How To Date In First Year

  • multiple hearts with eyes illustration

Relationships, much like leaving assignments to last minute, are commonplace in university. Whether you’re at the student bar, just moved into halls or are taking class with a hot teaching assistant, you will meet someone... or even a couple of people. Some of these people may even feel the same way and you might find yourself in a romantic situation that you don’t quite know how to deal with, so here is some unwarranted advice from a girl who has been there and done that.

Put yourself first.
This one seems obvious but can so easily be forgotten. You came to university to further your education and get a good career, you didn’t come so you could meet a person that you’ll probably regret dating in 20 years’ time. So, no matter how tempting it is to stay in bed together in the morning, get out and go to that lecture you’ve missed 2 weeks in a row.

Taste all of the fish.
After school there are very few opportunities where you will meet as many people as you do at university so don’t jump in to something serious with the first person you meet at fresher’s fair. That person is not your soul mate and this is isn’t fate. Date a few people, go to parties, make new friends you might end up falling in love with but don’t waste this opportunity.

Keep the halls clear.  
Whilst dating people in your halls building is fine and even more so, convenient, dating someone in your shared flat is not. At first it may seem all fun and games sneaking into each other’s rooms at night but after a while you’re going to want your personal space and not have to see them in their underwear at 8am in your kitchen. More than anything, if things go wrong you’re the one that has to live with that awkward tension for the next 8 months.

Define the situation.
Nobody wants to be that person who starts mentally planning a wedding and naming children whilst the other doesn’t even remember their surname. Having a clear understanding of the situation Is key to not creating drama and awkward tension. If it’s just friends with benefits make it clear so you don't triple text them asking them why they haven't asked you out on a date yet (???).

Set boundaries.
University can be hard and it can be so easy to cling on to someone because they feel safe but don’t do it. University is about taking risks, networking and new experiences so if you do find yourself in a relationship don’t get too caught up in it. Make sure to spend time away from each other and find time for other friends, classes and social clubs.  

Be safe.
Much like the point of putting yourself first, you need to protect yourself. After having spent far too many hungover mornings in sexual health clinics with my friends literally crying on my shoulders having to get the morning after pill, I can positively say just use a form of protection that works for you. You don't want to be the one to get pregnant in first year and drop out and even more so the person who has to have the awkward STD talk with positional partners every week. Protect yourself because as you will learn by third year, nobody else will.