At this time of year, your summer glows are fading, the world is getting colder — like to 75 degrees — and the trees are letting go of their leaves and exposing their bare souls.
It’s October, and change is certainly in the air.
It’s OK to be afraid of this change. You’re at the point in the semester where all of your summertime hopes either begin to materialize or laugh at you.
For example, when you realize that you like someone, it’s easier to sit in the shadows and hope that they might notice you. It’s also easier to wait out your crush, waiting for it to dissipate. And it’s easier to hook up with other people, trying to erase the fact that your heart beats for someone else.
But then there comes a time when all things screech to a halt: When you wake up and realize that if only you could put yourself out there just a little bit, then perhaps your hopes would come true. You overanalyze every movement, every text. Your friends play into it, giving you the green light. You gain the courage and dive into the dark water.
And then you belly flop. Hard.
Yeah, those hopes and wishes of the other person saying “I like you, too” stand up and slap you in the face. Instead of gliding on cloud nine the next day, you sit on your bed with some cold chicken parmesan at 11 a.m. and watch Real Housewives (even though that’s a normal Saturday in my book).
It’s embarrassing at the least, heartbreaking at the most. Depending on how much you liked them, it could either feel like a bump in the road or the end of your world as you know it.
Most assume their sadness resides in the fact that the other didn’t reciprocate their feelings. Or perhaps you’re mourning the loss of a friendship.
Or maybe it’s something different. Maybe it’s the fact that you’re so angry and upset that the other person can’t see what’s right in front of them. Remember that one Grey’s Anatomy episode? Meredith stands in front of her McDreamy and tearfully says “Pick me, choose me, love me,” just before McDreamy does not choose her? Ouch.
Then there’s one of the many, many Taylor Swift songs dealing with heartbreak: “Have you ever thought maybe / you belong with me?”
In T-Swift’s magical, romantic world, a lot of the time it works out, with unicorns and glitter gliding you to your Romeo. But in the real non-unicorn-filled world, there’s only an awkward put-down of feelings and potentially an unfriending on Facebook.
Many people probably wish they had the courage to walk right up to their crush like Meredith.
Many people want the chance to just stand before them and say, “Hey, I want to hold your hand when I get scared at Disneyland. I want to sit with you on the couch and watch female-repelling car shows all night. I want to make you watch Real Housewives and hear you complain about it. I want to take you shopping because your taste in cargo shorts and mall stores filled with lung-cancer-inducing cologne is an abomination. I don’t care that you can be ridiculously annoying and obnoxious at times. I like you for you, why can’t you like me for me, and see that I could make you happy?”
Sadly, not a lot of people have that kind of courage to begin with. But if you manage to follow through and have that one small exchange of word vomit, for a second there it might feel like everything’s okay.
And then it doesn’t work out and everything pretty much sucks. You probably won’t feel it on the first day, or even the second. But all of a sudden The Last Song comes on, you discover the band Of Monsters and Men and your roommate and their love start cuddling. You stand no chance.
Sorry to say it, but not much will make it better. Nothing your friends say, no matter how many times your mother tells you that you’re better than them and no amount of Oreos will make you stop feeling worthless.
The only thing you can really do is live your life and take it day by day, until the sight of the other person doesn’t make you want to vomit, cry or do both.
I mean, so what: You’re still a rock star, with your rock moves and everything. Just because the other person didn’t notice doesn’t mean that no one else will.
We all go through hardships. And those hardships only make the good moments even sweeter. So hold your head up high and be proud of your trials and tribulations. A good scar reminds you not only of a fall, but also of how well you healed afterward.
Maybe it’s time for a shopping trip. Or maybe it’s a chance for you to go out and meet more people on a part of campus where your crush doesn’t usually go. This could truly be a blessing in disguise — you just have to find out what you’re supposed to be looking for.
Heartbreak sucks. But it’s something that unites us all. If you’ve never gone through heartbreak, then you’re superhuman and I hate you.
I kid, but just know that others have gone through the same —and that others managed to pick themselves up and carry on the next day.
If life was always like a Taylor Swift song, then we wouldn’t have the beautiful, sorrowful sounds of Adele. If life were always rosy, then we wouldn’t be able to appreciate it, since it would just be “normal.”
Oscar Wilde once said, “The heart was made to be broken.” It definitely was. But it’s also there for you to put back together again.
Sheridan Watson is a junior majoring in critical studies. Her column “Lovegame” runs Thursdays.