Happy Even After


Getty ImagesBy Julia Fuino Relationships can be so seasonal. There's always the sudden rush around the holidays in the spirit of giving, family gatherings, mistletoe, etc, which makes it easy to get caught up in relationship fever. But once spring semester hits, the snow starts to clear and actual ‘rush’ begins, more and more students become single.

Sounds easy. But what happens when your high school sweetheart becomes Mr. Frat-daddy and leaves you in the dust? Chances are, a break up is in your near future and whether or not its you who initiates it, you're not going to be happy about it. So what do you do? Well, you have options. You can sulk around, close your door to friends, listen to Sarah McLachlan on repeat and purchase a kitten and grow old together, OR you can take my advice and create a better situation for a better you.

1. Step One: Let the douchebag go.

Remember that old nursery rhyme "If he hollers let him go?" If he's giving you any indication that he wants his single life back and that you're just a hindrance in his newfound lifestyle of sorostitute-filled weekends, do yourself a favor and absolutely let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. Why? Because you don't want or need the drama. Because you don't want to sit around waiting for someone who keeps you solely as an option rather than a priority. Because you have respect for yourself. And most importantly: Because chances are, he wants to get it in with half the campus and STDs aren't really your style.

2. Step Two: Go to the gym.

I know that sitting around eating Ben and Jerry's and watching those sad animal commercials on TV are more your speed after a breakup, but seriously—that’s basically letting your ex win. Get up and get to the gym. It's been proven that working out and physical activity in general have natural health and happiness benefits, so get like Elle Woods and boost your endorphins “because endorphins make you happy and happy people just don't kill their husbands” (or, in this case, ex-boyfriends). When my long-term boyfriend and I broke up, I immediately got myself to the gym. As a result, I was able to get confidence back that I never thought I would. I had nothing to lose—except 25 pounds!

3. Step Three: Go Out

Trust me, I understand that it's a little difficult at first and the only thing you want to do is text your ex or call them when you're drunk, but let your friends do you a favor with this one. When you go out, give them your phone; have some self-control. Nothing looks worse than drunken calls after a breakup because it looks desperate. It's important to surround yourself with friends and new people. Distract yourself. Keep yourself busy. That way, you'll have less time to overanalyze what would've, could've, should've been, because let's be serious: your ex certainly isn't.

4. Step Four: Get your bookworm on

Sign up for things. Get involved. There are enough different clubs and organizations on this campus to keep you busy 24/7. Sign up for something that interests you, where you can meet new people. Apply for a job on or off-campus. Some of my best friends have come from my workplace. It gives you an outlet, especially if it's a job off-campus. You'll be making money, making friends and getting your sad self away from the situation. Another thing to consider is studying in the library. Study either with people or in Pages; don't just sulk around and be all by yourself. Becoming a hermit after a breakup only limits the freedom you've just been handed. Do your work and boost your grades. Make something great out of a shitty situation. Everyone knows you're hurt; you know you're hurt. Don't let the things that matter know you're hurt too. Challenge yourself to move on for the better.

Get yourself back on track for the new semester. Being single isn't a death sentence, but rather an opportunity to be a free man or woman. No more waiting by the phone, arguing, wondering what the other person is doing, or any of the other bullshit that come with a relationship. If it was meant to be, give it time. You're only in college once; you deserve to have fun.