Now that winter has started up again it means cuffing SZN is here. You're about to be flooded with a hundred or so new cuties roaming around campus - which makes it the perfect time to shop around for a fling, ting, or potential significant other.
If it's your first year at university or college, or even your first time being single whilst seeking higher education, it's a whole lot different than dating in high school. We're here to give you a bit of a heads up as to what to expect.
Highschool: Your dating pool is so small toddlers could swim in it.
There are maybe 300 people in your class, 150 of the opposite sex, 40 that are actually cute, 20 that have dated one of your friends and 7 that are actually single… you get the point. God forbid if you live in a small town - you can pretty much slice that 7 in half. You don't have a whole lot of selection over 4 years of secondary education. Even if you're willing to date someone older (or younger, you do you), you have no more than a handful of potentials at a time which can be somewhat depressing.
University: You could literally hook-up/date a new person every week
Hallelujah. Goodbye fuckboys past, without a doubt you'll be able to find cuties in your class sizes of 200. Walking through the quad. Grabbing a granola bar in the caf. At the bar. At Starbucks. Playing pick-up ultimate frisbee. The opportunities are endless. If you go to a big school, you'll be turning your head left and right at all of your options. Even if you're at a smaller campus, it definitely has a ton more students than your high school, which just makes your odds automatically better.
High school: They know you, your best friends and that-embarassing-time-you-never-want-to-bring-up all too well
If you're dating someone from your high school, you most definitely have some mutual friends, teachers and social circles. You were at the party they puked their guts out and they heard through the grapevine about your 7-minutes-in-heaven gone wrong. They have a ton of intel on you since you grew up in the same area, frequented the same places, and know a lot of the same people. It was beyond easy to hear stories about their exes and also get a heads up on how scary their step-mom is.
University: Your potential bae is about as anonymous as Gossip Girl.
AKA your friends have nooo idea who tf who it is you happen to be seeing/dating. Which can be both a great and bad thing at the same time. They know none of your embarrassing stories. They never saw you with braces or baby fat or during that terrible goth phase. They know current, sexy, cool you - and they won't know any different unless you tell them.
However, they also don't know your favourite things, hobbies, or interests right off the bat. In high school, you could easily see who was in the school play or on the football team and work conversation around that whereas university, they're basically in the dark until they decide to open up. If they open up at all.
Highschool: You've been on approximately three and a half dates, but are now in a committed relationship
Highschool relationships truly move forward at speed of light. I don't know who put these unspoken rules in motion, but in high school casual dating is rarely a thing. You might hang out for a bit before going on serious dates, but once those 'date-dates' happen - they are SERIOUS. If you want to date slowly in high school, you either have to say so explicitly or try and pace it out for yourself, because with formals, proms, parties and dances - you end up falling hard and fast.
University: You can hook-up for months and still not be anything officially
Welcome to University: where the hook-ups are hot, often and super non-exclusive. Hook-up culture is alive and well, which means unless you've had a talk about your relationship - you're not in a relationship. You can sleep with someone 4 nights in a row, help them study for their calc midterm and use their meal card for breakfast and still not be considered boyfriend/girlfriend. This is super common especially in the first few months of first year, just as everyone's getting a feel for everyone else.
Highschool: When you break-up, you see them everywhere
And I mean, ev-ery-where. At your locker. Outside the gym. At your favourite burger spot. Your best friend's party. Just get the hell away from me, okay?! When you live in the same neighbourhood as your ex or even have a similar social circle and school, a break-up can be disastrous and thus can take lightyears to get over. When you're constantly reminded of your ex bf/gf, it can seem impossible to get them out of your head, phone and bed to be perfectly honest.
University: When you break-up, it's like they drop off the face of the earth
If this isn't 200% true. With the amount of people on campus, you actually have to put an effort into catching up and seeing your friends. So if you really don't feel like seeing the person you dated for two months without meeting any of their friends...you can get away with not talking to them for an EXTREMELY long time. I casually saw a dude for the first couple months of school, cut things off, and then didn't run into him for TWO YEARS. Amazing if you ask me.
Highschool: 'Getting busy' consists of planning around parents, siblings and schedules
Good luck in maintaining a decent sex life in high school. It could honestly be class in itself, though certainly not one taught by any of your teachers. Since you're likely living with your parents and siblings if you have any, it can be hard to get any decent alone time with you and your S/O. This means getting creative with your locations as well as pacing your relationship to build up to sex over time. And when it happens? Just pray your first time isn't in a car or a park.
University: Sex is almost always on the table
In some cases, it's the first course. College/ university is a time where you might be away from your parents and family for the first time. This means it's your first time living on your own which is hella liberating AND sexy. You don't have to abide by any rules - except those made by your landlord or dormitory - but regardless, you can definitely have your bae stay over super late or even spend the night without ruffling anyone's feathers.
The only thing to think about really is roommates & roommate courtesy - aka no insane moans in those early morning hours and trying not to sexile them every night of the week. Remember be kind, courteous and maybe gift them a pair of nice headphones.
Highschool: Whoever you date is going to have a lasting impression on you
Think about it - some of your most memorable experiences are going to be locked in with this person. Prom, graduation, a school's-over-vacation? If you're seeing someone, you two will most likely be spending these special days together. Which is why I encourage you to end things with your high school bae as amicably as possible. You're going to be remembering them for a hella long time, they might as well be fond things instead of foul.
University: This person will help shape you in a serious way
If you actually lock down a boyfriend/girlfriend in university, you'll be leaning on them a lot more than usual. You're away from home, in a completely different environment, taking on academics, social activities, clubs and societies. You'll be able to share a special time in your lives together when all you're focused on is school, a part-time job possibly, and each other. This is a rare opportunity for you to really connect with someone before being swept away with the realities of 9-5s, commutes and ~*adult problems*~. Savour these days, they're nothing but sweet.