Strong confident woman! Winning and life goals concept.As we grow into our teens and early adulthood, there seems to be a universal expectation across all genders to enter a relationship. To quote Tina Fey in the movie Mean Girls, how many of you have felt “personally victimized” by this social pressure? Whether it stems from your peers, family, the media or just your own self-consciousness, being single is nothing to be ashamed of.

As someone who has been single for quite some time now, I’ve come to realize that this status is almost entirely incidental. Prioritizing my academics, hobbies, and internships have made it nearly impossible for me to carve out time for a relationship. I’ve stopped and thought before, “Is it weird that I’m not actively seeking to be with anyone, especially at my age?” However, this anxiety stemmed from my desire to fulfill the social expectation, rather than my desire to actually be in a relationship. I’ve even come to embrace this status as empowering, particularly as a young woman, for the following reasons:

  1. A Chance to Find Yourself: We are at the prime age to experiment with our interests, passions and lifestyles. I’ve found it easier to be self-confident and explore my likes and dislikes when I’m not trying to impress someone else.
  2. Set Goals and Prioritize: For me personally, I’ve been using all of my time researching career opportunities and utilizing leadership resources at my college, so being single is the perfect time for you to push yourself and focus on matters you care about.
  3. A Feeling of Independence: Being comfortable with yourself and knowing you don’t need anyone else to be happy is the key to embracing the single life. If you can be strong on your own, you can be that much stronger in your life and with a partner. We all hope to find “The One” someday, but in the meantime, don’t feel obligated to meet others’ expectations. Once you find yourself, the rest will fall into place.