I’ve written for this column a handful of times now. I’ve shared some sweet moments, some empowering moments, and a lot of embarrassing moments of my personal life. I remember when I first heard about the Sex and the Suny column, I thought the people that wrote for it were so bold for sharing such personal stories. I was once someone that kept my personal life closely hidden away and reserved for a select few.
But last year, we were understaffed and I had to step up, so I wrote for it when nobody else would. And after writing and sharing so many ridiculous stories, I can say that I’ve enjoyed every experience writing the column. I’ve had people email me and reach out to me saying that they thought my stories were funny or inspiring, which is a great feeling as a writer. But on a human level, it’s also nice to have people relate to your stories and feel some sort of inclination to reach out.
This year, as the FUSE editor, I’ve reached out to many people this semester asking them, no begging them, to write for the column. I ask friends, classmates, staff and even random contacts in my phone to contribute to the section, and I’ve noticed a pattern. People are scared.
People are terrified to open up and share stories about their dating life. Some are scared that the person they’re referring to will read their article, whereas others are scared to associate their name with their story.
But we have this column in the first place because it’s supposed to be this inclusive article that people can relate to. But if the same voices and people are writing every week, that lessens the sense of inclusiveness, doesn’t it?
We shouldn’t be scared to share these stories. Having a messy dating life is what makes us all human. People stop seeing you as a writer and begin to see you as a person when they read this column. I’m challenging people to stop being so hesitant about their love lives, and start embracing every second of it. I think people see vulnerability as a weakness because it exposes your feelings. But if you’re able to own your vulnerability, then I don’t see how it’s a weakness at all. Vulnerability is a strength. I feel bad for the people that have so much pride, that they see openness and honesty as a trait of weakness.
So think about your love life and ask yourself if there are stories to share. Maybe they’re cringeworthy. Maybe they’re downright humiliating. Or maybe they’re sweet and inspiring.
Regardless of the events, think about the column as if you’re writing to your friend or venting about your feelings. It’s therapeutic and to be honest, it’s also given me closure and a sense of awareness.
When you see your own story being told, it’s very surreal to see it in print.
Whether or not people want to admit it, sex and dating are very powerful. Whether you’re more conservative or open about your sexuality, it’s something everyone here in college can relate to on a more personal level.
I’ve sat down with contributors for the column and have had deep conversations about their relationships. I’ve had people telling me love stories, and I’ve had people venting to me about what went wrong in their relationships. It’s all relatable.
So if anyone is even considering contributing to this column, please reach out to me. I keep everything in confidence and I would never judge anyone considering all my stories are out for people to read as well. But don’t be afraid to have your name on something that expresses your true feelings.
Own your stories because guess what? That’s your life right there. Don’t be apologetic about the way you feel because what you’re going through is authentic and real.
Email Kavita Singh at firstname.lastname@example.org