Dylan Fernandes: third-year Engineering student
Dream job: Data scientist
Deal Breaker: Any form of bigotry
If you could describe your life as a movie or album title, what would it be?: “Living Like Larry”
Childhood hero: Elon Musk
Kate Granruth: fourth-year College student
Dream job: Lawyer
Deal Breaker: Being a Trump supporter
If you could describe your life as a movie or album title, what would it be?: “Speak Now” by Taylor Swift
Childhood hero: Honestly, it was probably Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
While the Zoom fatigue is real as yet another online semester is underway, it’s about time the hours spent in front of laptops be put towards something other than classes — romance.
It might be hard to make the most of a virtual date, but that didn’t stop third-year Engineering student Dylan Fernandes and fourth-year College student Kate Granruth from trying after being paired by The Cavalier Daily’s Love Connection service. The pair met across computer screens Feb. 5, and to make virtual coffee and conversation a bit more interesting, Dylan suggested they choose one another’s drinks from Starbucks. Dylan chose a toasted white chocolate latte for Kate, while Kate decided to select a salted caramel mocha for Dylan. The couple talked for over an hour, and the conversation flowed easily.
“It was pretty easygoing. I was surprised by that, probably because it was on Zoom. I was expecting it to be really stifled, and there weren't really any issues with lags in conversations or issues like that,” Kate said. Dylan added that “conversation flowed naturally considering it was virtual and the conversation was good, so I enjoyed that.”
The pair talked about a range of topics including school, post-graduation plans and politics.
“We’re … very different people — different majors, we come from different places … We enjoy very different things,” Dylan said.
Despite their differences, they were delighted to find a few unusual topics that they had in common.
“We talked about literature. I think ‘Frankenstein’ came up a couple times as the book topic. It was interesting to see that two very different people had some really nice overlap,” Dylan said.
“I think I was surprised [by] how similar we were … it felt like a better match than I expected,” Kate said. She went on to highlight topics of conversation they found common ground over. “We talked a bit about our families, we’re both really different from our siblings, but we’re sort of different in similar ways in that our siblings are really athletic and we were always more on the creative side … We also talked a lot about technology which was interesting.”
Having gone into Love Connection with minimal expectations, the pair was pleased with the results. “If anything it was a lot better than I expected it to be because I expected it to be awkward … I definitely wasn’t disappointed. It exceeded the limited expectations I had,” Kate said. Dylan went in hoping to make a new friend, open to the possibility of the additional bonus of a romantic connection, and was similarly pleased with the experience and happy to be able to meet a new person — something that COVID-19 has made difficult recently.
Both Kate and Dylan had only good things to say about one another after meeting virtually.
“You can tell that [Kate] is really passionate about what she does and what she is doing in school and in her major and where she wants to go,” Dylan said. “If you had to pick her out from a crowd, just find the most passionate person and you’ll be good to go.”
Kate used Dylan’s own words to explain his personality when asked. “I’ll use his word, which was that he kind of described himself as a little bit geeky, but I think it was in a good kind of way,” she said. Kate also described Dylan as kind, adding that “he definitely makes a lot of room for the other person in the conversation, so he asks a lot of questions and seems like he really wants to get to know you.”
Forming connections is hard over computer screens, so while it’s unclear if sparks were flying, both parties seemed confident in at least a friendship moving forward. Both Kate and Dylan commented on the difficulty of developing chemistry over Zoom, but stated they intended to hang out again.
“I usually try to be at least a two-date person … at the very least we’ll hang out as friends,” Kate said, with Dylan similarly saying that “[Kate]’s a really good person, and I look forward to getting to know her better, whether that be as a romantic connection or as friends.”