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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Lutheran chapter.

Every February, we are bombarded with pink and red hearts everywhere we go. It is a month filled with the spirit of love. Our instinctual thought is that of romantic love, yet that is not the only type of love we experience, nor the first one. We grow up cocooned in love by family and friends, and that is our first true exposure to the beautiful experience. 

It starts with our family, with the ones who introduce us to the world. For me, it was my parents. I was lucky enough to grow up with parents who I considered my best friends. My brother and I were taught how to love learning. Our home was filled with books, art, movies, and music that our parents loved passionately. These vehicles for communication contained messages of acceptance, peace, and of love for everyone. They taught us how love could change the world. I was raised in a large family where love was plenty. I spent lots of time growing up around my entire extended family, and quickly learned the basics of love. I saw how my family shows their love through bringing dinner to someone who is sick, going to the kids’ sports games, and always being willing to lend a helping hand. My grandfather brought his camera to every family event; every birthday party, every baseball game, and every time I ran around his yard catching butterflies, the camera would be flashing. He showed his intense love for his family by capturing all our favorite moments. He, along with the rest of our family, showed me that love is in the little things. Familial love — whether it be from parents, grandparents, siblings, or cousins — is the first one we experience, and can often be the most impactful. 

These messages teach us how to love other people. That may be romantic, but normally we find platonic love first. Entering elementary school, I was a shy girl who was afraid of not making friends. Yet I found two girls who I immediately connected with. I am happy to say that thirteen and a half years later, they are still my best friends, and I love them more than words can explain. Throughout our schooling years, we make and break friendships constantly. Our middle and high school years are weaved with friendships entering and exiting our life. Being with these individuals for hours at a time five days a week, ends in inevitable friendships, whether they be long-lasting or not. Yet for those of us who are lucky enough, we find people that we truly connect with, and you learn to love each other together. We experience lots of firsts in life with our friends, and that ultimately brings us closer together. It’s the late-night sleepovers — when you’re sick from candy and giggling over crushes — that you realize how lucky you are to have found the meaning of love in a friend. 

When you meet your first significant other, the love you experience is a new one. It can be scary, yet it can be exciting as well. For the first time, you have to learn how to give your heart to someone and trust them not to break it. The excitement comes in all the firsts. First date, first kiss, first anniversary — throughout each step of a relationship, you can feel yourself becoming more connected to your significant other. There’s no guarantee of safety, and you can feel incredibly vulnerable. Yet you learn how to be comfortable around someone in a new way. You learn how to trust. Sometimes it ends, and it doesn’t always end great. But sometimes you find that one person that teaches you how magical this type of love can be. 

man and woman on bikes at sunset
Everton Vila

These experiences all teach us valuable lessons about love, including self-love and love for what you do. They ultimately lead to us growing up with our own passions. Each day, we pass people filled with their own love for their own respective passion. Some people discover a love for painting, some biology, other’s history. Especially being in college, with everyone studying a field they want to go into or joining a club that they connect with, they find ways to channel love into their everyday lives. Love can be treating yourself to a fancy Starbucks drink, or cooking a meal for your best friend. It comes in all shapes and sizes. But no matter where you go or what you do, you never forget the people and experiences that taught you how to love.   

Caroline Lopez

Cal Lutheran '23

Hello! My name is Caroline and I’m an English major at California Lutheran University. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and love spending time going to the beach and traveling around the state. I am a passionate book nerd who spends all her free time reading the classics, watching old movies, and writing!
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