Olivia Silvey ’25
When I first came to Trinity, I was so sure I was going to find my life partner here. I remember sitting at matriculation, holding that tasteless Brisk lemonade in my hands and marveling at the hundreds of new faces around me. After the romantic roller coaster of public high school, this seemed like exactly the cure for my 19-year-old self.
That makes me laugh now, almost three years later. To a fresh-out-of-senior-year hopeless romantic, New England was the perfect place to find my soulmate. Now I know better.
Finding — and keeping — love in college is hard. At first, everyone just wants to hook up, or they stupidly forgot to break up with their partner from high school. Then, it’s September of sophomore year and suddenly everyone is boo’ed up. You shrug it off until junior year, until you realize that everyone either really IS boo’ed up (for an indefinite amount of time), or they’re writing an editorial just like this one.
For those of you who have managed to be in the boo’ed up category, I applaud you, especially here at Trinity. While college in general is a complete change of pace from high school love life, Trinity can be an especially difficult place to even secure a “talking stage,” much less move past one. As you are all aware, everyone knows everyone’s business here (except for that time you accidentally hooked up with your TA’s ex — someone could have warned you). That makes the general fear of rejection even more excruciating. Combine that with the intense hookup culture ratrace and a whopping population of 2,200, and it’s a miracle that there are even couples on this campus at all.
I guess this is where I’m supposed to encourage you singles out there to keep trying, to shoot your shot, and that love will come when you least expect it. I guess this is also where I’m supposed to tell happy couples to screw off. But, I won’t
As a second-semester junior now looking back on my freshman-year thoughts, maybe it’s time to reevaluate college as a place to find love – and by love I mean the couples that will be going out for romantic two- top dinners tomorrow night, smitten and committed. We all know that type of love, and many of us want it if we do not already have it. I am going to encourage another way to look at love in college (and no, I’m not talking about Galentine’s Day).
My time in college has expanded how I express and feel love. To me, love isn’t just a happy couple together forever. It’s also:
- The room full of people who show up for a club meeting on Sunday nights
- A good dance floor make out (officially known as a DFMO)
- Seeing the person who used to be your best friend, but isn’t anymore
- The care packages full of weird food that your mom sends you
- Your Superbowl potluck
- Advocating for a safer climate with others who feel the same
- The RA who says hi to you every morning in the bathroom
- Your class crush who makes you want to put on a good outfit
And yes, this non- exhaustive list does not replace the type of love you get from a long-term partner. But don’t kid yourself into thinking that is the only way to give and receive love. And for those of you in serious relationships, you aren’t exempt from rewiring your brain to think about love. Relationships always require fulfillment from places outside of your partner, and this may even be a sign to reconsider the love within your relationship…
So, to sum it up: For the partnered up: Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and make your partner know they matter.
For the singles: Embrace your freedom, explore something new (you don’t have to be in a relationship to spend time with someone) but don’t be afraid to feel a little shitty.
And for the ones in situationships: You’re better than this… it’s okay to admit that you don’t want casual. Spread some love this week and see you soon.