As a new semester approaches, more fish in the sea are starting to pop up. With students returning to campus, the dating pool is opening up again, which can be both a blessing and a curse. For those who have never downloaded a dating app or those on a break from them, consider keeping them uninstalled during the first few months of school.
It's tempting to think that a new school year means new options and a chance to find whatever you may be looking for, but it can also cloud your priorities. Whether that be your school work, jobs, spending time with friends or focusing on yourself, dating apps can be a distraction. Constant notifications of matches and conversations can be taxing and an addition to your plate that isn't a necessity.
One can lose themselves in the validation, or lack thereof, from these apps as well. It is an ego boost to get a lot of swipes and compliments from people online, but it can also be toxic to receive validation from others continuously. You may slip into a mindset of putting your self-worth into the amount of likes you get or how many people are interested in you. The same goes for not getting attention, too, as you may feel negatively about the lack of notifications. These apps should not define you or your self-esteem.
The start of college should also be a time to straighten your priorities. Focusing on your classes and wellness should be at the top of your list of things to do, and keeping active on dating apps takes time and energy you could be putting elsewhere. If your conversations with people turn into dates or hookups, it can also be an added anxiety and stress too.
Picking a time and place, getting to know someone and deciding to keep in contact or not is all extra baggage that's unnecessary for one's mental health. Especially for freshmen or anyone new to the college experience, it takes time to get acclimated and worrying about someone else instead of yourself can be draining.
So if you think you may be ready to start looking on dating apps for that special someone, you may want to think again about what you're looking for and if your priorities are in order. It's OK to want to be with someone, but don't try to seek them if you may not be ready. You should be your number one priority, and sometimes, the best people can come along when you're least expecting it and not searching at all.
BedPost is a relationship column that does not reflect the views of The Post.