An Open Letter to Singles On Campus
Dear Fellow Singles of Harvard Who Are Choosing Self Care Over a Relationship Because That’s What I’m Telling Myself,
Okay, I’m not gonna lie.
Do I wish I had a Valentine?
As in, do I wish I had someone to cuddle with in the warm haven that is my dorm at The Inn while we sip our Amorino’s milkshakes and watch the rollercoaster that is Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky’s love life in a six-hour “To All the Boys” movie marathon?
Not to expose myself too much here, but as someone who has enjoyed the privilege of a Valentine for the past couple of years and now finds themselves newly lacking one, I must admit that it is quite nice to have a personal shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold on this day of love. I am — and please don’t kill me for this — a hopeless and genuine romantic. I believe in the beauty of grand gestures and posting a cute couple selfie on your Instagram story with Taylor Swift’s “Lover” as background music. Unless you’re one of the people who takes Disneyland couple pictures and captions them with the incredibly creative “at the happiest place on Earth with the person who makes me the happiest,” I genuinely wish nothing but the best for you and your relationship. (Seriously, never do this.)
And why shouldn’t I? Love — “when with the right person”— can be a beautiful thing. If your relationship is healthy, I think it’s safe to assume that you and your significant other regularly spend time together, share your happy moments and worries, and bring joy to one another’s life with your existence. Overall, a relationship is — or, at least, should be — a POSITIVE thing. Unless you’re a walking Grinch (or the person who comments “aww, I hope you find out you’re related!” on relationship TikToks pretending to be a bitter, rageful, and soulless monster) all year long, I know you’re hit with at least a little joy and internal “aww” when you pass a happy couple on the street.
It’s understandable that we would all like to experience some quality human emotional connection in our lifetime. So maybe you experienced a pandemic before your first relationship? Join the club! Just think of the stories you’ll tell your kids one day in the future. But until then, heed my roommate’s wise words: for every Valentine's day that you spend alone, you’re one year closer to finding the Valentine that you’ll keep for years.
She makes a good point. I like to consider myself an optimist, and as someone who tries to find the silver lining in everything, let's consider the following: before we find our person, we only have a limited number of Valentine’s Days as single people, which means there are a limited number of times that we will be able to belt out Megan Thee Stallion and really mean it. There are a limited number of times that we’ll be able to come back from a party convinced that no hotter creature than ourselves has ever walked the Earth. Soon, this will all be replaced by a nice dinner and movie with one of McKinsey’s future junior consultants. Yes, as a hopeless romantic, the “Mrs.” degree sounds real good when my CS pset seems hell-bent on giving me scoliosis. But you know what else is beautiful? The solidarity that only exists in a bathroom full of random girls yelling “NO” when a wayward soul who’s had one too many shots asks, “Should I text him?”
So, as this year’s annual festivities approach, remember that one day YOU will be the half of the couple that makes others wish their next breath is their last. But until then, (and as a hardcore Swiftie, trust me, this is hard to say) blast the Olivia Rodrigo, put your readings aside, and gift yourself a solo Instagram photoshoot and a box of chocolate.
The right people exist in all corners of the world. Everyone’s time will come, and we’ll soon find ourselves cheering on our street-headed friends from the sidewalk, remembering when we, too, were embarking on a hot girl summer. But then again, the world is round — we may be waiting a long time.
In Single Solidarity,