Embracing singlehood in college

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

There I was drinking my coffee, when I was asked the dreaded question. “Oh, you’re still single?”

When I’m asked this I never know how to respond. Obviously, my initial response is “yes” but it almost seems as if people don’t like that answer nowadays.

Many people equate saying ‘yes’ to being single as admitting there is something wrong with who you are.

Being single is so looked down upon today, that it makes those who are feel like they will never be enough.

Our society has put such a stigma on not being in a relationship that anyone in that situation is bound to feel bad about his or her situation.

This stigma is portrayed in books, movies and even music. For example, almost every
rom-com celebrates finding “the one” while pitying the single supporting characters.

Every indie song ever bemoans the heartbreak which accompanies singlehood,
and Five Seconds of Summer mourns lost love in “Youngblood.”

While there are tunes which celebrate embowered singles (think Beyonce and Ariana
Grande), most songs on the radio deal with the loneliness or insecurity of some sort. We are constantly being fed the idea that we must be in love in order to achieve happiness.

But we don’t have to listen to that particular message any longer. It is time to embrace the idea that singles can and will live joyful and fulfilling lives. If you have already embraced this mindset than that’s fantastic, but if not, this is for you.

I’m 20 years old now and this school year is the first time I’ve been single since I was 16.  Initially being solo was a strange feeling but as time goes on, I’m realizing it’s the best thing for me.

I have time to devote to things and people that I didn’t before; I also have the opportunity to learn more about who I am outside of a relationship. Although realizing this time alone is good for me, it hasn’t made life any easier.

It’s hard enough being single in college, let alone on a small campus where over half of the student population is either dating, engaged or married.

Being constantly surrounded by couples who are head over heels in love can at times be disheartening. It can also make you feel extremely lonely and unfulfilled.

But I’ve decided I won’t allow myself to feel that way. I don’t need a significant other, in order to be happy or fulfilled. All I need is the love of family and friends, and most importantly, Jesus Christ.

I’ve been given this time to learn more about myself and the people around me. So instead of sulking around about what I don’t have, I should be grateful for what I do.

In fact, the Bible touches on this notion specifically. In 1 Corinthians 7:7 the Apostle Paul describes singleness as a gift that is worth just as much as marriage. Singleness is the gift of time that you can share with others. It is the gift of love you spread amongst everyone you know. It is the gift of intentionality that you put into your relationships.

Singleness does not have to be looked at as a burden, but as a blessing. Even if you are single but long to be married, this is a time that should be cherished, because you may never again get such an opportunity to discover your own voice.

Stop focusing on the idea that being single now means you will be that way forever.

If you are called to marriage, then it will happen when the time is right—and in the meantime, enjoy the growth and be in the moment.

While it may be God’s plan for some to live in holy matrimony, I would say there is
also a treasure in being called to singleness.

Jesus never married, and neither did Jeremiah. God specifically commanded Jeremiah not to marry in order to fulfill his calling as a prophet.

Whether it be for a season or a lifetime, living in singleness allows you to focus on finding fulfillment in God alone.

It gives you the opportunity to look at love as something that is universal throughout all types of relationships, not only romantic.

So the next time someone asks you if you are dating, try not to feel as if your answer is lacking somehow—it isn’t, and it reflects where you are now.

And you are right where God envisioned you.

On the Hill: Mackenzie Camp

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

“There’s not a single person in the world who doesn’t have a relationship”

When it comes to having a particular skill or talent, people usually correlate it with having musical ability or athleticism. There is one student on OBU’s campus who has proven that the ability to build meaningful relationships is also a reputable skill. 

Sophomore family and community service major, Mackenzie Camp, said having relationships that are solid and grounded is one of the main things she has always valued.  

“I love talking about relationships, because there’s not a person in the world who doesn’t have a relationship,” she said.  

She said her main interest in relationships themselves stems from the enjoyment of seeing people get along. She loves helping people to resolve conflict whether it be in friendships or romantic relationships.  

“I think the Lord has gifted me in listening and helping people interact with other people,” Camp said.  

Sophomore English major, Jonathan Soder, said you can see Camp’s interest in people through her want and ability to have meaningful conversation with those around her.  

“She wants to talk about stuff that actually matters,” he said. “It’s refreshing to have someone to talk about what life really is and the difficulties of college with.” 

Camp believes in order to build connections with others that one must be accessible to everyone they are around. She tries to be available to her friends whenever they need her, as well as honest about how she thinks different issues can be solved.  

“I’ve always been good at being relatively real with people, and I think people value that more than they think they do when developing friendships,” Camp said.   

Camp said OBU caters well to how she develops friendships and connections with other people. She said she can’t picture going anywhere else because of the community she gained from going to this university.   

“I’ve always seen community as really important,” she said. “So being at a place that nurtures community well has been great for me.”  

Camp’s heart for community and relationship is rooted in her heart for ministry. Her hope for the future is to work on staff at a church in a counselor position or to go overseas and counsel missionaries stationed there. In doing so, she wants to teach people how to emulate their relationship with Christ in their earthly relationships.  

“For me relationship is an important part of the kingdom because that’s how you build discipleship, community and fellowship,” Camp said, “It’s also what you have with Christ, so why wouldn’t it be important to have relationship with other people who are made in the image of God?”  

She said that if she can help couples and friends to date, marry and better their relationships while also glorifying God, that will be her way of fulfilling what the Lord wants for her life. She wants to not only teach how important relationships are in a person’s life, but also all they have to offer. Specifically, because the forming of a relationship with another person is one way to share the gospel.  

“Since calls to discipleship and things like that are based on relationships, I think there’s so much riding on them that to not pay them any attention is to put the Kingdom of God on a back burner,” Camp said.  

Camp’s goal is to invest in others in such a way that her love for them is evident and that they are able to invest the same type of love into their friends and family.  

“I think the big thing that shows through as Christlikeness in Mackenzie’s approach to friendship, is just her propensity for investment,” Soder said. “She invests in people easily and she demonstrates selflessness that is refreshing to people.”