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Tina Wang / Staff Illustrator

At 8 p.m. on Monday nights, I usually sit in the Spectator office. This is arguably the place where I spend most of my time, and inarguably, this is the place where I watch The Bachelor.

I sit on the brown now-shapeless beanbag and turn my laptop on. It’s hard to balance focusing on work on one side of my screen and making sure I know who got the one-on-one date that week—but it's my weekly routine.

For the rest of the week, The Bachelor is all I talk about. The Bachelor is all everyone I know will talk about. The Bachelor is all over my Twitter—so much so that a friend of mine has blocked the hashtag #TheBachelor (and me, effectively). The Bachelor is a language people understand. From my film professor, to those at my internship, to members of the football team, everyone knows who received a rose that week. They also know it was not them.

It seems to me that Columbia is a campus devoid of feelings. Each day a flurry of Columbia Confessions fill up my feed to lament this fact. Each weekend, I spend my nights hiking up the hill on 116th Street, not to go on dates, but instead to coop myself up in ye olde Butler Library with the hundreds upon hundreds of students who will study until the crack of dawn beside me. This ritual is considered “productive,” but the truth of that is debatable when considering my mental health as the sun rises and I’m still sitting in Ref.

From what I’ve heard, relationships require time, and between Ref and class and Spec, the last thing I have is time to give.

Scramble was created to form instant, anonymous connections—there are no actual conversations nor emotional bonds, simply UNIs. There’s even a Columbia-specific hookup app being created in order to manifest fair-weather relationships. Despite these attempts at “student romantic bonding,” I still give priority to the essays, internship applications, and problem sets that loom over me—and of course, Mondays with Chris Harrison and The Bachelor.

The Bachelor uses an already-known process with an already-known result; everyone knows at the end of the night that someone will get a rose and someone else will go home. Students seek solace—I seek solace—in The Bachelor because unlike schoolwork, unlike relationships, The Bachelor follows a pattern.

The Bachelor is an equation, and to a (former) math major like myself, equations make sense. The rules are all out on the table from night one. There is no “defining the relationship.” Rather, it’s accepted that the bachelor is dating 30 women and eventually will choose just one.

Despite the constant drama and tears from contestants, I have come to believe that dating on The Bachelor is easier than managing a full course load and trying to find love at Columbia. The stakes will always be lower; there is no risk of failing a class or having your heart broken. If you get sent home from the Bachelor Mansion, you receive another 100,000 Instagram followers. Just as contestants take that final limo ride back home at the end of each episode, my metaphorical limo will always return back to Butler.

Enjoy leafing through our first issue!

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