Love, life and university

How easily do you find love during university (Photo by Gharrett Paon)

How easily do you find love during university (Photo by Gharrett Paon)

Who has the time? By: Krista Alexander

Admit it: growing up we all secretly thought we would meet a high school sweetheart and live happily ever after. Upon entering grade nine, and then barely surviving the next four years, we quickly realized this was not going to be the case and changed to a more realistic expectation: meeting our future partner in university. It seemed like a practical goal, based on the many stories we heard from the generation before us who usually met their husbands and wives during their time at university or college. But is this really the case?

Based on the amount of couples you see walking hand in hand around campus, you’d think university would be a mecca for anyone looking for a relationship. And yes, I’ve heard many stories from friends who have received the hairy eyeball in the library or been the victim of some forced small talk on the bus. But typically these interactions do not amount to anything more than an awkward interaction and rarely end up in relationships. Many parents and members of the generation before us stress the importance of getting involved at university. They imply that meeting people (“maybe even a special someone…”) is only possible if one joins as many clubs, teams, intramurals and societies as they can possibly fit into their schedule.

This is all well and good until students end up making themselves too busy to even look up as they run from classes to meetings, stopping only to grab a coffee at Second Cup or wolf down a sub. And to be honest, I don’t exactly attract any positive looks while dashing from the McCain to the SUB while scarfing down a sandwich, blissfully unaware of the food on my face. When life becomes this hectic, who even has time to date?

I speak for my friends and myself when I say that lately I barely have time to think of anything between sleeping, eating and classes—and I’m only in the arts. If the opportunity for a relationship is not laid right in front of us students, it seems as though no one really has the energy to pursue one these days. It’s easy to forget that love interests even exist beyond friend zones and group projects. Personally, the last time I was approached by someone of the male persuasion was last night in the library when a guy told me, “You’re in here a lot… Probably too much.” I’d take it to heart except it’s entirely accurate.

Lately students barely have time to lift their heads, let alone make time for small talk that could eventually amount to any sort of significant interaction. So as much as dating in university seems to be the norm, many modern day students don’t have the time to pursue relationships—or the desire to.

A picture of love By: Josh Fraser

The Dating Question is among the first questions Facebook will ask you. It is indeed a source of nervous tension in sexually charged rooms filled with lively people and fun substances. Some dear friends tell me they struggle to picture their existence outside the context of a partner with whom to exist. The muses of society have spoken, and the artists of the radio echo the strife, yearning, pain, and disconnection in intimate relationships.

To see people in angst, feeling incomplete and alone, carves slow, deep grooves into me. Yet what salve I could administer is only a token gesture, an affirmation that I truly cannot feel the conscious pain of another; my empathy will always fall short of true understanding. Instead, I offer a small counter-position.

Consider the being that is you. Think about how it moves, what it thinks, what it eats. Meditate on the company it keeps, the words and gestures, the thoughts and actions it produces automatically, naturally. Gently wonder if these habits are true to the you that is beautiful, the you that is valuable and irreplaceable. Soak up every quirk that is you, and taste the difference and uniqueness not of the quirks themselves, but of the blend of the aromas that give you your own voice.

Love is administered unto others with deliberation, self-love, worthiness, compassion, and above all vulnerability. This is the test of whether you give love, or earn it.

I am single because I seek no other to complete me, and though waiting can be lonely, I seek someone who instead arouses the deepest curiosity in me, an awesome affection of bottomless respect. I seek a partner, a companion, a loving critic who makes me take stock of my strengths and mend my shortcomings. Not ‘the one,’ nothing so stifling; I speak merely of a standard of partnership that looks not to social ritual, but to spiritual pragmatism for meaning.

Try outsourcing By: Samantha Elmsley

I met my partner during one hazy Ontario summer, in Thunder Bay, of all places. Yes, even Thunder Bay is a mecca of love interests compared to Halifax during the school year.

There is absolutely no way I would ever meet anyone on my September to April schedule. Currently, I scurry around between classes, pulling my hair, and grabbing people at random to yell “Can you BELIEVE it’s November????” before setting off at a sprint for my next meeting/class/appointment/study sesh. I barely have time to put in decent friend hours, let alone meet new people.

Theoretically, the odds of meeting someone at university should be astronomical. Thousands of young, sexually charged students on one campus, arranged into groups according to what fires them up (called “programs”)? By this logic, everyone should meet their match within the first five seconds of starting university. But starting a relationship requires time and a certain amount of flexibility. You need the ability to stay up randomly until five in the morning, because you can’t walk away from the amazing person you’ve just met. Personally, it’s a miracle if I’m awake until 1 a.m. during the school year—my workload can’t take that kind of setback.

University is a lesson in priorities. If you’re really dedicated to finding a relationship over these four years, that’s great—but it will cut in to your schedule.

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Dalhousie Gazette Staff

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