Everyone always told me growing up that I needed to guard my heart and save it for the right person. “Don’t give pieces of yourself away,” I was always warned by older women. “Love is like a piece of cloth, dear. If you give small snippets of your cloth to every charming boy that comes your way, then when the right man comes along then you’ll have nothing left to give him.” I never knew until just a few months ago how right they actually were. My first kiss left so much to be desired, and I wished I had continued to save it for someone I really loved. My first “I love you” was given to a boy I only dated to be rebellious against my mom.
I have seen girl after girl get wooed by a boy with abs and a cool haircut, then give so much to him and invest so much in him that when she wasn’t a new thing and she got tossed aside her heart wept. I’ve had girls come to me at 2 AM before, simply needing open arms from someone who understands the hurt of that pain and can just be with them while they mourn the loss of that part of themselves. I have had girls in bathrooms who I’ve never met before quietly ask for a hug and prayer that they will mentally and emotionally recover from their experience.
Girls, if you are new to college, do not expect it to be like the movies. Do not expect to go to a party, follow a boy back to his dorm and then have a romantic future with him. Do not expect to give him something precious to you, then for him to truly appreciate it as it deserves to be appreciated and cherished. If he takes you or any part of you for granted and does not treat you like a queen, like a woman worth every moment that he spends with you, then do not bother with him for he does not value you, only what you can give him. And to the returning college students, don't expect a summer away to have changed what reality is. Be cautious with whom you entrust yourself and your heart to. Help new girls on campus and protect them like you would want to be protected.
Young adult's fiction author Ann Rinaldi once said "love is like a light and there are two kinds, the bursting fireworks of the moment and the solid fixed stars that sometimes become obscured heaves, but are always there, year after year, for a lifetime."
Don't give in to the bursting fireworks, but instead wait for the moment when you can savor the solid fixed stars that are waiting for you. If I've learned anything from my mom, grandmother, and women in my life that I admire and strive to become, it's that waiting for the right man is better than any boy you'll meet before him.