heart postcard on a string

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Dear Reader, today, we are not starting with some witty opening story. There is no captivating first chapter to the book that is this post. For you see, today, we will experience not one story, but a wealth of them. From heartbreak to love almost lost and found anew, the stories today stand all by themselves.

Hello and welcome back to The NEW! This week, we’re doing what any good publication does: cashing in on Valentine’s Day for cheap content!

I’m just kidding. Well, partially.

While this was joked about as an “easy” piece to write for this moment, I ended up surprised as ever by just how much our community had to say. Friends from all walks shared their stories with me, some popping up after a long time just to do so. I even reconnected with one of my old NewCs!

Love really does bring people together.

Or, a lack thereof. Seriously. Some of y’all are hurt-hurt.


I digress.

Love as a student: it’s somehow messier and more difficult than love tends to be in general. For this post, I asked my ever trusty Instagram audience to recount their experiences, and discuss whether or not their being a student at the time affected how it all went for them. As ever, I received a brilliant cornucopia of answers, with some gems of wisdom scattered within. There were also compelling personal anecdotes, some of which were… Not publishable, really. Stories are great, but some really do belong in whatever recesses we leave them in.

Others, however, simply had to be shared.

Think Like An Upper Year

Sometimes in life, we are faced with a challenge that, though daunting, is so incredibly worth the risk that you cannot help but take a leap of faith. These scariest of risks are the greatest of stories.

This is not one of those stories.

I was once approached during Orientation by a boy whose only respectful descriptor could be “persistent.” He really tried it with me. He was flirtatious, confident, and unbelievably inept when it came to taking a hint.

He was also my NewC.

Don’t get me wrong, I found it hilarious that someone who was essentially my child was vying for my attention. Plus, uncomfortable as it may have gotten, we’re trained to deal with a bunch of situations. This one wasn’t quite in the handbook, but I made the most of it. I laughed along once or twice, spoke up about it later, and eventually ended up just walking away whenever he opened his mouth.

Truly, a love story for the ages.

Crazy Rich Angrymans

Where the hell do I even start? He was a MESS.

Okay maybe that’s harsh. He wasn’t a mess, just incredibly immature, rich and stuck up about it, kind of insecure about… everything?

Never mind. He was a MESS.

We dated for a good while. I thought it’d be fun, dating someone at university. You know, there’s all those super cute cliches we all secretly want. Study dates, trips together, curling up after a long day of boring lectures. It’d be like a movie! Right?

Wrong. If this was a movie, it was terrible. Certified Rotten. A B movie. And not even an accidentally iconic B movie, like The Room. No, this was straight-up Sharknado bad.

Parks and Rec: Oh, this is bad. I should not have done this.

It was the classic, relatable romantic tragedy: you know the type. He was the younger, I the older. My family was rich, his was crazy rich. I went to UofT, he went to UTSC. We were worlds apart.

Anyway, one too many blowups later, we called it quits. Or, I did. He just kind of stood there and yelled for a while. But now I’m single! Which is really fun; I have so much time now. I really had no idea how much time relationships took up. I’ve gotten to explore the city so much more, and have more time to study. I’m also so much less stressed? I get to flirt now, I have a whole business…

…sorry what was the question again?

To All The Stories I’ve Heard Before

All I can really tell you is it’s hard.

We were from different cities, different countries. It was challenging, but great fun while we were here. Once we graduated though, things changed. He took one path, I took another. Our relationship followed yet another course, and that led nowhere pretty.

Of course, the story depends on the couple. For some, it was happier. For others, worse. But for the luckiest of us?

It was beautiful.

The story I really want to tell is that of my two best friends. They were a year apart. They both came from Ecuador, meeting here in Toronto. Together, we did as all good Ecuadorians do: we partied! Well, she partied, boisterous as she was. He happened to be there once. They met by chance, dated for fun, and had a ball — but she wasn’t sure. Commitment is scary, after all, and relationships are like exam schedules: they take far too much time.

None of us were sure if they’d make it. They were from different cities, had different personalities, and were in different years. All these hurdles, yet only half the will to jump.

She visited home over a break and mulled things over. When she returned, there he was. Waiting for her at the airport, bouquet in hand and smile on his face. She couldn’t help a chuckle, and decided to give this introverted, cheesy boy a chance.

They marry this August.

Aaaaand I’m back. How was that, dear Reader? I wanted to try something new (got ’em again) with the blog, and get back to some storytelling of old. Do let me know what you think in the comments below.

Back to the matter at hand: loving is a brilliantly easy, horrendously difficult whale of a time. Be you newly single, happily committed, or forever alone, there are a number of things that might happen and people you might meet at UofT.

Campus life can be either boon or bane to your romantic relationships. If the former, hold on to what you have and run with it. If the latter?

You can always curl up with some ice-cream and campus love stories.

Come join me (pats bed)

And that’s that.

Till next we meet,