For many, university symbolizes freedom – from orthodox households and toxic friendships at school. With a fresh slate in college, you do not expect to find your best friend or a life partner on the first day. Gradually, as you get familiar with college (and the college gets familiar with you), you may find a small group of like-minded people. But if you did find this group, then this article is not for you, because it caters to those who didn’t.*
Sometime back, I was watching David Letterman’s show where Shah Rukh Khan was a guest and he talked vividly about his college romance with Gauri Khan. He explained how they met and sustained their off campus-north campus romance post college. Similarly, the sitcom College Romance explores the titbits of love in college including the fallouts, the fights, the breakups, and the make-ups. Anyone who has been to university knows that college spaces are famous for their lovers’ spots and evergreen friendships that blossom in these red brick-and-mortar structures.
While Rang De Basanti and College Romance will tell you otherwise, you may not find your best friend or a significant other at university, and that’s okay. So, why are we talking about this?
In our world, longevity defines success. A longer job means you are more likely to be a stable employee, a longer relationship means you may not fear commitment, and a longer friendship means you may be emotionally more mature.
In this article, I explore the significance of short-term friendships and romance at college. College exposes you to a variety of people, and forming long-lasting friendships with each of them is impossible. We may not continue some friendships post college and if we are self-aware, we know which ones those are. However, these relationships can really help in making the new city you shifted in or the college you are attending a lot less foreign. Often, you also rely on these friendships to break out of your echo chambers. You may not agree with them politically, or your values could be mismatched, but an occasional dialogue or debate could broaden your perspective on an issue.
You may have just spoken to the person during your time at Debate Society or in passing when you bunked in the lawns, but all those conversations are extremely imperative because they let you evolve as human beings. While it may be true that you cannot rely on temporary acquaintances for emotional support, there is a lot of learning that comes out of these relationships.
A few years ago on Valentine’s Day, I had interviewed “successful couples” that emerged from Delhi University across generations for DU Beat. These couples, no doubt, had heart-warming stories about meeting over a Rs. 2 coffee at the Indian Coffee House and proposing on the Northern Ridge at North Campus. Now, as I look back, I wonder if I should have also talked to people who did not find long-lasting love and friendship at the university, but at the same time did find some sort of love here.
*This article was originally published in our Love Themed Issue – Volume 15| Issue 15.
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