Rachel Hartdegen, Campus Carrier staff writer
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and in this season of love, there is an ever-present gloom for those not yet cuffed. Although this holiday is surrounded by hearts and love, it is also a reminder that our world is catered to those in relationships.
There is an expectation to be married by the age of 30, and that pressure is the most apparent here at Berry. During orientation, we are guaranteed that most of us will find our spouses in our time here at Berry.
The act of being single is one of discomfort, especially when your singlehood is present for the public. The question about our relationship status is the most feared when we return home, and going to the movies alone feels taboo. Relationships are the norm in our culture.
This as a fact may not seem inherently destructive, but these norms have no place in 2020. Young adults shouldn’t spend their time longing for a relationship, but they should instead enjoy their singledom.
Research shows that the number of single people has been on the decline since the 1960s, but that is not shown in our culture. Almost every movie or show features some sort of romance or a character that longs for romance. Rare are the films that celebrate the single life, unless that single life involves random one-night stands. The media is filled with ships and the one true pair, but there is no celebration for the independent characters that pave the way for the single masses.
In recent years there has been a shift in the tide where protagonists in our stories stand strong on their own, but these characters are seen as strange to the public. When Frozen first came out, Disney shocked the masses as they presented Elsa, a queen who loved her kingdom and didn’t need a partner. This shock soon became speculation as to whether Elsa would be the first gay princess or if she would find her prince in the anticipated sequel. The thought of Elsa remaining single did not cross anyone’s mind and if you argued this point you were the enemy of romance.
Being single is not only abnormal, but it carries many stereotypes in its wake. If someone is single it is a lifestyle choice or a mark on their character. Singleness means a person is either afraid of commitment or undesirable. It is a social plague that is shamed and carries a lot of weight. Being single is hard for many reasons, but most of all it’s the judgment that this state of being provokes.
Instead of living each day suffocated by social ideas, the singles need to celebrate their independent state. Being single doesn’t make someone lonely and unloved, it makes them strong and unique. Instead of trudging through singledom, enjoy the perks of being alone.
Spend your single days growing and learning. Invest in the people around you and invest in yourself. Learn how to become your best self or enjoy the incredible person you are. Don’t date or marry yourself, just be yourself. Embrace the freedom and independence of being single and shrug off the weight of social norms. Being single isn’t abnormal.