I recently rewatched Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. In the beginning of the movie, our protagonist Laura Jean Covey spends her time fantasizing about boys she has crushes on. Her younger sister criticizes her living her life inside of her head instead of going out and having romantic experiences like she dreams of. At the end of the movie, she figures out that it is worth it to go for it and put yourself out there, and she has some real life swoon-worthy moments in the franchise’s other two films.
If you find yourself in a similar situation to Laura Jean, here’s some advice for you. Have you ever entertained yourself in class by imagining that the person across from you in discussion is madly in love with you? All because they gave you their extra pencil? In the past, I myself have fallen victim to imagining scenarios with random people around campus. While I agree that sometimes to stay awake in class, it may be helpful to envision dream scenarios, I would also argue that you should get out of your head and into real life.
Almost every day of freshman year, I would see one guy in Glasgow with really sick outfits. I always imagined that he would come up to me and compliment my style. Every time I saw him I would hope that we would notice what cool new shirt I bought or unique shoes I paired with an eye-catching pair of pants. The end of the year came and he never complimented my style. I should’ve just went up to him and told him I thought his outfit was cool! I will never know what cool friendship could have sparked from that encounter if I had initiated it.
If you find yourself over-romanticizing encounters and conjuring up “what ifs” in your mind, try this exercise. Go up to people with good vibes in the dining hall, the gym, the elevator, etc. and strike up a conversation! This doesn’t necessarily have to be romantic, but it’s a good exercise to practice living your life rather than imagining it. Instead of silently hoping that you’ll get asked out by the person across the hall, shoot your shot and invite them on a date. It sounds cliche, but the worst that could happen they reject you. College is a time to experience trying out new things and be bold, so take your chance. Instead of imagining stories in your mind, go out and make some memories! You’ve got this!