When I graduated from high school, I knew I was leaving some inspirational teachers, best friends, and old crushes. These old crushes were the boys I have fallen hard for, where I created numerous mix tapes to declare my indefinite love to. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but I had to some how share how I felt through the poignant lyrics of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
Although the feelings were never returned or I had suddenly realized that I had felt different towards them, I knew I wasn't very good at this whole teenage love thing. Teenage love was like discovering yourself and your significant other through angst, drama, and text messages. Boys were confusing to me, and I just couldn't fall for a boy who thought my mix tape songs were “different.” It broke my heart. Throwing my graduation cap in the air, I was ready to leave. I was ready to forget the ridiculous boys who broke my heart, and the tedious years of high school. I was ready to move to Massachusetts. Independence was calling me, and I was ready to run after it.
During the beginning of September, I entered a liberal arts college in New England and instantly fell in love, at least with the arrival of Autumn. I was surrounded by golden leaves that flooded the streets of Cambridge and some of the most prestigious universities in the nation. As a freshmen in college, I wanted to do well in school and also enjoy my independence and freedom from the boring suburbs of New Jersey. I wanted to meet new friends (check), attend typical, crazy college parties (check), and find a boyfriend (not quite).
The thing about starting a relationship in college was that it was either a complicated mess or a romantic and drama free formation. Relationships in college were always interesting. Some approved of just random hook-ups at parties, that were barely remembered the next morning because of the large amount of alcohol that was consumed, surviving that long distance relationship with the boyfriend from back home, dating with that girl in your history class and another one from Spanish, or just having fun and being independent and single. College was a place to discover who you were, whether it was to determine your major, career path, and or even your relationship status.
When school was beginning to start, I met a boy. He was cute, smart, and also played the mandolin and guitar. Ding, ding, ding! I found a winner. I had always fallen for the musicians. Something about boys strumming a guitar really made a girl weak in the knees. Cliché as it seemed, I melted and a crush was formed. We went to two different schools, but the distance was only a five minute walk away. I told him about an English band called Mumford and Sons. He listened to Pearl Jam, an American 90s rock band from Seattle. He loved his school. I was still perplexed about my major and my school. He was a busy guy. I was hurt and constantly waiting.
It unfortunately didn't go too far. Because of his love for folk music, I was on the verge of purchasing a Peter Seeger record for him as an early Christmas present from some cool record shop in Central Square. I was thankful to have saved those $7 for some coffee and a pastry from Peet's Cafe. Facebook told me one day that he was in a relationship, and I couldn't help but slowly sink in my seat, refreshing the webpage, hoping it was just a mirage from studying too much. Mark Zuckerberg, you made me hate Facebook that day.
I eventually moved on with the help from a new college friend. She was a Psychology major, always so lively and optimistic, and one of the greatest listeners out there. She told me that being single was great because there were no commitments, and there was the glorious ability of being free from stress and enjoying the independent lifestyle. I wanted to believe that it was great, but I didn't feel it. I was surrounded by people in relationships, and I couldn't help but feel a tiny bit jealous of their happy life with their boyfriends or girlfriends. Whether they received simple little text messages that stated, “I love you” or had Skype dates with the long distance boyfriend on scheduled days, I felt lonely.
Yes, the unbearable and sad truth of a single teenager.
Being in Cambridge for only a few months, I've had random college students asking me out on dates at the local cafe or bookstore in Harvard Square. They came up to me with a confident smile and attitude. Most of them were much older than me. One a Harvard law student, and another, a MIT graduate. They were trying their best to pull a pick up line on a young freshmen college student, and I just felt awkward. I was indeed flattered, but I couldn't accept to go out with any of them. The thought of dating was new to me and the idea of being in a relationship was wonderful, but I guess I just wasn't ready. When would I ever be ready?
Listening to The Who's, “I'm One” on repeat didn't quite help either. Roger Daltrey was the only man in my life at the time, along with George Harrison and Morrissey. My best friends comforted me, told me that boys were dumb, and that there were plenty of fish in the sea. The expression, “there are plenty of fish in the sea” was never really a favorite of mine. It was like an expression aimed only for the desperate girls, longing for someone to comfort them about how the world is one big ocean filled with “fish.” Fish are friends, not food. Nothing enjoyable about that. Food is something we all need, a stable relationship too.
With the many various encouragements that were received from my friends to me, I was persuaded into going out and having the time of my life in college. I wanted to explore more behind the meaning of being single in college. Therefore, I went out, had fun, and enjoyed the semi-exciting single life with all of my new friends. We went to concerts, parties, and school events. I was more social, and luckily meeting more new people, and was confident about my new major when the Spring semester came along. There was some hope that finding the “right guy” would be right around the corner.
Even though I met some new guys here and there, I just wasn't interested or nothing had really sparked between the two of us. He was an Emerson student. He went to Berklee College of Music. He went to Tufts. He was a global studies major. He did this. He did that. There were options. I just wasn't ready. I was enjoying every second of the single life, and I thought I would be sad, but I've learned to appreciate all the fun I was having. College made me realize that developing a love relationship wasn't the main focus, but just something that I knew would eventually come to me. A mix tape compilation of indie and folk songs from a cute boy is something I would admirably enjoy, but it can wait.
Check out the winner here
, congrats to her!