Why College Students Should Embrace Love

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Love, the four-letter word that my generation seems to be terrified of and repelled by.

The best metaphor I’ve found to describe love is that of jumping off a cliff. Once you make the decision of leaping off stable ground into the midst of all-enveloping nothingness, the sweet, warm adrenaline rush is one that is difficult to resist.

Nothing is certain. Now there are two ways that this can turn out: someone will catch you, or you’ll fall face-down and have no choice but to pick up the pieces yourself.

The second option is what stops many of us from even entertaining the idea of falling in love. We fear the reality of having someone who was a constant in our life no longer be there.

It is scary.

Once a relationship is over, many issues arise and among them are the seemingly trivial ones like social media. In this digital age, the past is always present. It’s a click or tap away. His or her face will ultimately show up on the regular. Searching through his or her profile for signs of regret or moving on to a new boo is just too easy and tempting to pass up. That love that was once flaunted and shared is now the root of daily hauntings; to see what once was and now is a painful and uncomfortable memory.

And what if you guys shared a group of friends or even a pet? Having your friend group divided and sharing custody of a dog is not at the top of the list for most college students. Not to mention that terrible, inevitable heartbreak pain you’re going to feel for the weeks, even months to come.

These are all plausible and logical reasons to be afraid of this crazy little thing called love. But they should never be a reason to not fall in love.

I was a firm believer in those reasons after my breakup. I wanted nothing to do with love because all I thought it had brought me was pain. I put up a wall and told myself I was being brave because I wasn’t letting anyone in.

My self-proclaimed bravery was tested this past summer. I met someone, unintentionally, and I felt that warm feeling in my heart I had felt in my past relationship. I was terrified. What if it was my past relationship all over again? What if I was going to be left heartbroken? What if I couldn’t survive it like last time? I was falling off that cliff, fast, and I didn’t know what to do.

But then one night, everything changed. I’ll spare you the cheesy details, but I realized how lucky I was to find it again. That ‘it’ being love. You don’t get the chance to fall in love every day. Heck, people only fall in a love a few times in their lifetime. God, fate or the universe, whoever or whatever brought him and me together. Who was I to deny that? Here I was being gifted one of the most beautiful miracles and I was afraid of it.

Why was I afraid? I couldn’t give myself a good enough reason. I had this person who was bringing light into my life without even trying; and I know I was bringing light into his too. There was a chance my heart could’ve been broken again, but the thought of not giving us a chance terrified me more.

The truth is, closing yourself up is cowardly. Bravery comes into play when you take a chance on that other person and jump.

I hate that my generation thinks it’s cool to put walls up (personally, I blame Drake). Call me old-fashioned or romantic, but wearing your heart on your sleeve is much more exciting than keeping it locked up in a figurative cage.

We’re not afraid to hookup with no strings attached, but we tremble at the thought of jumping into a full-fledged relationship. This is because we’re afraid to be vulnerable. We’re afraid to hand out hearts and just hope that someone takes care of it.

Sure, every relationship has the possibility of blowing up in your face. There’s so much unknown when it comes to love and a whole lot of work to maintain and develop it. I’m not saying falling in love and being in love is easy. I’m saying it’s worth it. I’m talking about the “can’t-eat, can’t-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of stuff” love is always worth it.

Alyssa is a public relations senior at the University of Florida. She likes to incorporate her passions into her career and is eternally curious. NYC is calling her name.

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