Brandon Loyd | Correspondent

That recurring nightmare of isolation has at some point found home and haven in the reality of most college students.

When you are surrounded by thousands of people who you share studenthood with, it almost feels like an obligation to not be alone. Human connection is happening all around us, and our own fears about being alone can turn our state of being alone, into loneliness. And on a day like Valentine’s Day, when you feel like you can’t escape PDA, the color pink and every other physical embodiment of love, being single makes you feel like you’re missing out.

And even if you know that Valentine’s Day, and every other corporate entity that pushes the public to find a significant other, is part of a capitalistic scheme to make us spend more money, it doesn’t make you feel any less lonely when your sis’s man surprise gifts her with a full church choir singing “You Give Good Love” by Whitney Houston, releases doves in the name of their love and gives her 64-count box of assorted chocolates.

Sixty. Four.

And there you are in the corner of the snap she recorded. Pissed.

And it’s not like it’s easy to not be sometimes. Bitterness is a cycle. Whether that’s directed at your own love life or the love life of others, it can be a huge part of loneliness. It can make you resent love itself. Push away from others enthralled in their own romance.

It’s an erupting pressure put on us by society that we sometimes find ourselves crushed by. Sometimes we find ourselves pushing so hard for love that we feel humiliated, guilty, desperate and regretful. Sometimes we find ourselves making piss poor decisions for the sake of connectivity. Because who doesn’t want a box of 64 assorted chocolates?

Let’s face it, it’s validating to be cared for. But the lack of romance doesn’t make us alone.

There is no absence when we do not have a significant other, because with or without love, we are still our fully capable human selves. Single people aren’t single people, coupled people aren’t coupled people. They are people.

Sometimes, we allow our rage for the machine of romance to drive us into a corner and make us choose between alone and alone-and-looking. But in all honesty, we can just be.

We can just float through life and make the decisions we want to make, based on what we want to do. We don’t have to hate love for the sake of hating love or hate ourselves for the sake of not having it. We should treat romance and sex more like pizza actually. If we want it, we get it. If we don’t, we don’t.

If we want some but can’t get it, it’s fine too; pizza doesn’t have that much nutritional value anyway.

If we happen to step into someone’s office party by accident and they are willing to share the four large pizzas with assorted toppings they bought, then go ham (but not pineapple).

If you don’t want any, say no.

Being lonely can suck, but find the human connectivity you crave through friends, artistic adventures and family. Go shake (or catch) some yams at a party.

Life isn’t about romance. Life ain’t about pizza. Life is about you doing what you want, because you want to, because we should be the center of our own universe. Period.