It’s 2:33 p.m. You’re just getting out of your class in Lincoln Hall at Pomona College. You’ve got a 2:45 p.m. class at Pitzer College, and that La Croix you were sipping in class has you scouting out the nearest bathroom. You risk running late to satisfy your bodily needs.
And then you see him. Everything stops.
The way his stained Pomona sweater clings to his lanky physique, the way he smells tolerable because he isn’t the kind of boy that goes more than two days without showering, the way his hair flows — more like limps — over his generic Fuckboy Blue™ eyes, the way …
You snap back into reality in time to realize he’s gone. The time is 2:56 p.m., and you are definitely Pass/No Credit-ing that Pitzer class.
If you’re wondering what it means to be a college student in love, here it is.
To be in love is to be oppressed. Oppressed by impossible expectations, by debilitating infatuation, by incessant fantasies about that house you’ll buy together in Switzerland when you’re 40.
In short, love sucks. But, of course, we never shut our friends down for experiencing it. In a way, we even glamorize it. How could we not, what with endless portrayals in the media and the general perception that love is some fortuitous godsend that’s oftentimes out of one’s own control.
I’m here to reject that hypothesis.
What do we regard most things we feel as? Facts? Fate? Or mere opinions? Political ideologies, for example, can be clearly identified as opinion-based.
While the distinction becomes far more nebulous as we get into issues of love and affection, I will argue that they’re no less based on opinion and personal environmental context than one’s political views.
Growing up with daddy issues and relapsing on Lana Del Rey’s music every other week like a nasty cocaine habit throughout middle and high school says more about your contentious fling with that 43-year-old named Larry you met at a biker bar on April 20 than any sort of “divine intervention.”
And so, how can we dignify anything so evidently opinion-based as this with such notions of importance and sacredness? We cannot and should not.
I wouldn’t say anything if I didn’t consider this a damaging epidemic. But I do, and so I am. There’s a reason deans of students doesn’t give accommodations for ruminating on the magical rendezvous you had with a “not like the others” Claremont McKenna College philosophy major last weekend.
It’s because it’s not that deep. Please don’t treat it like it is. He’s probably going to ghost you, and your feelings for him are probably wrong in the first place.
Did I just say wrong? Yes, I did. Dead wrong. We overly glorify individuals who are the objects of our affection, to the point where we cannot acknowledge that they, too, are flawed human beings.
Dimples don’t negate emotional incompetence, Rebecca. So stop acting like they do.
Know your worth, and the next time you find yourself catching feelings, consider where it’s targeted. Ask yourself: do they have commitment issues? Basic hygiene? Something beyond slightly-above-baseline conventionally attractive attributes? Emotional intelligence? A sense of humor?
Come on. It’s way too late in life to be making such basic emotional blunders in the name of attraction. Don’t stop loving. Just remember that love is an opinion, and it’s usually wrong.
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. Now please, stop thinking about that guy in your calculus class and do your damn problem set.
Cameron Tipton PO ’20 is an embittered Scorpio who has fallen in love a few too many times. They are looking for someone to play piano for their unreleased EP. (DM them through Messenger!)