Tell me that freshmen love doesn’t exist and I’ll send you straight to Jordy Atencia (C ‘21) and Maribel Davila (W ‘21). They’ll convert you into a believer.
Jordy and Maribel met through a Pre–Freshman Program (PFP) the summer before freshman year, but Jordy admitted that he had his eye on Maribel even before then.
“I was on the UPenn Facebook group chat for the Class of 2021, where everyone was just adding each other on Instagram. Somehow I happened to come by her, and I was like ‘...wow,’” Jordy recalled. “Then PFP started and I realized she was there. We started becoming friends and I decided to go for it.”
Maribel’s first impression of Jordy wasn’t as flawless, she admitted. “The first time I saw him was during PFP and he was wearing a Travis Scott T–shirt. Honestly, I thought he was really rude, because I came up to him and was like, ‘Oh, did you go to the tour?’ and he was just like, ‘Yeah,’ and looked away.”
“I just want to say,” Jordy interjected. “That I only said 'Yeah' because I was really shy in that moment and didn’t know what else to say. I was just like ‘Wow, she talked to me!’”
Jordy and Maribel’s relationship was on the fast track, quickly accelerating from awkward T–shirt commentary to friendship to dating exclusively by the end of PFP.
Though neither person officially asked out the other, Maribel says they picked August 11th as the date to mark the start of their relationship. “That was the night we went to the river and we just sat there on this rock and talked for hours about everything,” Maribel said. “It was the first time we had really told each other a bunch about ourselves and was the first time he told me he liked me.” February 11 hits the six month mark for the couple, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Jordy and Maribel defy Penn’s hookup culture, though they agree that the casual relationship mindset is hard to crack.
“That mentality of ‘I’m gonna go to college and get drunk and fuck so many bitches’ is very widespread amongst males especially,” Jordy added. “That was pretty much the mentality I came to college with, but once I met Maribel I realized that’s not gonna be exciting anymore. That’s not what I want. I’m very happy in the relationship that I have right now, just being with somebody that I actually love and that loves me back and just knowing that the relationship is there.”
Maribel also doesn’t regret her decision to date Jordy, but adds that exclusivity is not essential in order to be happy in college.
“It’s definitely hard,” Maribel said. “I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to other people. I wouldn’t go search for it, but if you find the right person, you’ll want to take it seriously and not mess around.”
Make no mistakes: this couple is in it for the long haul. When recalling favorite memories from the past six months, Jordy talked about when the two of them visited his sister’s home.
“We went downstairs to the basement and just like played around with the kids, and it made me think towards the future and us having our own kids, being parents, and just having a good time.”
Yes, this might sound insane to any reader who hasn’t met these two. But even after talking to Jordy and Maribel for a half hour, I felt like I was witnessing a lifelong connection in the making.
Of course, no relationship comes without challenges. “I don’t worry as much about me being held back as I do about holding him back. It’s more just like always checking to make sure he’s okay. I would feel bad if I, like, ruined freshman year for him or anything.”
“No,” Jordy said quietly, almost as if speaking to himself. “You make it better, actually.”
Looks like Maribel’s got nothing to worry about.