Elise Cagnard, Opinions Columnist

The majority of us have spent our whole lives watching movies and shows where every happy ending involves a relationship.

Whether you realize it or not, this has subconsciously made many think the only way we can be fulfilled is by finding a romantic partner.

College is the first time that many of us can make our own choices about what we want. This is an essential part of learning about who we are as a person and being in a relationship in college can make young students dependent on others.

Having this time to explore likes and dislikes is essential in becoming a person we are happy with.

This does not mean that all dating in college is bad. Having causal relationships where you give each other space to grow can be a healthy way to explore the dating world as well as get to know yourself.

This is, however, a slippery slope and many couples quickly become codependent, and this is where unhealthy patterns begin.

While some people get lucky and find a healthy relationship off the bat, others get stuck. This leads to finding your identity based on another person instead of figuring yourself out on your own.

Dating in college can cause serious repercussions down the road when you realize you don’t know where you stand as your own person.

College is a period of our lives where we are impressionable, so it is vital we spend this time independently, not relying on someone else to make decisions for us.