Valentine’s Day. When you hear those words, there are three different and very distinct reactions. The first is excitement: you get to spend time with your significant other in a day/night filled with romance, chocolate, and flowers. The second is despair: you’re single, and no matter how satisfied you are with that status, there’s a part of you that can’t help but be just a little bit jealous of your friends with significant others. But there’s also a third reaction better known to college students, and that is dread. And I am dreading Valentine’s Day.
Hookup culture is something entirely new to me at Tufts, and while I haven’t necessarily partaken in it, I can understand the draw. Hooking up without the stress of commitment is an enticing idea, but I also have great respect for those that can put in the time and emotion necessary for a relationship. Even now, I’m not quite sure which I prefer, and as a college freshman, I have plenty of time to figure it out and get a chance to hopefully try out both. But eventually, people tend to find themselves caught in that no man’s land outside of hookup and relationship where neither person is quite sure where things are headed. That is a terrifying place to be in in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, possibly the most romantic day of the year.
I’ve found myself feeling very stressed over the course of the last week. If you’ve never had the relationship talk, do you still make plans for Valentine’s Day? As I look on at all my friends with long-distance girlfriends/boyfriends coming up to visit for the weekend, I’m a little jealous, sure, but I’m excited for them as well. Excited for them, a little sad for me, and a little fearful over everything else. It’s quite a mix of emotions, and I only need to hold out for a few more days to escape them.
College is an exciting time when it comes to the dating scene. People are able to loosen up and figure themselves out. It’s a unique time with new freedoms and that are now quite possibly coming to fruition or falling apart as Valentine’s Day nears. There’s the sense of panic, but also the excitement for something new. For many college students, Valentine’s Day may bring with it a sense of dread, but that’s fine. You don’t need to have everything figured out just yet. Just let Valentine’s Day happen, with or without a Valentine or someone who falls into that in-between space, and figure it all out later.