Cupid’s arrow strikes campus: Students discuss love, relationships

by Erica Clark
Campus Life Editor

Between going to class, involvement in outside clubs and activities and doing homework (Don’t forget about sleeping!), how do Transylvania students have time for a social life, particularly dating relationships?

Though maintaining such a relationship is difficult with the rush of school, many still manage to do it.

The Rambler sat down with four Transy students to discuss this issue.

“I think relationships in this age bracket are really hard because from such a young age, a lot of times it seems like people fuse too closely to their partner and they don’t have enough time to be single and discover their own identity before they get into a relationship,” said senior Monica Lawson. “That’s one of the reasons I really like being single — because I feel like I’m taking time to get to know myself and I’m taking time to get to know what I want.”

Lawson commented further about balancing a relationship with schoolwork.

“I think relationships can be hard in college because they can distract from your work a lot of times. Especially if you’re living and breathing for this person, which I think is unhealthy. Maybe that’s why I’m single, because I’m not simply devoted to a relationship or person,” she said.

Lawson, who at one point had a boyfriend living in Germany, described the climate of being half of a long-distance relationship.

“It worked really well for us because we had so much going on at our respective schools,” Lawson said. “I’m so dedicated to what I want to do and I have specific career aspirations. I think it really worked for me because everything was almost on a schedule with us because there was a six-hour time difference.”

With this difference and being an ocean apart, both were able to live their separate lives.

“It also kept us from falling into that routine of being together so much that we didn’t have time for our other lives, or our other friends,” she said. “It allowed me to be my own person and to have my own life.”

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Another student who has a long-distance relationships, senior Joseph Underwood, talked about struggles in such a situation.

Underwood met his girlfriend, Ana-Joel Falcon, through a church recommended by a friend when he was studying abroad in Paris in the fall of 2010. One week before he left Paris, after spending months getting to know one another through hanging out in groups of friends and taking trips around France, Underwood told Falcon about his feelings for her.

“She lived in Paris and was going to stay there until the next August, so it was going to be some time apart,” he said. “We just said that we would keep in touch and Skype and figure it out as the Lord led us to what we were supposed to do. In February we were both going to be in New York for the same art conference. I go every year and she was actually presenting. So in a couple of weeks of Skype before that, I asked her out on a date.”

After a night eating at a New York diner and watching a Broadway show, the couple “made it official.”

When Falcon moved back to Canada, the distance was still a factor, though they now lived on the same continent.

“We Skype at least three times a week or talk on the phone,” he said. “We set it up to where she can email me and it comes to me as a text because international rates are different. We’ve had to be a little bit creative, but it’s just been something that we’ve scheduled in and made a regular thing, which some might say isn’t romantic, and there are definitely days where it’s not. ’Cause it’s like, I’ve got this 5 o’clock meeting … with my girlfriend.”

Underwood has appreciated some aspects of dating long-distance, but disadvantages remain.

“In all honesty, the reason that it works is because we challenge each other to grow as individuals in our faith, in our professional work (because we both study art history), and just in our personal lives,” he said. “There’s definitely difficulty. Like not physically even being around each other for such long periods of time, because even if you’re not super physical people, maybe you just want to hold hands or … sit by each other or something.”

Underwood looks forward to the next time he’ll see Falcon, most likely in the spring.

Some students have moved to an even more serious step in their relationship, such as senior April Corman, whose boyfriend Korey Colyer proposed while on a trip to Las Vegas with some family and friends.

While at a Vegas restaurant, even though she was “clueless,” Corman found it odd that the hostess took Colyer aside to speak with him.

“When he came back over to me I kind of freaked out and I said, ‘I’m a little nervous that something is going on and I don’t like it,’ and then I punched him,” Corman said. “We walked outside to the patio beside the fountains, and there was a table in the middle with rose petals all over it and champagne beside it.”

Corman was totally surprised, and she recounted the next series of events.

“As we were walking over there I started hyperventilating and I couldn’t breathe,” she said. “He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, but I didn’t remember what he said because I was too busy hyperventilating. I remember saying yes, and I asked him to get down again to say something else because I missed it and I wanted to remember him saying something. So it was really fun but I was completely clueless.”

The couple began dating while Corman was still in high school and Colyer was just starting school at Transy.

“We still got to see each other a lot and it was nice because he was able to develop his own friendships at Transy and I was still able to develop mine in high school, rather than going into college together and just hanging out with each other and having all mutual friends,” she said.

Their lives were then able to come together once Corman got to campus.

“Then, when we both went to Transy, it was nice because we got to see each other all the time. We’d always know what was going on and we wouldn’t have to really plan our schedules around each other because we were both pretty flexible,” she said.

Corman said that planning a wedding was difficult last term with such a large workload for school, but a day each week with no classes this term has allowed her to begin preparations for the event.

Senior Jenny Doom, who is also engaged, described planning a wedding at the same time as going to school.

“It can be very stressful,” Doom said. “I’m not getting married until September, so I have time, but I’m a planner and I just want to get it done.”

Doom, who has been dating her fiancé, Shane Pope, for almost five years, said all of her friends and Pope’s friends hang out together.

But when it came to one-on-one time, things were sometimes more difficult.

“Dating in college is hard, especially when you go to different schools because there are different standards and expectations within the different schools,” she said. “He’d sometimes ask me why I couldn’t just skip class and I’m just thinking, ‘My professor will notice, your professor doesn’t care, my professor will know I was gone and, you know, there go my participation points.’ And he’s like, ‘What is that?’ ”

Pope proposed to Doom on April Fool’s Day last year.

“He asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner and then go back to his house to watch the movie ‘Knocked Up,’ the movie we watched on our first date, and I didn’t want to. But he finally convinced me,” she said. “So I got ready, and we went somewhere nice first, but it had a long wait. And then we slowly worked our way down; we went to Johnny Carino’s but they had a long wait too, and then to Applebee’s, and I was just like, ‘I’m hungry.’ We ended up eating at Arby’s, and I went to get my drink and there was a fly in my cup. It was just the worst night ever.”

They went back to watch the movie and when it reached a part when one character proposes with an empty ring box, Jenny brought up the subject herself.

“I said, ‘Whenever you propose to me, that ring box better not be empty.’ And so then he pulls out a box and the ring was in it. And he proposes, but I thought he was kidding because it was April Fool’s Day! And I said, ‘Are you kidding? Are you kidding me? Like, … are you kidding me?’ over and over and over again. I finally said yes, but it was funny because I thought he was kidding. But no, he was serious,” she said.

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