This is a column about first love.
Maybe it started and ended with that kiss on the playground in kindergarten. Or in the limo on the way back from prom. Or mutual bonding through the hellish first week at UT. Maybe it never ended, and you're still together.
Who am I to say? There are all kinds of first loves.
Mine was my best friend. He taught me that I was worthy of love from someone other than my family; that the greatest gift in the world is having someone there who so perfectly understands you that he can put words to your feelings better than you can. Someone whom you can wholeheartedly, unabashedly, be yourself with, even if that involves dealing with the funny noises you make, or the cat socks you wear, or even your obsessive love of "Downton Abbey."
And it's not even really dealing with it, because loving you so much means embracing it, and loving those weird things about you too.
Perhaps because falling in love has similar neurological effects as a cocaine high. Both scenarios involve your brain being flooded by an overload of dopamine, and as more dopamine fills up the brain, you get the feeling of being "high" – the same as when taking cocaine.
Also maybe because love makes your serotonin levels drop, an actual symptom of OCD, that makes you in all definitions of the term, obsessed with your partner.
Or even the ever occurring butterflies in our stomach, that are actually caused by a rush of adrenalin, a result of our body's stress response reaction.
All of these scientific processes and emotions melding into one overarching feeling of love, seems to make it safe to say that first one is a doozy.
He's gone now, but he left me different. Marked. Whether for good or for bad, I am not the same person that I was before. And that's why the first love is immortalized. Songs, movies, books, all fixate on this idea of the first. We love the idea of the first being our last, though it often never is. Couple that with the fact that of all the people you may love in your life, the first love is scientifically proven to be the one you may never get over.
Because before them there was no one. Innocent and unloved, you went in arms open. No fears, though you knew of heartbreak, it hadn't happened to you, so it was not really even a possibility. It may have even surprised you how naturally this whole love thing came to you. Who knew it was really that easy.
Most likely your love affair occurred during your formative years. You didn't know quite who you were yet, and they most likely helped you figure it out. By getting to know you, they made you understand yourself. You also learned how to fight and apologize, to deal with their families and friends, to balance your time when you really just wanted to spend it all with them.
And if or when it ended, the world felt like it was falling apart. Everything as you knew it was gone. But eventually, it faded, as only time can do. And perhaps, most valuably, and also foolishly, you learned that despite what you had thought, your heart can recover. It is remarkably resilient, and if you let it, will fall in love again. So goes life.
For those out there who haven't had your first love yet, don't you worry. Instead get excited. It's something to behold. Because it's the only kind of magic that truly exists in the world, and you only get the first one once.
Victoria Knight is a senior in microbiology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.