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A Teen's View

MRS Degree

Olivia Sielaff

(2/12) On my way back to Steubenville after a short break last semester, I was introduced to the Franciscan University song. A graduate student was driving me and two other students back to campus when he insisted on the necessity that every Franciscan student should hear it. I thought it might be a charismatic worship song, a rugby cheer, or even our Alma Mater. However, it turned out to be a student-written song relating the "awkward moments in the life of a student at Franciscan University," aptly named ‘The Awkward Song.’ This song (you can find it on YouTube) specifically pokes fun at those awkward moments of the beginning of a relationship exclusive to Franciscan students. "If you don’t remember anything else at Franciscan," my driver said, "then just remember this song. We need to keep the tradition alive." Of course, I laughed the entire way through the song because it really was funny…and somewhat true!

Since it is February, the month of cupids and candy hearts, I thought it would be appropriate to indulge you with the ways in which many of my Franciscan fellows approach relationships and dating, as demonstrated by the song. It is quite entertaining – but mostly just annoying – for a single like myself to watch and learn from these, usually, frivolous and pathetic beginnings of a relationship.

DISCLAIMER: In no way is my intention to deride the meaning of a true relationship; nor am I writing this out of jealousy for those in an honorable relationship. I am only speaking of the conventions a typical Franciscan student may take when going about finding a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Now that that’s out of the way, I can give you my list of the Top 5 ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting to Date at Franciscan University.’

Number 1 (and this is always a given): If you make eye contact with someone of the opposite gender, you are destined to be married. Sorry, but you can’t change the Fate’s design. So if you don’t plan on getting married any time soon, I suggest you walk to and from classes looking at your feet or cell phone.

Number 2: If you are seen walking, talking, studying, eating, or sitting in a church pew with someone of the opposite gender, then expect to be interrogated as to when you started dating. Yes, this has happened to me on multiple occasions.

Number 3: Holding hands (even during meal times) sends the signal that you are definitely serious. Beware; this will draw the occasional glance or stare of other diners in the cafeteria.

Number 4: Having a ‘month-iversary’ date is typical. Why not celebrate one month at a time? When you’re around the same person every day, a month can seem quite awhile.

Number 5: If the guy asks the girl for her adoration hour (when she goes to the chapel to pray), it’s basically the same as if he were asking for her cell-phone number. After this occurs, you can be sure, ladies, that he just may ask you to marry him.

These five items probably seem innocent or even childish compared to how relationships are developed on other college campuses; and a few are meant jokingly. Most students take these as silly traditions and good-naturedly refer to them when a love interest might possibly be occurring. However, just by spending one semester on campus, I have noticed that many of the students are struck with lovesickness (as ‘The Awkward Song’ says), desperately seeking out their soul mate in every person that walks by them. I don’t understand why many college students think the only time they have to find a spouse is in their college years. Maybe I don’t know something about the whole dating scene because I’ve never dated before or been hit with lovesickness, but I do know that looking for a husband in every cute-looking, single guy isn’t the way to go.

In my senior year of high school when I had decided to attend Franciscan University, an alumnus asked me if I was going for my ‘MRS degree.’ I responded that I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. He laughed, and then I realized he was implying that many young girls attend college to look for a husband and become a ‘Mrs.’ I completely understand if this were to be someone’s secondary reason for attending college, but for many it is their primary reason. And since the girl-to-guy ratio at Franciscan is 3 to 1, this makes it even more difficult for the ladies, and apparent to others, to find Mr. Right and attain that degree.

What I mean to say is this. When an individual is so desperately seeking love and only sees another person as a means to satisfy their lack of a relationship, that individual is debasing the other’s value as a person, who possesses so much more than just a cure for lovesickness. Just in one semester, I have seen a number of ‘couples’ that have begun dating even before they developed a friendship. In most cases, the infatuation wears off within a month or two, and the ‘couple’ breaks up because their lovesickness is ended. Just one reason this occurs is because there isn’t a greater emphasis on developing relationships through friendship and long-lasting ideals. Perhaps instead of "keeping the tradition of ‘The Awkward Song’ alive" and bolstering the hopes of so many MRS degree-seeking girls, we can start a new tradition. A tradition not based on lovesickness or desperation, but on friendship and seeing the true value of relationships. So this February 14th, I’m not going to wallow in the fact that I only have three and half more years to find my man; I’m going to rejoice that I have three and a half more years to create lasting friendships that just might lead me to something unexpected…and not at all awkward.

Read other articles by Olivia Sielaff