Essay: You won’t make friends at orientation, but you’ll meet your long-term boyfriend

On admitted students day nearly four years ago, I sat slouching next to my dad in the Smith Center.

I was in a bad mood that day and because of that, when my dad leaned over to point out that the group behind us was speaking Tagalog, the official language of the Philippines, I didn’t pay much attention.

While it was welcoming to hear the familiar language in a new place, my dad unknowingly put the wheels in motion by introducing me to my future boyfriend and his family.

He was the first person I met at GW. Talking to each other was effortless and by the end of the day, after riding the Vern Express and visiting our future residence hall, Thurston Hall, we exchanged numbers and social media handles.

Twitter inched us closer together a month later when he tweeted about loco moco – a Hawaiian dish. I hoped that meant he was on vacation in Hawaii and as fate would have it, our Hawaiian hotels were positioned side by side. We met up and walked down the beach clumsily flirting along the way, but we mostly kept conversation to the upcoming Colonial Inauguration we would also attend together.

While the fateful events that led to us dating – including a dinner at Carvings – feels like a rejected Lifetime movie, it takes work to be in a relationship. Dating in college, where we get to see each other almost every day, is great. But now that we’re seniors, we have new challenges to face.

As the days fly by and we get closer to graduation, we’ve had to start difficult conversations about what’s next. Neither of us are from D.C. so it’s hard to say where we’ll be – both geographically and emotionally – in just a few short months.

All I know is that when it comes to relationships, it’s important to go with the flow. A nosy father and pure luck brought me to the right person. But years of challenges confirmed that I would return to the Smith Center – where it all began – for commencement with him by my side.

Renee Pineda, a senior majoring in political science, is The Hatchet’s opinions editor.

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