This February, Modern Love opened its sixth college essay contest, asking college students nationwide to tell the truth about love today.
The last time we held this contest, in 2019, the world was a very different place.
This year, with college life disrupted as never before, students shared stories of experiencing isolation, navigating identity, managing mental health, returning to family, hooking up with hometown homebodies and finding community in surprising places.
Today, we are pleased to present the best of that writing, leading off with our winning essay, “My Plea for a Sixth Love Language,” by Layla Kinjawi Faraj, a first-year student at Barnard College in New York City.
Stay tuned for our finalists’ essays, which we plan to publish throughout May and June. You can read the full list of winners here.
Deep thanks to everyone who participated, and to our contest readers, Danya Issawi and Emma Grillo!
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