First the Worst
By Jessica Huynh, Storyteller for RU Student Life
As a society, we place entirely too much significance on our ‘firsts’. There’s this auric attachment people associate with their first kiss, first love, the first time having sex. While some of this allure originates out of curiosity, some of the discourse surrounding first times is outright questionable and intrusive. I mean, how disturbing is media’s obsession with teen celebrities and their purity ring? Virginity is always talked about in relation to who someone is going lose their virginity to, which is A) nobody’s damn business, and B) not necessarily something that should be worded as a “loss”.
We predominately tell young people to lose their virginity to someone special, yet never monitor the “special factor” of their subsequent partners. We pass along half-truths such as “you will never forget your first love” without taking into consideration that some people would just rather forget. We jump at the chance to ask questions in the form of “What was the first time you…?” instead of asking which time was their most memorable or most significant.
As a society, why do we place so much significance on our first? Perhaps an unpopular opinion, but first is nothing more than a chronological event that has to eventually occur — like putting on a fresh Band-Aid and knowing it will eventually get gunky and gross. Eventually, we will have no choice but to rip it off. By placing so much emphasis on our first experiences, we unconsciously treat its ending as something to mourn.
We never rip off a Band-Aid and sob hysterically as we toss it in the trash (at least not public). Sometimes you take it off and it’s painless. Other times it hurts like hell and leaves a red mark reminding you of its presence.
First love is a lot like a Band-Aid. With no reference point of what kind of relationship you want and what kind of relationship you deserve, it’s not unheard of for many people to keep a dirty Band-Aid on for far too long.
Your first kiss is similar, as is the first time you have sex. It all appears so novel and important until you do it more and more and realize that your first kiss was rather sloppy. There was entirely too much tongue and their breath was rather bad.
Your first is scary because it’s exactly that: novel and unfamiliar. So, let’s allow individuals to decide for themselves how much importance they want to give their firsts, rather than spewing ideologies that their first is something that should be cherished.
As we move through university, we will undoubtedly encounter many “first times” in our personal and academic life — and it doesn’t need to be a special moment in our lives if we don’t want it to be. There’s a reason people say, “Nobody even looks at your grades in first year.” Your first interview, your first job, and your first time writing an university exam are all stepping stones for bigger and better things to come. Your first time is the time to learn, grow, and change.
My first kiss, my first time having sex, my first relationship, my first time moving out, and my first time attending university was neither of the things people told me it would be. I seldom look back at my “first” as something fondly to remember.
“First the worst?” That’s a first that I can agree with.