Crush Culture on Campus: Finding Romance at DVC


What does love look like at Diablo Valley College? It depends on who you ask.

For some, finding love on campus feels like a realistic possibility—it’s just a matter of knowing where to look. 

“I usually see romance and couples in the liberal arts complex courtyard where everyone sits before class starts,” said Emily Parr, a 19-year-old communications major.

“I think school always gives you the opportunity to meet people. Especially at the beginning of the semester, I am always scoping out my classes trying to see if there is anyone I can vibe with.”

A survey from Cornell University’s Daily Sun found 42 percent of student respondents said they were in love. For many students, college represents a turning point and can even be their first real exposure to casual dating, serious relationships, and everything in between.

At DVC, students expressed different versions of how they view intimacy and romance. 

“I would describe my relationship status as ‘it’s complicated’… too complicated even,” said Jalen Guy, 20, a pansexual freshman majoring in psychology. 

“I play eye tag a lot on campus. It definitely has a flirtatious vibe but doesn’t usually lead to actual verbal interaction.”

For some, the age gap on campus can be difficult to navigate.

“I can’t flirt on campus,” said 17-year-old music major Veritas Milanov, because “I’m too young and it’s not relatable. When people flirt with me, it makes me feel defensive.”

Milanov said their idea of flirting is “to go up and talk to people and tell them I like their outfit and I become their friend, but they are always too old so it can’t go anywhere.”

Some students on campus, like Hunter Wetmore, prefer a more traditional romance. Wetmore, a 20-year-old undecided major, said, “I can honestly say I love my girlfriend so much because she is the only person in the universe that understands me, and she makes me happier than ever.”

“I love everything about her,” he added. “I am grateful to spend Valentine’s Day with the person I want to be with, forever and always.” 

Yet to others, like Parr, the best romances on campus can be the ones we create in our heads.

“Sometimes there isn’t anyone worth crushing on in class, and if there is, it’s kind of just more of a fantasy,” said Parr.  “It can be better to romanticize someone and never even really talk to them. It stays perfect and the illusion isn’t shattered.”

Parr added that communications and English courses can allow for more discussion and connection while STEM classes offer fewer opportunities to connect.

“Those classes are usually more focused on lectures and note-taking. The only way to really flirt but also just try to do well in class is to ask for notes,” Parr said. “It helps pass the time during a lecture to daydream and wonder ‘what if,’ not to mention it’s just fun.”

For those who do make a move, it’s always a gamble—and not always one worth taking. 

“When I’ve been flirted with on campus, it just makes me feel caught off guard,” said Guy. “I don’t think I wish people didn’t do it, I just think it can be bold.

“That being said, I think flirting can be fun for anyone.”

(Illustration by Ericka Carranza)