I am a senior, graduating in May. I am just trying to focus on getting my career under control and figure out where life is going to take me. But I looked around the other day and realized that everyone around me was getting married. Is that something that I should be focused on? I’m single, and now it’s starting to bother me.
Dear Forever Alone,
First of all, your sign-off is troubling to me; you will not be alone forever. Take heart.
I understand that it can be a little disheartening to see everyone around you paired off, and when there are diamonds involved, it can seem even more permanent. But keep in mind that for the past four years (at least) you have been in an institute of higher education to do one thing: further your future career. The sole purpose of this kind of education is to benefit your work life, not your personal life.
So you haven’t found your soulmate yet, so what? I can almost guarantee you that these friends of yours that are getting married haven’t either. Let face the facts: in our early twenties, we don’t know what we want to do with our life professionally, so how are we supposed to know what we want to do with our lives personally?
We have taken this long in our undergrad and graduate studies to find out exactly what it is we want to do with the rest of our lives; the probability of us finding someone that we can spend the rest of our lives with at the same time is slim. This is a period of growth, and sometimes people grow in different directions.
I would count yourself lucky, then, that you only have yourself to worry about. You don’t have to worry about finding a job in the city that your fiance’s career has taken him or her to, and you don’t have to worry about braving the rough waters of long distance. You don’t have to worry about getting pregnant too soon after your career gets started, and you don’t have to brave the looks of people trying not to judge you for getting your “MRS” degree.
There are a lot of perks to being single right now.
Look around and take stock of all the good things that you have going on in your life. You are graduating — that is a feat in and of itself. It took a long time, and a lot of long hours, to get to this point. Congratulate yourself on taking the time, effort and energy to further your future career whatever that might be.
You have only yourself to worry about right now, so make it worth it. Take the job that you want, wherever you want. Do what you love, whatever that might be. Do what makes you, and only you, happy.
If you’re concerned about not having anyone on the horizon either, they will come. When you work on yourself and are doing what makes you happy, people will gravitate towards you. If you are confident in what you do, and are content with yourself, then there will be plenty of people that can appreciate that and are drawn to that.
You will find someone, and then when you have your career and your life on track, you can work to building someone into that.
I can understand where your friends are coming from with the whole looking-to-settle-down thing. There are people that want to graduate and have someone to face uncertainty with: an “us vs. the rest of the world” mentality. While it can be a nice thought, in all actuality it’s more difficult than people give it credit for.
Don’t worry about not having a ring on your finger right now. When you get your life moving in the right direction, you’ll find someone to share it with.