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On being ‘unsuc-sex-ful’

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Surely bountiful romance and employment opportunities came in a neatly packaged bundle with our acceptance letters. Isn’t the true objective of institutionalized higher learning to meet our soulmates and prepare for a monotonous career full of shameless brags about our prestigious degrees?

But as the hint of crisp fall leaves die and we begin to wear just a few more layers, nature seems to discourage our non-platonic pairing with one another. In a land of intelligent and marginally attractive kindred spirits, many are emotionally unavailable or, to be frank, not my cup of tea. Rather than a magical paradise of soulful eye contact and seamless conversation, this island of supposed possibility has been grossly unsuc-sex-ful.

For reference, I have provided a few distinct scenarios from this autumn age of abstinence.

1. The academic booty call

During my spontaneous visit to econ office hours, a devilishly handsome young lad inquired about my Snapchat username. After days of what I thought was a vow of silence, he so courageously asked me on what I presumed was a coffee date. Fast forward: moments after sitting down, much to my surprise and dismay, in broad daylight, he whipped out…his p-set. Then, he said something along the lines of, “Can we take it slow? I’m new to this.” I was truly flabbergasted at his apparent forwardness. Without even engaging in obligatory small talk, I was expected to expose my answer to question four. I felt cheated and mislead. After helping him just that one time, once per week I now receive an identical, yet equally jarring Snapchat: “Will you help me with econ?” I have ceased responding to this bad-mannered booty call.

2. The attractive TA

Screw a hat and gloves for the winter, sometimes all you want is a cute TA to warm your heart (rough citation: Stanford meme page). I must admit that when CS lectures shift to monotony, my brain cannot help but wander towards my intellectual crush and brainstorm ideas to woo him with stylistically intriguing code. How do I tell him that if it was him explaining strings in the glorious Hewlett Learning Center, I would trek to class rather than watching lectures on 1.8x speed in my Oreo-dusted pajamas? Sadly, he is too advanced for my trivial Java-speak. I’m just 106A chic, and he’s likely interning at Google this summer. Although my fantasy must remain fiction, the flame of my misguided intellectual curiosity still burns with a boundless scope.

3. The lost dorm date

For better or for worse, we are all a bit familiar with dormcest fantasies. As many times as we are told not to hump our hall-mates, we cannot help but be attracted to the forbidden fruit (and by we, I mean me). My day one dorm crush and I began engaging in some witty banter on a semi-regular basis. Eventually, I bit the bullet over a bowl of lucky charms and soy milk. Popping the question, I asked, “Will you get coffee with me?” To my delight, I received a sweet smile and confirmation. Sadly, I saw the person in question multiple times on the planned day, and both of us failed to mention the arrangement. Not even a classy GroupMe DM was put forth. Without my forbidden fruit, there will be no growth in my dormcest garden any time soon. Like the coffee machine in Stern Dining, I guess we were just not meant to work.

So you may be thinking, your time will come you little frosh. Settle down. But it’s difficult to tame my envy when I see couples romanticly gazing into their phone screens without acknowledging each other’s presence.

Perhaps you may also feel as if you were fated to have a love life as dry as Lake Lagunita. But here lies in front of us something we fail to consider all too often as we roast in the pressure cooker of prospective perfection: we have so much time. This sexless slumber is merely a small segment in a lifetime of opportunity. Although we live in a land of perpetual self-innovation, sometimes we have to enjoy our days of youthful awkwardness and confusion. Maybe our Lake Lag of love will fill this season and maybe it won’t, but either way, we must find a way to be content soaking in our solitude.

Contact Alanna Flores at alanna13 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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