Issue 35 · Valentine's Day 2022
Two Valentine's Day Interviews
Part 1 (Interviewer: Franklin Dong)
Valentine's Day consists of a myriad of emotions for everyone. Some treat it as a precious, romantic tradition worthy to be celebrated, while others adopt a more aloof attitude, not placing too much emphasis on this date. No matter what your opinion is, the arrival of Feb 14th must mean something to you, as it inevitably reminds you of the softest part of your heart: the first crush, the first kiss, the first relationship, the first heartbreak… Curious about people's interpretations of Valentine's Day and romantic love in general, I interviewed a Brooks student to see what she thought.
Q: Can you tell me about your first crush?
A: We were both just kids and he was my father's colleague's son, so I remember playing together a lot, and we kissed in the back of a pizza place in Italy, which was where I lived at the time.
Q: Have you ever been through a heartbreak?
A: I think it was the summer before freshman year. We were together for a while and it was like the puppy love relationship that I had. It ended really abruptly though and was difficult. Luckily I got a lot of character growth out of it and gained a lot more empathy.
Q: Have you ever been in love?
A: I don't know, probably for a little while. It really just feels like being sure of someone else, and caring for them at a higher level.
Q: What's your vision of a healthy relationship?
A: Stability, consistency, meaning what you say, backing words up with actions and vice versa.
Q: Do you think it's possible to have a healthy relationship in prep school?
A: Yes but it's very difficult. Decent people turn out to be not so nice, and that's very unfortunate.
Q: In any particular relationship that didn't work, what could have the other person done better?
A: I think he could've been more consistent and stable, not so hot and cold all the time. Could've been less impulsive and less scared and more honest and straightforward.
Q: What do you find attractive?
A: It really depends. I feel like different people bring out different sides of me and I can get to know myself better when I'm in a relationship which is great… I don't really like blondes though.
Q: Do you think it's possible to love someone else without loving yourself?
A: Yeah totally. But that's not really good for you: that love just turns out to be obsessive and overwhelming.
Q: Is love a good thing?
A: Wow… I don't know. I think so. I certainly hope so. But just like any other emotion it's complicated, and I think I need more experience with it to give you an answer.
Q: What's one goal you have involving romantic relationships?
A: I think you miss all the shots you don't take. I usually know what I want so I'm confident in taking care of myself. But I have to admit that after some disappointments, it gets a little hard to adjust.
Part 2 (Interviewer: Shalini Navsaria)
For this month’s Valentine’s Day edition, I interviewed a member of the Brooks community about his experiences with relationships and dating. To start out, I asked him about his first crush. He told me that after watching Bambi, he thinks he had a crush on them. “I liked their carefreeness,” he stated, and went on to talk about how young him enjoyed how Bambi had a good group of friends, and was able to have a fun time and learn from their mistakes. When it comes to real life, he told me that in first grade he met a girl and experienced “love at first sight.” He thought it was going to work out after she agreed to go out with him through a note passed in class, but alas, their teacher found out and shot it down before anything could have started.
Then, we moved into some heavier topics. I asked him about his first heartbreak, and how that affected him moving forward. He told me really “Didn’t know how to handle it,” especially since it happened over the 2020 quarantine summer. After being close with someone for a while and being shot down, dealing with those emotions for the first time while also being isolated and across the country from her proved to be a hard time for him. Ultimately, he said that he learned a lot, emphasizing that people “Shouldn’t depend on another person for happiness.”
Next, I asked him whether he thought he’d been in love before. He said that he did, and that he thinks he “Got lucky, '' and that, “For a while it was pretty perfect.” It lasted through his Freshman spring and summer, with a little bit of a resurgence over his senior thanksgiving break. He went on to say that it was a healthy relationship, and that they had started out as friends before dating, which he cites as a reason for that. Later on, we talked about what he looks for in a relationship, and after starting out as friends, he told me about how important it is to him for someone to be supportive, and not judgemental. As far as bad experiences have gone for him, he brought up a pretty bad incident in middle school where he wasn’t in a good headspace already. With applying to high schools and issues surrounding family, he remembered being surrounded by a lot of uncertainty. A girl he was talking to heard a rumor that wasn’t true, and got her group of friends to cyberbully him online. He said it was a hard situation, but he was able to move on from it after distance and time.
We talked about what relationships look like at Brooks, and how there isn’t much of an atmosphere of loving, healthy relationships. “I didn’t understand hookups until I came to Brooks,” he remarked, going on to tell me that he still doesn’t really get them. “ I don’t understand how something could happen one night, and then the next day you’d be pretending you don’t know them in class.” We talked more about how it’s usually fun for some period of time and then inevitably gets messy.
Finally, I asked what he wanted to get out of his last semester at Brooks. “I want to live in the moment,” he said. We talked about how Spring brings a lot of opportunities at Brooks, and how his goal to have a “Why not?” mentality would be a nice way to spend it.