Image via errilustrations

Image via errilustrations

How exactly do we define the word relationship? Google says it’s the way in which two or more people or things are connected. Facebook suggests that being in one means showing up on another person’s profile, supposedly as a piece of personal information as vital as their birthdate and hometown. My experience indicates that it always involves a pair of people of which I am never one. All I seem to have experienced since my freshman year of university are what I have come to name relationboats, ranging from relationyachts to relationpaperboats.

Sail away - Alijt

Sail away – Alijt

The sailing experience I have acquired over the past few semesters, both directly and indirectly through the confessions of friends, can be summarized in the following compendium:


relationboat that takes you on an idyllic yet short-lived trip, which leaves you starry-eyed and sunburned on the shore


relationboat meant to help you cross over a stressful stage of your life, such as midterms, finals or applying to grad schools


relationboat that is completely submerged, invisible to everyone except those in it


relationboat that is just the right amount of exciting until being overturned by a change in the intensity of the wind


romantic yet short relationboat experienced while traveling abroad


relationboat meant to save a person stranded on an island after a relationwreck


relationboat created in mere seconds and destroyed in just as many

I have not yet succeeded in pinpointing the cause of this diverse fleet. Is it that we are all just so busy worrying about our futures? Is it that while on-campus we are within seven minutes of walking distance at all given times? Or is it that there is always the possibility of somebody being a 13-hour flight away? Is it that we are afraid to commit, afraid of the iceberg that a relationTitanic would eventually end up crashing into?

With our questions unanswered, we will continue setting our relationboats asail in the campus fountains or crafting sails out of the sheets of our beds, until the day we finally find a fellow sailor with whom we can travel into the horizon, leaving the comfort of the shallow waters behind.

Written by Tina N. Vale