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

In light of the recent passing of Valentine’s Day and the upcoming season of spring, the concept of love is heavy on many people’s minds. An idea that is so vague and abstract as this one has had many explanations and even more definitions. What is it? How does one know if they’ve experienced it? How do you obtain it? And is it worth it? While all of these questions may be good ones, it seems no one has a definitive answer. As a woman in STEM with a logical mind, it has sufficed my curiosity to simply say that a release of a specific amount of chemicals is what tricks us into believing in the notion of falling in love. This could be a correct answer, but I wonder if it dampens the experience of love by watering it down to a cocktail of hormones. Then, one may argue, whatever love may be, believing in it may enrich the feeling of it altogether.

I think it’s important that everyone comes into their own definitions of love, taking into consideration their own personal accounts of compassion and adoration. It may be the journey of discovering and navigating love that teaches people to how to live for it, and not run from it. Many have been scorned, dejected, and devastated by a love lost. Others leap into it and desperately try to hold onto it in fear they’ll lose it forever. I’m definitely not the person to say which way is right, however, I think there is something to be said about letting love into your life.

I will say that whatever your thoughts are on love, people who exude and receive love seem to be much happier. This country prides itself on its hard work and resilience, something that’s been coined “hustle culture.” The disadvantage is that life moves terribly quickly when you’re preoccupied with being the most successful and anxiously waiting for the fruits of your labor. I think that in turn, we have developed a stigma against love, believing that it may cause more harm than good. We end up hurting others in the process of desperately trying to protect ourselves. 

“I’m sorrowfully convinced that to really exude unbridled and unconditional love, you have to surrender to the fear and not let the risks of love waver your intention to show it”

In conversations I’ve had with the close people in my life, topics regarding love have been vastly different. Some people are so sure they’ve figured it out and have mastered the art of loving and being loved, ready to argue their perspective fervently. While I can say that the idea of loving without fear makes me insanely cautious, I’m sorrowfully convinced that to really exude unbridled and unconditional love, you have to surrender to the fear and not let the risks of love waver your intention to show it.

Love is arguably the most complex emotion that we are capable of feeling. Many people refuse to give in to its charm, yet most of us agree that it’s worth it. For me, love will always be the most confusing and interesting phenomenon humans are a part of.

Karina is a second year Biochemistry & Molecular Biology major at UCD. Although she is STEM based academically, she enjoys advocating the feminist movement, having conversations about the political climate, whilst trying to remind herself and others to enjoy the simplicity of life through it all. She is passionate about writing what's on her mind in hopes that others can relate and find a sense of community.