All of us romance lovers have been there: a seemingly unimportant moment — maybe they’ve got food on their chin, maybe they roll their eyes at us — when we look over at our significant other and unpromptedly think, “God, I fucking love you.” Yesterday we were on top of the world, wiping mustard from their face. Today we’re cradling ourselves in bed while listening to James Blunt’s “Goodbye My Lover.” It’s at points like these when we envy our casual friends who prefer one night stands and labelless partnerships. Many romance lovers find ourselves falling head over heels time and time again. Once for the person in the grade above us in high school, once for the friend we’d always insisted was just a friend and once for the pair of unfamiliar eyes across the beer pong table. We love the idea of romance and gleefully look past early red flags (she still talks about her ex, he only talks about himself) to tell our friends we’ve found someone.
Bzzt. The door swings open to the grinning face of your elderly neighbor and you study the wrinkles around her eyes. “Trick or Treat,” you repeat, and she gladly picks up a dish of candy. You’re dressed as a superhero, or ninja turtle, or princess or fairy tale creature, and she starts gabbing about the constellations in the sky and her astrological sign. You have to sit and listen, but all you want is for her to place the Skittles in your pillow case or plastic pumpkin so that you and your parents can run off to the next house.
In July 2016, I attended my first sleep-away camp (never did one again), my first girlfriend broke up with me and perhaps the biggest worldwide phenomenon ever released reached our phones. Pokémon GO was a cultural revolution and the closest we’ve come to world peace. Like many others who collected the cards or played the games as kids, I was thrilled to get back to my childhood, eager to hunt for Pokémon and reminisce my innocence before prelims and credit card bills. The game garnered so much attention that even those who couldn’t tell a Nidoking from a Kangaskhan (amateurs) strolled the streets of their hometowns, flinging Pokéballs across their little black screens. Yet, the game’s popularity vanished just as quickly as it arrived.
September: Cornell’s campus is warm and breezy with remnants of summer left over, and our local fauna scurry across the quads to pick up fallen crumbs of Zeus’ mac’n’cheese. The returning students can breathe in, and almost absorb, the giddiness around campus that radiates from our puppy-eyed freshmen. They’re still blazing with the recent-grad, on-to-the-next-stage-of-my-life buzz that comes from spending the first couple of weeks on a college campus. Class of 2023, it’s true, college is a blast. You’ve got some wonderful times ahead of you, but if you think Ithaca will always be this fairytale-esque, you’re shit out of luck.
Summer vacation has been a sacred entity of time worshipped by students since Kindergarten. Homework, early mornings and cold lunches were replaced with swimming, video games and day-long play-dates. Summer was always a time to relax with zero responsibility. In college (and sometimes high school), this dreamy utopia drifts away, instead replaced with nepotistic internships and counting down the days until the weekend. Of course, you still get to spend time with your high school friends, if you’re lucky enough to be home for the summer.