By Robert Pearl

The pressures of college are daunting to every incoming freshman. We worry about doing well in school, making friends, and, ultimately, graduating.

But some freshmen have the added stress of wondering when—or if—they’ll finally do the deed and lose their virginities.

Sex is such a big part of everyday life; whether it is seen in the media or just discussed in a conversation, it constantly reminds those who haven’t had sex to ask themselves, “When is it going to happen?” The more that students are reminded of their “abstinence,” the more expectations they put on themselves.

To everyone not having sex, everyone else seems more experienced, and when the crucial moment comes, you won’t know what to do.

Some virgins feel they are too picky. Some feel that they need to just find any partner and get it over with. And some decide that they can do without sex. The tension really starts to build (in more ways than one) — and that’s just the self-induced pressure.

But that’s not all. With virginity can come peer pressure and ridicule from classmates and friends, which can lead to labels ranging from simply being cold to being a prude or an ice queen (or king).

The most sexually active people seem to be the ones that put the most pressure on those that haven’t had the experience of sex.

We all know that the stress we put on ourselves during our time at UC Santa Cruz can cause us to feel depressed or bummed out at times.

The stress isn’t usually instigated by the pressure to lose your “v-card,” but being teased about it can really bring you down.

However, take a second to think about how small a problem this is in the grand scheme of things.

You’ve got plenty to do while at college, and you don’t have to deal with all the emotional baggage that comes along with being sexually active.

There are no 2 a.m. phone calls asking you to come over, and no conversations that start off with, “So, are we just hooking up or what?” Not to mention the fact that you don’t have to worry about pregnancy or STDs.

There are many amazing aspects to being sexually active, but losing your virginity is a one-time thing that you’ll remember your entire life.

Don’t make sex a burden. You want this to be the best moment that it can be, so when the situation finally comes around (and it will), think about it. Is this the right person for you? And if it is, make sure it’s on your terms, take it slow, don’t be nervous, and by all means … enjoy it.