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Love was central to Shakespeare’s work, but today the meaning of love has changed dramatically in the era of COVID-19, online dating and dating culture. As students, we are so used to hearing about love and romantic relationships as a distraction. But love tends to evoke a wide spectrum of emotions that go beyond an exhilarating escape from reality.
Balancing romance, education, and the challenges that come with becoming an adult is never easy. Yet many students faced with the conflict between their social lives and an isolating pandemic find themselves in a unique situation where loving others has never been more critical.
Love can focus on finding the feeling itself or on that person giving you “butterflies.” For League sophomore Braeden Rowley, love is “constructive.” You will learn a lot from it, but it can also be very disruptive. Most of us fear falling in love and ending up hurt and alone, which is why many students resort to quick relationships, one night stands, and “situations” to avoid consequences. But the challenges that can arise from love can help us identify what we want in life and prepare us for our future.
Relationships can help college-age couples determine their compatibility, as they can often spend time together in small dorms and share responsibilities that can prepare them for their future, according to the. Brigade Journal. And if the relationship doesn’t work out, the break-up process might go more smoothly because a shared lease and bills isn’t a big deal yet. Dating during your college days can offer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see if your partner and romantic bond are strong enough.
Love can also ease loneliness and escape overwhelming weekly routines and school stress. Be with someone who cares deeply about you may have influential healing properties. Plato once said: “Love is born in every human being; together it recalls the halves of our original nature; he’s trying to do one in two and heal the hurt of human nature. Fortunately, we are all born with the ability to love and care for others.
Since the start of the pandemic, many people have been alone for long periods of time, causing a sense of estrangement from the rest of the world. The Hinge dating app had a 17% increase in dates during the summer. All because humans lacked the affection and love in their lives that they had before the pandemic.
“Now people need to be loved a lot more for who they are and for what they are,” League junior Jaylen Bartley said, stressing the timely need for attachment.
Many students tend to understand that love is a constructive emotion that should not be interrupted in their life. But not everyone agrees. SU sophomore Katie Steel said falling in love is an inconvenience “because of classes and you have to do your homework, but I feel like it can be enjoyable.” However, any inconvenience could turn into a challenge that will strengthen a person.
The college years tend to challenge students mentally, physically, and sometimes spiritually. But having the support system in the form of a partner during these challenges can significantly help students through uncertain times. Love should be unconditional, so through all the changes it is essential to have a person who is there for any version of you that evolves. And when the responsibilities of being a student get too stressful, it’s always heartwarming to be around someone who understands what you’re going through.
College students tend to hear that love is a massive distraction for surrogacy and focus. And indeed, it can be a challenge to have it all on one plate. But on a Valentine’s Day impacted by digital age trends and an isolating pandemic, it’s important to know that while college love is complicated, it’s just as important.
Polina Plitchenko is a junior psychology student. His column appears every two weeks. She can be reached at [email protected].
Posted on February 14, 2021 at 10:34 p.m.