Questions: When you think of the word love, what do you think of? what kind of experiences do you have with love?
The above questions were the questions I started each conversation with. These questions often led to long stories of the interviewees past or present, which in turn led to other questions.
My first interviewee was Nick. Nick is the definition of your average college student. He’s a single dude who hasn’t picked a major yet that likes to go out and have fun on the weekends. I chose to interview him because I felt like he could give me some insight on what it is like to be a single guy in college. When asked about his experiences, a quote that caught my ear was “i love [her], like I didn’t plan on it though, it just happened.” He was describing a girl he met last year and became good friends with, but never got anywhere with. They have a complicated story. I also asked him if he is actively looking for love while in school and he said “love might come easiest in college if you’re not looking for it”
My second interviewee was Jack. Jack is the definition of a student in a long distance relationship. I chose to interview him because many people scrutinize long distance relationships and I wanted to learn how he makes it work. I began with the same questions as the previous interview. Jack’s girlfriend goes to another schools. “[We] make sure we know what’s going on in each other’s lives.” “[It’s] not a bad thing for high school couples to go to different schools.”
My third interviewee was James. James is a student at the U that has a girlfriend here at school. I chose to interview James because he completes the spectrum of single guy, long distance relationship, and finally close relationship. “Having [her] close by helps a lot with stress. I can always vent to her if I need to.” “I’m not in college to party and get drunk like a lot of students. I’m here to study and work hard, and having [her] here helps my focus a lot.” “I feel like my studies get in the way of our relationship sometimes.”
My observation was very simple. I live in the Bridges apartments, which is an apartment party hot spot, so on the weekends there are always a ton of people coming in and out looking for parties that they can meet people at. As my observation, I sat in the lobby and watched the herds of drunk, desperate people come in and out. The biggest thing I noticed is that as the night went on, smaller and smaller groups of people would begin to leave. I counted 10 couples walk out holding hands. Most of which I recalled walking in with a larger group of people. It seemed they met someone they liked, or a least are considering liking. How they met these people is still a mystery.
Much of what I learned fell into three categories; types of love, state of mind love can give you, and places to find love.
1: College is a great place to find love (interview)
2: Distance is not always a bad thing (interview)
3: Some students find “love” at parties (observation)
4: Some Students/people find love by accident (interview)
5: Communication is key in any relationship (interview/observation)
6: Love can be a great way to relieve stress (interview)
7: Love can be stressful (interview)
8: College can be a terrible place to find love (interview)
9: Love is interpreted differently by everyone (interview)
10: Love often times just happens. It is often uncontrollable (experience…I know we didn’t need to do experience, but this is very true for me)
1: Jack needs a way to clearly communicate with his girlfriend because they are so far apart all of time.
2: Nick needs help meeting new people in a effective way because quality people with similar interests are hard to come by.
3: James needs a way to maintain his relationship in a healthy way because he feels his studies are getting in the way.
1: cell phones. An easy solution to Jacks problem is using the convenience of texting to communicate. Pros: fast and easy. Cons: difficult to display emotion.
2: Dating apps. Nowadays, online dating is becoming more and more prevalent. New relationships start online everyday. Pros: often times paired with someone with similar interests. Cons: You know the person online before in person.
3: Movies: spending time wit your significant other is important. Even if that means taking a night and just watching a movie. Pros: entertainment for both. Cons: you don’t generally talk during a movie.