[This is a story of someone whose greatest loves are coffee and bread and who attempted (in many ways) to understand love in college a little better.]
Yes, I know how it feels to disbelieve the idea that love is saved by magic. When I was a kid, the stories of Cinderella and Snow White made me believe that love can be found in the most wondrous ways, like leaving your stilettos behind to catch a 12-midnight curfew or eating an apple and later being saved by a prince’s kiss. Fast forward, high school love setup was depressingly but beautifully crafted, like I was living and breathing with Peter Kavisnky, Noah Flynn, and Hardin Scott – all I could not stop admiring and writing about. But college made me believe otherwise.
What people do not tell us about finding love in college is that it is not some kind of pizza delivery we see coming. Or the daily weather forecasts we always expect. Love in college is a game you bet to never lose, but you never know when you started playing or putting the cards on the table.
For once, I met someone during my freshman year who made me start kicking my legs that I have only experienced while reading between the lines of Jenny Han, Colleen Hoover, and Anna Todd. Walking around the campus was more fun and exciting (even if it was not for my calves) because I got to see him eat at the school cafeteria across from his dormitory. Little did I know, it was only me who was aware we had those moments.
And pandemic happened that change the course of what a special experience it would have been to find love in the corners of a classroom over the towering trees of Mt. Pangasugan and the hushed waves of Camotes Sea. But love continues to find its way like August (playing August by Taylor Swift). I fell between infinite spaces of phone calls to keep me up while I read a hundred pages of communication theories. That moment sipped away like a bottle of wine I had not even started drinking. I wished I could go back, but it would be too much to ask from the universe or anyone who holds our lives. Probably, I can only blame the virus and the long distance but never the right love at the wrong time.
I felt like I was always losing. And if love was a game, I have accepted defeat. There was a lot of unlearning to do and boxes to unload. But in this world full of heartaches, I have my friends who made me find love on the most comforting grounds. The fun memories over random dates after passing a major exam. The joy of working with creative and talented people (shoutout Amaranth). The big sigh after submitting a paper. The smile when I started writing again about someone I least expect to talk with, and he will probably be another glass of milk I will spill. But I am happy and sad because it is the best time yet until we only got a little time for ourselves as graduating students since there is a world we need to conquer.
Sometimes, the love we found in college can be our greatest and worse love, our high and low, our day and night, or tropa lang, and it is okay. So, what if we tried looking for love in between classes, org meetings, and tagay sessions, but we only got our pillow to embrace us, and the memes we see on social media are the only thing that makes us laugh hard? That does not make us the ugliest or most boring person in the world. It just so happens that we have not found yet what’s ours. And it does not mean we never will.
Love will still find its way into our life even if we finished college.