The importance of dating everybody

Erin Granat graduated from UNR in May and now works as a freelance writer and host of ERIN 411!. After remaining single for most of college, she learned exactly what kind of guy she likes: the foreign kind. She will be traveling New Zealand this winter with her Kiwi boyfriend.

As a recent UNR graduate, I feel it is my obligation to give some advice to you, esteemed freshmen. I learned many things in my undergraduate career. I learned the difference between communism, socialism and capitalism. I learned how to graph an earthquake fault. I learned the nuances of Twain and the complexities of Shakespeare. I learned how to cook chicken. But in summation, after four (OK, five) years of careful analysis, I’ve come up with two conclusions on What College Is About.

• College is about expanding your intelligence among like-minded scholars in order to mold yourself into a well-educated member of society.

• College is about dating as many people as you can possibly fit into four (OK, five) years because the booty will never be so diverse and accessible again.

Always wanted to date someone who was into painting? Get thee to Church Fine Arts, and get on it! Interested in athletes? Hang out at Lawlor until practice lets out! Crushing on that dual bio-chem/pysch major with the sexy accent you met at orientation? Start the “Foreign Student Outreach” club, and invite him or her to join. Tip: Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) will even give you like 50 bucks to start the club; you could take them out to dinner!

In college, none of the old rules apply. You aren’t restricted to your social group from high school. You’re expected to meet new people and try new things. College is a hotbed of possibility. You can date anyone without worrying about how it will affect your reputation. It’s the perfect training ground to find what kind of person you ultimately want to be with in life.

Am I saying you should have sex with all these people? Absolutely not. Nobody likes a Slutty Sally or an STD Stan. The point is to shop around.

“But, Erin, I’ve been with my girlfriend/boyfriend since junior prom and we’re soooo in love! College can’t change that!”

Ah, the classic “carryover” relationship. You’re trying to “carry over” to the college world the same feelings, rules and situations you had in the high school world. But it’s a whole new bag, baby! I hate to break it to you, but it’s probably not going to last. There wasn’t a single person I graduated with who’s still dating the person they “carried over” from their younger years. And thank goodness. Can you imagine entering the workforce after graduation (doing things like taxes, people!) while still dating the same person you had to get home before curfew?

I’m not saying you should break up with them right this minute. I’m just saying the breakup is inevitable. So, instead of holding onto the relationship for security and making each other miserable when things start to crack a few months down the road, make your first college decision, and send them on their way. See how mature you are!

The bottom line is this: Don’t get yourself all tied down in a super-serious, super-committed, super-stifling relationship when you’re in college, of all places. The only thing you should be serious about right now is your future, completely independent of another person.

Be single, and date everyone because as I’m already (sadly) realizing, college is the most free, uncomplicated time of your life. There will never be a better time to experiment romantically. So go get ’em, tiger!