As a college student myself, I have often wondered the same thing that you are wondering.
First, if some of my friends are in love and getting engaged, is there something wrong with me or the relationships that I am in?
Second, is this really the time to be getting into such serious relationships, and what is the ultimate benefit or cost to a more casual attitude towards relationships?
Girls and Guys Have Different Intentions
My friends and I have discussed this issue to no end and I have come to the conclusion that for every individual the answer is different BUT the truth is that for guys and girls the intentions are also very different. It seems to me that guys and girls, for the most part in the first few years at college, have very different ideas of what they are looking for and what the "college experience" should entail.
Guys Don't Want a Serious Relationship
A lot of the guys that I talk to are looking for a good time and don't feel like they are ready or wiling to put in the time or the effort that a serious relationship would involve.
Some of them are looking to find a girl that they can treat well and be involved with but not have that "serious relationship thing" getting in the way these guys want to have their cake and eat it too :-).
Most Girls Want a Serious Relationship
A lot of the girls that I have talked to express a desire to "be in love and live happily ever after" and tend to be looking for a more serious relationship. Some of my closest friends, however, just want to have fun and date a different guy every week.
Be Honest from the Start
At the end of the day, it's up to you to decide what you are looking for and where you can find it. If you are not ready for a commitment and would rather just date different guys and have fun then there is nothing wrong with that. If, however, you are looking for something serious and are not interested in having casual relationships then it is imporant that you are honest with the guys that you get involved with from the start.
Have "The Talk"
If you go out with a guy on a number of dates and you feel that there is a chance that you may be into him, I highly recommend having "the talk." Sit him down and ask him what he's looking for from the situation and explain to him what you are looking for. If you find that you are both on different pages then maybe it is time to move on and find someone else who is looking for the same thing as you are. It's all about figuring out what you are looking for and if you are going to get that from the guys that you are dating.
Last Chance To Be "Young and Wild and Free"
You aren't going to get into trouble if you are straight forward and honest with both yourself and the guy that you are involved with. A lot of people feel that college should be the best years of your life and that while your responsibilities increase and you do have to grow up a little bit this is your last chance to be "young and wild and free." If that means having a few casual relationships that you learn something from, then I say "Go for it".
Don't Worry About Marriage
There is no reason why you should have to start worrying about getting married just yet. You have a lot of time to do that in the future.
In the meantime, study hard, enjoy life, and figure out what would make you happiest and how to find it. Just remember that the best way to get what you are looking for is by being honest about it with yourself first and then with anyone else that you get involved with.