Several weeks ago, I had to run up to campus for a meeting with my BYU Education Program peeps. Being on campus kind of made me sick. Not only was I overwhelmed with the general happy anxiety and well-intentioned stress, but the awful singleness. Also, loads of chaste sexual frustration with the opposite sex. When you're single, you don't realize how much stress your life inherently includes. You have to:
1. Look cute so you can attract someone.
2. Be smart to attract someone/keep your scholarship/appease your parents/avoid misusing your student loans.
3. Be active in the Church to attract someone/appease your parents/be a good Mormon.
4. Make a lot of friends to attract someone/be popular.
5. Learn life skills (i.e. Domestic flourish for girls) to attract someone.
6. Attend every single possible event - dessert parties, ward prayer, FHE, BYUSA activities, sporting events - of course to meet and attract someone.
There's just this intense level of optimistic stress that is absolutely exhausting. Always the anxiety of finding someone to study/eat lunch/walk home with. Always the anxiety of making weekend plans or getting another date. Always the anxiety of trying SOOOOO hard to be the cutest, coolest, most righteous (and sometimes fake-st) version of yourself. And there's that sneaky, invisible element of competition. There is no abundance mentality on a college campus.
Being on campus and walking into the library to say hi to my library peeps brought back emotions, just like hearing a song from a sad time in your life making you cry, or a song from the best night ever making you smile. I remember walking into that library annoyed, too much homework, no sleep, hungry and caffeine-deprived, anxious to get off work and meet up with The Beard. I absorbed by osmosis the stress of everyone rushing to get to class, but trying desperately to look approachable. I observed with disgust the excessive PDA of zoob couples.
After my meeting I met up with my friend Jesslyn- our last chance before she went into the MTC (Anaheim, Spanish). She lives in the Mormon Dating Epicenter, commonly referred to as "South-of-Campus." While driving to her apartment, I saw a group of kids gathering for FHE outside a complex. Girls playfully shoving guys, guys constantly readjusting their wayfarer shades and closing digits with various groups of girls. I especially liked seeing girls all dressed up in their cutest outfits (yeah. We can tell when you spent more than 10 minutes on it).
I truly do not mean to insult or offend. This is just the culture. We have all done it. I've done it. (No, I haven't.)
The Beard and I went to the BYU Football game a few weeks ago. I haven't been since I was a freshman and remembered why. It's all BYU Football zealots and freshmen. The ignorant comments and general stupidity was obnoxious. The Beard even yelled at a guy for being disrespectful towards the other team. His date was embarrassed. No awkward doorstep hug for him tonight. But the best part of the game was our newfound love - Photobombing. Freshmen LOVE taking the "myspace pic" (extending your arm up and out to capture the pic, heads together with a funny/sexy/cute face). We love messing it up. With some pretty impressive investigative work (If I do say so myself), I found THIS little beauty on a girl's non-private Facebook page.
You are welcome.
Though I live in Mapleton and don't attend classes on campus anymore, I never feel to far away thanks to my social media. Here are my favorite "Provo" accounts that help me stay close to my roots:
Mormon Girl Probs - Hilarious twitter account that is disturbingly familiar.
Provo All Star - The male counterpart for Mormon Girl Probs. And the source of all Mormon Girl Probs.
NiceTryZoob - Making fun of the "Peter" zoobs we all know and love.
Seriously, So Blessed - Blog mocking young, married Mormon girls. Horrifyingly accurate. Even if it stopped posting in January.
Seen @ BYU - Fantastic Facebook group for those who appreciate the ridiculous things around BYU.
It's fun to hate on BYU culture and the ridiculous dating world. At times it's hilarious, and at times it's incredibly frustrating. But it's all changed for me now.
The overwhelming take-away is that I'm so grateful I found The Beard. I'm so grateful that I no longer have to go out every night of the week, to every FHE (ok, I never went anyway), on every blind date and "Date Box" encounter (THAT is a great story. Maybe I'll share that one soon. You'll LOL for sure).
I don't have to stress that I'm being what someone's looking for. I don't have to kill myself adjusting my hair, makeup and clothes every day (I still do that sometimes. My choice.). I don't have to figure out who someone wants me to be. I don't have to fake it to make it. Dating is over. I have someone who accepts me for who I am, no matter what. Someone who makes me feel more ME than I've ever been. Someone who is completely happy to sit on a couch with me watching Netflix every night of the week. And that's what love is. Boring comfortable familiarity that you can't get enough of.
See ya later, dating. It's been a treat. But not really.