories we have. Make sure no matter how much homework you have, or how little money you have, that you enjoy yourself because that’s what you’re going to remember when you’re our age. I guess what I’m trying to say is… dump her.”

My mom’s a wise woman. Too bad the entire population of our school didn’t have the same strong parental guidance that I was to privy to.

I can now proudly say I’m part of the small minority of University of Ottawa lone wolves. Being single at our school, however, seems to have the same amount of appeal as falling down a flight of stairs face-first. You see, our campus is suffering from an acute lack of “ready to mingles.” Seems like every time I get things rolling with a smart, cute girl, the conversation turns to an inevitable brick wall of commitment.

Now, I’m not against relationships in general. It’s hard to argue against two young people from different walks of life coming together to create something genuine and beautiful. And I know a comfortable and safe relationship can seem easier than the giant abyss of being alone. It’s a scary world out there.

While it’s true that not everybody is cut out for being single, it’s also true that bachelorhood is underrated. There are some serious overlooked perks to flying solo during your university years.

Firstly, you’ll get more sleep. It is impossible to comfortably sleep two people in a single bed—it’s just science. This is especially important for you first years in residence. I have chronic back issues from trying to squeeze two people on those floor mats that pass for beds in Thompson Residence. Some will argue that despite the overexposure to someone else’s morning breath, there’s nothing better than late-night snuggling and early-morning sex. How about having a level of consciousness superior to a zombie the next morning? Or being able to open your eyes enough to correctly pencil in a scantron sheet?

Secondly, you’ll save money. When cash is tight, as it always is in university, it’s best to adopt a more constrained fiscal policy. Get rid of all those redundant costs like Valentine’s Day presents or romantic dinners, and downsize. Ending my long-distance relationship has saved me over $1,000 a year, and it’s had the added bonus of allowing me to stay away from Ottawa’s Greyhound station, or as I like to call it, a glimpse into what a Soviet-era bomb shelter might have looked like.

Lastly, as a single person, you’ll have more time for activities. You’ll be amazed at how much free time there is in a day when you cut out those infuriatingly fragmented Skype conversations, or free yourself from having to retell the mundane details of your day over dinner. Instead, you could read a book, learn guitar, or maybe actually do some readings for your class. Plus, compromise is way overrated. Watching the movies you want to watch, seeing the friends you want to see, and eating the foods you want to eat are far better than being submitted to someone else’s tastes.

If I could leave the young men and women of our school with one final message, it’s this: Your relationship will almost certainly come to an end one day. Everything you originally liked about that person will tragically transform into things you want to kill them for. Why not just end it now? Save both of you the trouble, make university as carefree an experience as you can, and save all that relationship stuff for later.