Ladies, Don't Be Married To The Idea Of 'Ring By Spring'—Live Your Best College Life Instead
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As a single college student surrounded by tons of people who are dating or even engaged, it's so easy to get lost in the game of comparison. The "ring by spring" culture that envelopes many christian college campuses can create a lot of pressure to be in a relationship and find "the one".

The phrase, "ring by spring" refers to students aiming to be engaged by the spring semester of their senior year. The saying is often thrown around as a joke but the social pressure of settling down before college ends or shortly after graduation is definitely real.

In a survey conducted by Stacy Keogh George at Baylor University at least 67% of the students feel at least a little bit of pressure to get married. The study also reports that females feel more pressure from the "ring by spring" culture than males do.

So, what is it that creates this social pressure? Is it solely promoted by the students themselves, or does the university play a role in perpetuating this culture?

It's not uncommon for a speaker addressing the entire student body to throw in some ring by spring jokes and remark on girls coming to earn their "M.R.S. degree". Often at welcome events speed dating is available and #RingBySpring is even promoted on the school's social media. So, does the school have a part in encouraging this phenomenon? To an extent, yes, and the students at these institutions just walk in this age old tradition.

Ring by Spring can function as a good thing in that it promotes marriage. However, it definitely has its faults. Charlie D. Pruett, PhD., a professor at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas states, "it could promote weakened marriages due to an unhealthy motivation for marriage," and "promote lower self-worth among individuals who have 'failed' to achieve the social value of success when RBS is not achieved."

An engagement shouldn't be treated as the fulfillment of a social expectation.

Because of how heavily ring by spring saturates campuses it can greatly influence the way the students perceive dating. Dating within a christian college setting is often approached with more serious intentions, and while intentionality within relationships is important, casually dating and getting to know someone should also be an option.

In order to alleviate some of the pressures that come with the common ring by spring mindset it's important to generate conversation about what a healthy relationship looks like. Young adults should be informed that time spent single isn't wasted time and it's possible to meet a potential spouse outside of college.

Students should be encouraged to pursue the calling that God has placed on their life and let the right person come along in God's timing rather than allowing a relationship, or the idea of a relationship, to consume their thoughts or skew how they view their self worth.

So to the college student out there who hasn't found their forever girl/guy, be patient, be still and be content with where God has placed you. Utilize your college years to become more self aware and sharpen your skills for the professional field that lies ahead of you.

Love comes in God's timing. You can rest in knowing His promises for your life and have faith in knowing He is consistent and will follow through.

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

I Am A Hopeless Romantic Living In A World Where One-Night Stands Are The Norm

It's the little things.

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In today's society, it can certainly start to feel like no one takes love seriously anymore.

Whether it's that one couple who has broken up and gotten back together more times than you can count, the two friends-with-benefits no one can figure out, your local womanizer, or just hookups in general, love and lust are a huge part of specifically college life and culture.

As a hopeless romantic, being part of a generation that "just wants to have fun" can be really frustrating, especially when you just want to find something real. It is so easy for people to put on a fake act just to get what they want and sometimes this can be extremely hard to see through. I'm sure we've all had some kind of incident with someone who played nice but had ulterior motives and the sad truth is that it can be impossible to recognize a person's artificiality.

I am a hopeless romantic.

I have always classified myself as such, and it has remained true. Sure, I can make the most of the freedoms I have as a single college woman, but deep down I just want to find my person.

I've had my fair share of letdowns, and I think we all have, but being a hopeless romantic makes it that much more difficult to get past the "what ifs" and fantasies that come along with starting something with someone new. We may already have our hearts set on a person when they decide they've gotten what they wanted and leave.

For me, I find myself caught up in the little things that someone does. I have always been someone who picks up on small details in situations, and sometimes this works against me.

I pick up on the small facial expressions that he may not even realize he is making; the ones that tell you when their guard has been let down, even just for a split second.

I pick up on the way he sits our two cellphones side by side on the nightstand, taking care to line them up perfectly as if that's just their spot.

I pick up on the short moments of laughter where he actually lets himself laugh and forgets about the act.

I pick up on things, and sometimes I end up hurting because of it.

When it comes down to it, though, I wouldn't change the way that I am. I wouldn't change the fact that I find myself in the search for more in a society that mostly only offers me less.

The trait that tends to hurt me most is also the one that I value most. Even if noticing all the little things is something that contributes to my own heartache, I love those moments. There is something beautiful about those tiny things shared by two people, even if the connection ends there.

Sure, it can be hard. But so can everything.

It's just a matter of finding the beauty.

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Dedicate Your Summer To Bettering Yourself For Yourself, Not Your Ex

Why waste energy on an ex who doesn't care about you anymore?

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I'm single for the summer (yet again, no shock there) but this summer there's something in the air that just feels different. It's the feeling of true acceptance of my single status.

Last summer I was single when I really didn't want to be. My heart with still holding out for a guy who wasn't interested in anything more than my friendship. It took me from late March all the way until Halloween to get over those feelings. However, while working through those tough feelings that summer, I came to enjoy my time on my own and not talking to anyone except my best friends. I didn't have to worry about when I'd get a text back, or if I'd be left on read, or who he'd be out with since I wasn't around. The only thing I needed to worry about was my paychecks and tan lines.

Sometimes after breaking things off with someone who you put so much effort into, whether it was a boyfriend, an almost relationship, or even a friend with benefits, it's easy to want to show off on social media and make them regret ever hurting you or ending things. Why? It's a nice little ego boost, sure, but after those few seconds of glee from the fact that you know they've seen and maybe even liked your picture or your tweet, or saw your story on Snapchat, do you still feel happy? No, you go right back to feeling like crap, whether you want to admit it or not. Stop making yourself all about them when that ship has sailed and start being all about you.

Your ex is off doing their own thing, maybe thinking about you, but obviously not enough to want you back in their life the way you used to be. They are probably out there finding a new person to take your spot because they don't have you at their beck and call anymore. If they're also showing off to show you how much better they are without you or to make you jealous...why are you still following them or still participating in this sick little game for attention? Grow up and block them so you don't have to keep seeing their posts, or be adult enough to stop if you're doing the same as well. If it's only you posting, chances are you just look stupid, so stop before you really embarrass yourself. I was that person, and I know first hand how embarrassed I am for acting the way I did.

Summer is synonymous for doing whatever the hell you want. Wear what you want, say what you want, and be the best version of yourself that only a high dose of Vitamin D can bring out. Your ex is an ex for many reasons. You have to set aside the summer for you and what benefits you only. Don't concern yourself with an ex who doesn't care in the least about you anymore. Coming from someone who posted thirst traps aimed at a specific person along with countless shady AF stories on Snap and Insta in the hopes that this one person and their friends would see it, just stop and save yourself the energy as well as regret.

We're all adults, it's time to stop the petty posts and photos. Post your thirst trap for yourself because you're a sexy queen who doesn't need anyone but herself. Once you start focusing on yourself this summer, instead of your ex, you'll realize just have great it feels to truly be free.

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