|When the time is right, you’ll be ready. Believe that.|
I’m 19 years old and have never been kissed. Nothing ever worked out in high school, and I’ve managed to make it to this point in my life without kissing a boy, having a boyfriend, or being in love for the first time. I was alright with it, but recently some of my friends have started to “hook up” in all definitions of the term and I’m starting to feel left out, especially when they talk about all the stuff I’m missing out on. I know it would be easy for me to find a willing participant because this is college, but I don’t want to just throw away these milestones because I feel like I’m behind schedule. I also want to wait for someone who really cares about me, but I’ve found it hard to meet guys (even just for friendship) because I’m shy and nervous and ashamed about my lack of experience. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t been kissed, and it makes me feel unwanted and unlovable, like it’s never gonna happen for me. How can I reconcile my lack of experience and morals to find love (in a hopeless place)?
I think one of the ways college is so different from high school is that so many people around you are at different stages in their life. For some of us, this is our first time living away from home while for others this is just the next stop in a series of dorm rooms. Some of us have had strange high school experiences and are all too familiar with that feeling of not quite fitting in, while others were valedictorians, prom queens, and captains of the tennis team. We’ve all took slightly different paths to get to where we are today, so of course that means we’re going to have slightly different experiences. It’s completely natural that there are going to be things your friends have done that you haven’t, and yeah, ok, maybe that includes making out with a few people along the way. But that doesn’t make you weird, and it definitely doesn’t make you unlovable. It simply means that things haven’t aligned for you in the right way yet, and that sometimes all it really does take is time to meet the right person. And you’re not alone. I know it feels like everyone around you seems one step ahead, but the truth is there are people just like you at Barnard, and they’re normal too, I promise. You’re right to think that these are important milestones in your life that you don’t want to rush, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to. That schedule? It doesn’t exist. We barely manage to follow our class schedules, how can we be expected to follow a schedule for life? You’re allowed to work at your own pace and in your own way, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.
And if that doesn’t help, and you’ve been told it all before, try thinking about it like this: if we continue to compare ourselves to others, the rat race never really ends, does it? We’ll be concerned about who gets a job first, who gets married first, who has kids first, who publishes first, who makes the most money, who divorces first—You see my point? If we allow the pace of others to dictate the way we live our lives, we’ll be out of breath in no time. So, do yourself a well-earned favor. Put some blinders on and, as one of my best friends always says, you do you.
Image courtesy of SparkNotes.