By Katie Vorderstrasse
Staff reporter

You leave behind friends, family and significant others. You begin to realize what it’s like to be independent, not having to report to your parents of what you are currently doing or planning on doing. Your freedom increases, as well as the choices and decisions that you are forced to make. One of the most challenging decisions that you are going to face is choosing the person you are going to be in a relationship with.

In high school, relationships simply indicated the person you “liked” at the time. It was who you were going to take to your school dance. This person could have also be the one to take you to the movies so you wouldn’t be the awkward third wheel. High school relationships were more of a popularity contest, a challenge to see who could date the hottest person.

We all have that person we dated throughout high school that our parents were completely against. I know I did. It was during my sophomore year, and we dated for just over nine months. We ended up breaking up during the summer before my junior year because of continuous arguments. My parents strongly disliked him from the very beginning and were relieved when we broke up.

Dating in high school was more like an experiment. It was an eye opener to discover different personalities and morals. We learned more about ourselves during these relationships and break ups. By the time we graduated, we had a better understanding of the type of person we would want to date.

When we got to college, we took our ideas about relationships to the next level. We began to look beyond the label to the person that we want to spend most of our time with. We began to realize that we will eventually have to settle down with one person and get married. We learn to look past the imperfection of the person, and learn to cherish what they were blessed with.  We do this by taking a look beyond their appearance into the inside, into their personality.

In a relationship you should be 100 percent positive that you want to be with a person. There is nothing more frustrating than if one is unsure of what they want. Honesty and communication are the keys to any relationship. Being able to trust your significant other creates a successful relationship. It is important to trust until there is a reason not to.

No one likes being cheated on. When I was in high school, I found out the guy I dated for nine months had cheated on me the whole time we were dating. I didn’t find this out until after we broke up. It completely broke my heart. He had no idea how much pain he caused. This made me a stronger person. If cheating on that person is your idea of fun, you shouldn’t have even been in the relationship to begin with. It’s important to stay faithful. Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

I don’t have a boyfriend, and am not worried about it. My prince in shining armor will come along. I believe at times it’s better to be single and focus more on you. That way you can do what you want to do, when you want to do it, and how you want to do it. You won’t have to worry if your lover is happy with it.

It’s important that you are 100 percent happy with yourself before making a commitment to another individual. You can’t make someone else happy if you’re not happy. Try and make the best out of every situation.

Maybe relationships aren’t your thing. They are just a waste of time. That is completely fine. We all go through those time periods. Sometimes it’s better just to date around before getting too serious.

Being friends before you become official is always a good thing. Women tend to find it easier to get along with men rather than with other females. It is important to spend time with the person before taking the friendship to the next step.

Throughout your life, your past relationships made you the person you are today. My suggestion is not rushing into anything to serious. Remember, you are only young once. Enjoy it while you can.

Katie Vorderstrasse is a freshman majoring in communications. You may e-mail her at katie.vorderstrasse@sckans.edu.