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Olivia Treynor / Staff Photographer

(Edited by: Beatrice Shlansky)

What does love look like? Hallmark suggests one optimistic, kitschy vision of affection: an expression of love wrapped in pink and white, preferably documented on cardstock. Think chocolates, roses, and fourth-grade card exchanges. Then there’s a version often touted by editorials and academics: clinical campus hookup culture, in which intimacy is discrete and, whenever possible, digital.

But I think this binary depiction of modern love is a far cry from how affection actually manifests itself here on campus. Instead, I see acts of kindness and expressions of love in almost every beat of college life: It’s getting an extra coffee from Ferris for a friend, letting a stranger pet your dog, standing in awe of a campus group’s performance, and sharing a passion for Columbia University Emergency Medical Service.

Love is often not manifested in grandeur—most students don’t have the budget for it—but, if you’re patient and have your eyes open, love is present in the small moments, alive quietly but certainly. These are some of those moments.

Olivia Treynor
A group of people plays with a dog up for adoption.


Olivia Treynor
Friends hold hands in front of Low Steps.


Olivia Treynor
Three students laugh while enjoying the view.


Olivia Treynor
A child plays with a foster dog in front of Butler.


Olivia Treynor
Two students watch a video on Low Steps.


Olivia Treynor
A child pushes his own stroller down College Walk.


Olivia Treynor
A group of friends chat on Low Beach.


Olivia Treynor
Columbia University Lion Dance practices on Low Beach.


Olivia Treynor
Student EMS workers joke around before a shift.


Olivia Treynor
Two friends enjoy drinks from Ferris.






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