Student Life

The art of being single: The fear of being alone

Romance is one of my favourite genres of movies — shocking, I know.

As I was watching the Netflix original The Last Summer last week, Maia Mitchell, who plays Phoebe in the movie alongside KJ Apa’s Griffin, said something that made me pause the movie and scatter for my notebook and pen: “I fear whether I’m even capable of love or if I’m just destined to observe it for the rest of my life.”

If you’re new here, hi, my name is Kayla and I have an existential crisis every few days.

This one line, which took up maybe 13 seconds of the movie, summed up my whole dilemma with finding love. You know how people, usually those a generation older than you, always tell you to slow down, to not rush things because you’re young, you have time for everything to work out, to find love? Those people stress me out because how do they know?

They don’t.

I have so many people in my life who are in their 30s, 40s, 50s and who are still alone. I have family members whose lives probably went very differently than what they planned or hoped for. Sure, they might be happy but they also might not be; they may have just adapted to what life threw at them because they had no choice other than to accept it and move on.

What does this have to do with the movie, you may ask? If you go back and comb through my previous articles, or if you know me in real life, then you know that I’ve struggled with going after what I want and just letting things happen the way they’re supposed to. I always simply chalked it up to the kind of person I am, to my drive and character — but it’s more than that.

There aren’t many things in life that I want more than to find love, to marry someone and to have a family of my own. This one line in this cheesy teen romance movie brought these two things together — seeing so many of the people in my life alone and struggling with letting go of going after the things I want. I fear not being able to experience love for myself, of being destined to only observe it from those around me.

So to those people that ask me why I’m so worried, that say I should just let things happen the way they’re meant to, that I’m young and have my whole life ahead of me — you’re wrong. Life doesn’t work out the same for everyone so bare with me while I fear never being able to be in love while I have to watch everyone else around me have what I want so badly.

Graphic by Loreanna Lastoria


Simply Scientific: Spooky Season

You probably costumed up this weekend for the yearly Halloween party where cats don’t look like cats and police officers lack clothing. The holiday of death and fear became a gathering event for university students to celebrate, for the most part, the end of midterms.

But say your professor turns into a werewolf, how would your body react? To tackle that question of paramount importance, let’s dig into what fear is.

Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that causes physiological response in your body.

Your professor is finalizing their transformation into a student-eating monster. This stressful situation would send a signal to your brain that will start processing the information. When this happens, all parts of the brain simultaneously work to establish whether your flesh-eating professor is a threat or nothing of importance.

There are two paths that the brain follows in evaluating the situation – the low road and the high road. The former evaluates every situation as the worst-case scenario; a loud sound from your kitchen at night is your end in this world. The latter, however, is your rational analysis of a situation. The high road will evaluate every possible outcome of a situation and link the stimulus to previous similar events in order to make sense of it.

This analysis of the situation happens in a blink of an eye and results in the biological reaction of fight or flight. Your reaction to your werewolf professor pouncing on their first victim will be either to fight them back or just get the eff out.

In both cases, your body will release chemicals like adrenaline and noradrenaline resulting in a racing heart, heavy breathing and activated muscles to be ready to either fight or flee the aggressor.

Now, don’t worry too much. Halloween is only two days away. So, cross your fingers and light up some sage in hope to avoid any encounter with life threatening monsters in the next 48 hours.


Graphic by @sundaeghost

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