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Young Interpretations of Love

By age 18, we’ve all gotten a grasp on the convoluted feeling that is love. Whether we’ve experienced it or envied it, love has held the reigns over our emotions for practically two decades now. We’ve all had different experiences, however. I met with 5 Freshman of varying backgrounds, and asked them questions pertaining to love and their feelings regarding Valentine’s Day.

By Christine Park

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Jenna Triest, Journalism 2023, she series: No I don’t, I believe in attraction at first sight. I can’t remember where I read it but I read somewhere, it takes you 2-3 months to actually fall in love with someone, so no I don’t believe in love at first sight.

Paolo Antonio Pastor, Public Relations 2023, he series: I do believe in love at first sight. It’s a very special time where you spot someone in the distance and then your heart just stops for a second, and then you wonder, you sit there and you wonder, could that person actually be for me.

Sherry Ma, Communication Studies 2023, she series: No. If you don’t know someone, how could you possibly love them? Looks are not all that matters. The inside is what counts.

William Percarpio, Writing Literature and Publishing 2023, he series: I do believe in love at first sight. I feel like if you know, you know. Love at first sight means that you see someone and you know that you’re soulmates. You look into eachothers eyes and its that moment where everything changes.

Reagan Allen, Marketing Communications 2023, she series: I, maybe somewhat foolishly, do believe in love at first sight. When you see someone, you immediately know if you connect with them or not. You can sense if your relationship is going to grow deeper.

What does it mean to love someone?

Jenna Triest: That’s a loaded question, I have no idea! I feel like it’s probably one of those things where you have to experience it to know what it is.

Paolo Antonio Pastor: To love someone you must be vulnerable, trustworthy, able to share everything with someone, not being afraid to tell them how you feel, who you are, and who you want to become.

Sherry Ma: It means that you know you’re always going to have someone in your corner. I believe a true partnership is when a person is going to be there with you unconditionally, regardless of disagreements.

William Percarpio: I don’t know. I think to be loyal to them. Always be surprising, keep the relationship interesting. To love someone is to be caring and affectionate and respectful. It seems easy in theory, but it's not. It's the idea of loving them, isn’t that enough?

Reagan Allen: I think to love someone means to put, not their needs before yours at all times, but to make decisions with them in mind a lot. I think it means being very devoted to someone, and caring too much about someone probably.

Have you ever loved anyone?

Jenna Triest: I feel like there were moments where I’ve been talking to, or dating someone, where I was like, “yeah I could love them,” but I don’t know if I’ve ever actually experienced love. It takes time, but it is also a personality thing. I feel like I COULD love someone when I think about them a lot, or there are parts about them that I really like and feel like are so individual to them as a person.

Paolo Antonio Pastor: No, I’ve never been in love myself. I believe it was a short infatuation, because in reality, she didn’t truly feel the same way about me.

Sherry Ma: Yes actually! I am currently in love with my boyfriend. We were friends first and we have been dating for about a year now. Since we started dating towards the end of senior year, unfortunately most of our relationship thus far has been long distance thanks to college. We are very committed to each other, and make our relationship work by constantly being on the phone and having date night every week!

William Percarpio: THE ANSWER IS NO. I wish.

Reagan Allen: Yes, I have. It was short lived. I was in love with her for like 5 or 6 months. There is romantic love, and there is just loving a friend. It’s a lot more, consuming. It kind of turns you into a mess, but you enjoy it at the same time.

What relationship advice would you give to yourself 3 years ago?

Jenna Triest: Don’t take it that seriously! Three years ago I was 15, I was trying to dive straight into a relationship. Don’t worry about getting into a relationship, you’ll meet someone who you like when you’re not expecting it.

Paolo Antonio Pastor: Don’t date anyone. That’s it.

Sherry Ma: Boys don’t really matter, focus on yourself, they’ll come to you.

William Percarpio: Be gay, three years ago. Be yourself, three years ago. I feel like you would have had different opportunities. If you were open about who you were three years ago, you would have been a different person and have different ideologies. You could have been more jaded, less naive. I’m not. I’m still a hopeless romantic today.

Reagan Allen: Let yourself fall in love, don’t try not to. Even if you do know there is an expiration date, it's better to have loved and lost to have never loved at all. Shoot your shot.

What is your favorite part about Valentine’s Day?

Jenna Triest: Even though I’ve been alone for every Valentine’s Day, my dad always recognized that. Last year, I woke up and got ready for school and on the kitchen table was a box of chocolates, a Starbucks gift card, and flowers.

Paolo Antonio Pastor: My favorite part of Valentine’s Day is spending it with the ones that we love and going out on a beautiful date.

Sherry Ma: Just being able to spend time with each other, having each other full attention, having a night where it's just about each other, to bond more.

William Percarpio: I think it’s cute. The whole Hallmary Holiday, the idea that like “oh my god you can find love, everyone can find love!” It’s nice and optimistic to believe that there is a whole hallmark holiday built around love. It’s like Christmas, always believing something joyful is going to come from it.

Reagan Allen: Valentine’s day is so fun. It gives you an excuse to show that you care about people. It makes me so happy, I associate so many good things with it. I enjoy putting care into making gifts for my friends, or loved ones. It’s a very warm time, I associate warmth with Valentine’s Day.

Do you believe people our age are too young to really experience love?

Jenna Triest: I think you can genuinely be in love with someone as a teenager, regardless of whether or not things work out. Throughout the different stages of your life, you experience love in different ways, so a relationship in college is going to be different than a relationship in your 30s.

Paolo Antonio Pastor: The feeling of love can or may be met at any age, but it varies based on your maturity and how you see the situation. Age does play a big part because you don’t know what love is until you really experience it, until you really devote yourself to someone, and play out all your cards. You need to know the feeling.

Sherry Ma: No, I think you can love someone at any age. But, I do think that our maturity level helps make a relationship work. When you’re younger, when you’re not as experienced with communicating with people, it can be harder to maintain a connection. And that’s when a relationship doesn’t work out.

William Percarpio: I think anyone can experience love. I think you can be 10 and in love. Everyone thinks about love in a different way. People think that love is providing for someone, love is being there for someone unconditionally, but why can’t love just be there for someone when you CAN be, emotionally? Love is Love. Love is there for you. People our age can experience love. It’s an emotion. If love had an age requirement, it wouldn’t be love. Love is free. Or it should be at least.

Reagan Allen: I think that people our age can definitely experience love. I think that what that looks like can be messier than someone that’s older, but I think that when you feel love, you feel it very deeply, and that can get tangled up in all your other emotions, and you’re just a mess. But there’s no age requirement. I think that as you grow older and more mature, what love looks like is more organized and better.

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