The sun was dripping below the buildings as the sky painted a beautiful show of pink and orange while I was driving down King Street. I stopped at a red light, rolling down my windows to let in that ocean air. I sat there in my car while music poured out of my speakers and watched people shuffle in front of my car.
Couples. I saw them everywhere – holding hands, laughing at a joke the other said with arms around each other’s waists. It felt like everywhere I looked around Charleston, I was surrounded by couples. I felt suffocated by couples. When walking around the College, everywhere I went, I saw couples. It felt like the universe was playing a joke with me – like it was throwing my singleness in my face. Being single when surrounded by couples anywhere in the world is hard, but when living in one of the most romantic cities in the world, being single is tougher.
It’s hard to push down the feeling of loneliness when you see cute couples going on midnight walks, or watching the sunset together at the Battery. Seeing this gives me a yearning to share adventures with someone – to hold someone’s hand. It makes me feel like I’m missing out on something. Seeing couples being tender with each other then makes me think that maybe there is something wrong with me. Is my DNA wrong? Is there something in me that makes me incapable of being in love?
But when I see a couple fighting in the middle of the Cistern, I feel grateful. Grateful that I don’t have to experience the sadness that hangs in the air during every fight with a loved one. Grateful that I don’t have to defend everything I do to someone else. It is times like this that I thank the Universe for throwing couples fighting in my life. I pray to the Universe to keep doing it so I feel better about being single.
But then sometimes I find myself just watching couples breeze past me while I lay in the grass on a warm and sunny day in front of the library. I get to see and experience the different relationships people have with each other. This then makes me feel grounded and happy. I find that you don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to feel loved. Being surrounded by friends that make your belly hurt from laughing so hard become family – become love. Family you leave for months at a time become even more important to you. You love each other from afar, and it makes that love even stronger. Being single doesn’t mean you’re alone. I think there is a stigma around the world single. People make it seem like if you’re single, you stay cuddled up on your bed without interacting with anyone. This, of course, is not true.
Being single is only a relationship status. I’m single, but I’m not alone. I have my friends, family and my dog. I have people in my life who make me forget about being single. They fill me up with so much love that I find myself thinking I never have to be in a relationship if I’m surrounded by amazing people.
If there is one thing I have learned being single at the College is the different emotions that come with it. Going from loneliness, to gratefulness, to then appreciation, being in a romantic city gets you feeling anything. But, I find there is no one state of “being.”
In the end, being single at the College can be tough, but we’re young and living in the most beautiful city. We are surrounded by endless beauty. From the beaches to our classrooms, Charleston is beautiful.
So my advice to you is embrace being single. Live life to the fullest. Say yes to every opportunity thrown at you. Do something you always dreamed of doing. Don’t let the fact that you’re single at the most beautiful college stop you from experiencing the beauty and joy in life. At the end of the day, being single is not as bad as people make it seem. You have a chance to work and improve yourself. You have the chance to be independent and make things happen. You have the freedom to do anything you want to do.
So be okay sitting with each feeling singleness brings you. Acknowledge and work through it. Then go out there and go get them. You always could.