Self-discovery and love: The struggle and the balance

Jake Sinatra (TheLorian)

American Culture is becoming more and more like the music that encompasses it: parties, sex, drugs, violence, and any kind of social confirmation on who someone is. I have experienced this first-hand in college, even in the short three semesters I have been here. Over and over again I experience, inside both myself and those around me, the internal struggle of becoming an adult.

The biggest difference I see is that the fight everyone has to face is increasingly turning to temporary satisfaction, almost a way of burning away the pain no matter the consequence. Like a junkie whose hunger grows more and more every hour, so too does our desire for true love. But the world around us convinces us that instead of breaking this intoxicating high for companionship, we should instead continue to lose sight of ourselves, and in turn we lose sight of loyalty.

Just look at the divorce rates, as well as the number of people who cheat on their significant others. It is not because we are becoming “more evil”, but more-so that we have subconsciously agreed as individuals in a society that we do not need to tackle our problems head on, and that the easy way out is the best way out. I have friends who will date a person for as few as two weeks at a time, and break up over one disagreement. Even more often I see people, including someone very close to me, break off long-term relationships due to a “stale sex life” and because they would rather have multiple hookups a month. This seems as an “independent” way of living, with male and female peers alike supporting their friends’ decisions. But when I step in and mention that we shouldn’t be treating our relationships like fast food, with the expectation of easy-to-obtain alternatives at every corner, I am shunned for not supporting their decisions.

Famous economist Thomas Sowell even predicted that when things in life get handed to us, and we are told we can just do whatever we want, the concept of the family disintegrates, as does our society. So why are we not taking this into consideration as a people? Every day we drift further and further from true happiness, and can’t even see we are replacing it with temporary lust. If we don’t start to revive the fundamental ideals that were the driving force of our societal success and unity, then it too will continue to disintegrate. And it starts with us; college students. We are the future of America, and we need to change the trajectory of our lives in order to understand what really makes us happy.

People always talk about legislature and enforcing certain laws to just magically make everything better. But morals and beliefs cannot be legislated. It takes a strong, educated, willing society to change how we see the world. This trend of hookup culture will continue to tear every single one of its victims apart, until the culture it contaminates is all but lost. I, too, need to continue looking at what makes me truly happy, and not what makes me happy because its what everyone else is doing. For we can not love others until we love ourselves, and if we don’t love ourselves, we will never find true happiness.

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