In my personal experience, the concept of love has always been shrouded in mystery. In books, I would read about unrequited and irrevocable romances. In movies, I would experience grand gestures of boom boxes played outside windows and poems spoken aloud in class as a profession of affection. Perhaps one of the greatest and most puzzling instances of love comes from the phrase, “fall in love.”
The word “love” on its own already carries so much power; the utterance of the word, or inability to do so could make or break any relationship. But to fall into it fills me with fear and hesitation, as it does for most people. Close your eyes and picture this: You’re at the cliff of a canyon and you hear a voice calling your name at the bottom of this huge, cavernous pit. It fills you with warmth, unbeknownst to you since you were born. You ache for it. You need that voice. Before you can even make a decision, your body is already drawn off the cliff. You don’t know if anyone will be there for your crash landing or if it’s just your mind playing games with your heart (cue Backstreet Boys).
Okay, now open your eyes and consider this: Love is inevitable. Love is being ill prepared. Love is scary.
Love is falling off a cliff.
I don’t presume to know everything about love, but I feel that certain experiences overlap into the general idea of love and affection. In my first year of college, I fell for someone “great.” It was a lust so strong that I thought it would last forever, like in the movies. All we did was lie in bed, talk about our futures, and whether or not Pulp Fiction was Quentin Tarantino’s greatest work to date. But when I leaned over to look over the cliff, I wasn’t pulled down; I was pushed.
Therein lies the downside to falling; you may not fall for the right person. In the end I realized our visions for the futures didn’t align and we lacked the communication needed to stay strong. But in this experience, I learned the hard way that sometimes you might have to fall for the wrong person to get to who you’re destined to be with. Like I said, love is scary.
Add fog to the canyon and you have falling in love in college. That’s because there’s so much at stake when you’re in school: your classes, your friends, career-prep and your sanity. Regardless of those, the absolute first thing you should be focused on in college is finding out who you truly are and what you deserve in life. The last thing you should do in college is lose sight of who you’re meant to become. Don’t rush to fall in to anything; falling is inevitability a part of life. We fall, we get back up, and we fall again. It’s human nature. Just know that you’re not in it alone.
Allow me to offer this silver lining: one day, someone will fall with you. It could be the boy across the hallway of your dorm or the girl you met that day you finally decided to visit the library. They exist. What’s so great about this person, you ask?
They’ll help you get up and hold you so tightly that you’ll never fall again.