Opinion: Don’t hesitate to explore the unknown


Alena Ruhstaller

The crew after our lunch at Nando’s in Washington, D.C.

Is this love?

This is the question that we’ve been trying to answer since the beginning of February. We’ve explored the topic through blogs, podcasts, opinion pieces, playlists, and quizzes, so you may be thinking, “What else will the five of us do to further answer this burning question?”

The answer to this is simple: nothing for now.

Zachary, Sam, Anna, Kimberly, and I never really discussed crush culture, love, and personal relationships until our trip to Washington, D.C. last November. Although I personally didn’t have the pleasure of sitting next to Kimberly during the plane ride, Anna and Sam explained to me how Kimberly was talking to them through a crush for the entirety of the five hours. As we waited for our shuttle bus at the airport, we all shared a discussion about what it means to have a crush and typical gender roles in relationships. And that’s where it all started; the idea of Is this Love? was born.

Unforgettable memories were made during that trip. I personally find it amazing how much closer people can become in the span of three days with the ingredients of sleep deprivation, late-night Cards Against Humanity, deep conversations at Nando’s, and early morning coffee runs. All five of us came back to Carlmont closer than we’ve ever been.

And that’s when second semester came around. Our advisor introduced a senior passion project, and Kimberly had an idea: make a page on Scot Scoop as an extension of the Valentine’s Day Scotlight in our Highlander magazine dedicated to answering the questions we asked each other on the trip. Although Zachary wasn’t a senior, he was eager to join, and before we knew it, Is it Love? was up and running.

We covered a lot over the past couple of months, from self-love and mental health to setting boundaries to relationships during quarantine. I personally had no idea that there were so many different aspects of love to discuss and explore, and I can truly say, from the bottom of my heart, that I’ve learned quite a bit about myself and the others around me over the course of this project. I’ve learned a lot about the different aspects of love, but the one I’ve learned the most about is friendship. Zachary, Kimberly, Anna, and Sam will always have a special place in my heart as some of the best friends I’ve ever had.

Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone to learn something new. Zachary, Kimberly, Anna, Sam, and I are certainly not love experts, but we had fun exploring the topic of love and sharing what we’ve learned with you. And so many amazing things come out of doing this; I’ve made lifelong friends through journalism and Is this Love?. There are endless things to learn about in the world, so what’s stopping you from pursuing it?

Thank you all for following us throughout this journey! We all hope that you’ve learned just as much as we have.