Before college, I despised love stories. I always thought each one sounded way too cheesy and never had any real meaning. Growing up I had the idea that I would meet someone after college rather than in college because my parents met that way—after college. Let me tell you, the idea of finding that “forever guy” while drowning in my studies did not seem appealing to me at first. I just wanted to relax at college and eat Berkey Creamery ice cream until a sugar high occurred and I got my work done quicker. But all these thoughts were before I actually found him.
Back in middle school, bullies attacked me about my weight and my hair. Those two things provide a constant source of insecurities in my life all the way up until I started college. I lost all the weight in middle school, but the voices in my head never stopped telling me that something just wasn’t right about who I am.
In my senior year of high school, I decided to attend PSU for college. If you want to know how I got to this decision, just read this post I wrote literally a few weeks ago about it. I had other schools in mind but PSU came out as the top decision. By the time 2016 came around, my bags sat at the front door, packed and ready to do. Around that time, freshmen started to make Snapchat and Facebook groups for people to get to know each other.
We didn’t even know we had added each other on Snapchat until I opened a snap from him. Earlier that day, I posted a rant about my insecurities on Snapchat. I still felt awful about my body at that point. I had beaten my hips down to the point where they looked black and blue because in my mind, I thought doing that might make them ‘smaller.’ The thoughts started to feel overwhelming. And then one day, I just snapped and talked about it on social media.
And then he messaged me.
Let me tell you, up until this point, I had only three past love interests. One boyfriend I’d prefer not to speak about, one hook up which I really hate now and one actual close friend who I still talk to now—we went out on one date and decided it didn’t feel right. So for me to talk with a guy really meant something to me. So curiously, I had opened up the message.
He asked if I was all right and if I needed someone to talk to.
Now, to any person, maybe this would seem sketch, but I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. So I started to message him back. And he did the same. And we messaged each other back and forth for a few days before I finally got his number. We would talk about our families, our lives, our majors, our pasts…we only started talking about three weeks before school started, but in that time span I felt like I had made such a close friend. I started talking to him more than all my high school friends. Maybe it had something to do with how we got along, or the types of TV shows we both liked, but at the end of the day, I always found myself saying goodnight to him.
The first week rolls around.
I realize crushes are real, because the term attached itself to someone I had never met. I built up serious anxiety over meeting him. Of course I sent him pictures of myself, but my mind made me feel extremely anxious to think about what he would think of my body or my hair or any of that. I kept putting our meeting off for days until he finally said “enough of this, I want to meet you. Let’s meet at the creamery, tomorrow.”
So we did, right after my class. The weather screamed the words hot and gross, and sweat poured everywhere, but he smiled at me and waved, and I smiled back at him. And then we just sat down and talked for ages until we both had to go. We hugged before he left but I felt butterflies in my stomach from the moment he did. And then we just kept texting and texting and texting. He became the first guy to make me actually feel confident about myself because right afterwards he texted me and said, “You have nothing to ever worry about because you’re even more gorgeous in person.”
To say I fell hard for him would be an understatement.
I never giggled so hard and it annoyed me that I giggled so hard, but that kind of relationship just happened. Very quickly, and very fast.
We had our first date at the Corner Room two days later because we genuinely expressed interest in each other, and had our first kiss after. To this day I still remember how once he left to go his class, he collapsed to the floor out of nerves because I had just kissed someone that I really liked. And from there, everything rolled right into place. We became a couple. Just like that.
We’ve had our ups and downs like any couple has, but there’s nothing that can stop us from resolving any issue through talking. He gave me the confidence that I didn’t feel before, to finally start taking care of myself. He made me realize that I did have the beauty that I didn’t think I have. Because of him, I am so much more confident than I ever thought I could become. If I could compare my freshmen self to me now, I would hardly know who that girl was.
My mind drowned in darkness for so long. I never really thought I would fully accept myself for me.
Chris not only gave me the will to accept myself, but gave me the tools to help me feel accepted. He’d hype me up when I’d wear really nice clothes and always call me beautiful, even when my hair was a total mess and sickness made my nose way too stuffed and disgusting. He made me feel so many amazing things, and with each month in our relationship, our bond just grew deeper.
We’ve done a lot of things at Penn State. Honestly, I can’t even imagine my PSU experience without him. A good portion of what I have done here comes with him and a side of friends, whether we were at a football game, or at a party, or even in classes together. Either way, everything has had a sprinkle of him in it, and I can’t begin to think of what I would do if he wasn’t there. He really has made my college experience, a real experience.
Now, almost two and a half years later, some people still ask us how we managed to stay together when we literally met the first week.
But I always just say it’s just one of those love stories. Our relationship describes the term ‘perfectly imperfect,’ if that makes any sense. The two of us are opposites (he’s comp-sci and I’m journalism, so do the math), but neither of us have ever gotten along with someone better than we get along with ourselves.
I know this sounds as cheesy as the love stories I talked about earlier, but I found my true love story in him. Communication and honesty has paved my pathway to my healthier self now, and all of that happened because he snapped me back in August of 2016.
(To Chris, I love you, baby.)