College Students Define Love

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I think it’s easy to associate love with romance, but romantic love is not the only love that should be celebrated. In an effort to show that love isn’t just about having a hand to hold on this special holiday, I decided to ask 10 college students what love means to them. This is what they said:

“Love is something that shouldn’t have to be proven; it’s something that’s formed naturally. Love is when someone is there for you when you don’t expect them to be. Love is having a sense of comfort. Love is happiness.” -April, 18

“Love with your family is when you worry about each other’s safety, well being, and future. Love is worrying about how long being mad at each other will last. Love is also rooting for each other’s success, having weird inside jokes, having a support system, and cherishing the moments spent with them. Familial love is a complex dynamic, but it’s worth it because the bond can last a lifetime.” -Imani, 20

“Love is like the buildings in a city’s skyline. You see all of these buildings with different shapes, sizes, and purposes. Just like buildings, love takes work to grow. There is one main building that connects all of the other buildings, and it is the most important building in the city. This one building is named after yourself. All of the other buildings contribute to this one building, providing it with the resources it needs to grow. Without all of these smaller buildings, development can be a bit difficult. If a building in this city doesn’t contribute, or even hurts this main building, it should be removed immediately, because the love you have for yourself is far more important than anything they could offer.” -Bobby, 21

“Love comes from the best quality of human beings: caring. Love means everything in the world; without a love for others, there is no love for the self. Without either one there is no color to life. Without love, life becomes gray and unfulfilling.” -Ectis, 20

“Love is kind of like a fire, it can spring up naturally or it can be built up over time. To keep it going, both people have to care and tend to the fire. While the fire is there, you have someone close, like a friend or a family member, that’s there for you. But at the same time, many things can go wrong. Improper care can lead to one of you getting burned. Without care from both people, the fire goes out, leaving you both alone and in the dark. As we meet more people we can surround ourselves with many fires. Even if we lose touch or get into a fight with someone and a fire goes out, we can still turn to those that still love us.” -Michael, 20

“Love is when you genuinely care about someone. You would do almost anything for that person, and you feel that they would do the same for you. Neither of you stand to gain anything from your relationship besides that person’s presence and support.” -Sierra

“Love is when you feel what someone else is feeling, beyond empathy. It’s when a part of you is part of another person and vice versa.” -Kenneth, 21

“I think love is just something that you feel. It’s hard to describe. You just know it’s there when you feel it. The biggest indicator of love is when someone goes out of their way to do something nice for you without expecting recognition or anything in return. Being able to put someone else before yourself is true love.” -Austin

“Love is waking up and finally getting to see this whole other world that you had no idea existed. Even with long distance, you see things from your other world, like on a TV commercial that you both laughed at, or at a food booth you both like. There’s more to your world now, and you are part of someone else's world as well. Love means that no matter where you are, you’ll never be alone.” -Emily, 21

“I think at the end of the day, love is us— all of us. We do what we do because we love and because we’re made up of love. I think that’s why the absence of it hurts so much. Love is worrying about someone; it’s caring for someone and checking up on them. Love is driving someone home, letting your house be a hangout spot, and just wanting the best for someone else. Love is everything.” -Lutaban, 19

We can’t go wrong with having a holiday that is a celebration of love, but we should understand that Valentine’s Day is not solely reserved for romantic love. The love we have for our friends, family, and most importantly, the love we have for ourselves, shouldn’t be neglected; it should always be recognized and appreciated. Celebrate love of all kinds this Valentine’s Day, or better yet, celebrate and appreciate being loved everyday. The love we experience varies greatly from person to person, but despite its different meanings and interpretations, I think it’s safe to say that nothing is better than choosing to love and being loved in return.

Photo Credit: Cover, 1