College Crisis: Equations of the Heart

Our college years are full of dramatic “I’m not a grown up!” moments- mostly unexpected, and typically unwanted. Anonymous Valley writers discuss it all, from avoiding basic responsibilities to dealing with the big, bad future. Let’s talk about it.


A single girl spends most of her life hoping for the day when she’ll be lucky enough to meet the man of her dreams. That’s why when I met Leo* for the first time, I jumped at the chance to date him.

Leo was tall and handsome, with the build of a true man. A leader in his fraternity and a genius in the classroom, you could say that he was everything I had ever wanted…until I met Andrew*.

Leo and Andrew were complete opposites in every sense of the word. Leo was mature and serious, while Andrew was my personal comedian. In the qualities that I personally lacked, they each made up for in their own ways, bringing something different to our respective relationships. However, these two seemingly perfect connections were missing something important― me.

As a sophomore, I had officially become accustomed to the “dating” scene at Penn State (basically one-night stands and late night pizza). And so, after I convinced myself that chivalry was dead, I was elated to finally have not one, but two boys doting on me.

With more dates scheduled in one week than I had the time for, I felt pulled in a million different directions. I was trying so hard to have two perfect guys that neither Leo nor Andrew ever really got one whole part of me.

Over the course of the semester, my lack of availability drove wedges too deep to recover from. Before I knew it, I’d gone from filling up my planner with dinner dates and formal functions to watching “How I Met Your Mother” alone in my room. I couldn’t understand how I’d gone from having everything I’d ever wanted to having nothing.

Finally with a little help from the honesty of my friends, it became clear to me that I had to stop blaming my failed relationships on a connection that didn’t exist. Citing “different values” and “boredom” were excuses that stood in the way of accepting the fact that the issue was me.

All along, my equation had been wrong. Giving Leo and Andrew each only half of me didn’t add up to one. In the end, it just left me with nothing.

*Names have been changed

Photo by Jessica Korch


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