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College Hookup Culture

I think the first shock I had at college was hookup culture.  What was this? And why are those two strangers going home together? My traditional upbringing kept me far away from anything explicit and provocative.  Though I wasn’t naïve, it was something I never understood. My parents met at a frat party freshman year and have been together for 23 years. Waking up next to a stranger was incomprehensible.

However, hookup culture has overtaken college campuses around the nation. There has never been a clear definition of hookup culture.  Hooks range from kissing to sex. It’s a wide range that leaves room for interpretation.

Freshman year was difficult as it was. However, trying to find yourself while men are trying to find a way inside you is unreasonable. Women across college campuses complain about the inability to find a partner.  This is astounding. Most generations behind us found their life-long partners at college.  So where was the change?

The millennials (1980-1995) have grown up with a different mindset. The secret is that our parents grew up in a time where marriage was expected early and women were to be the caregivers.  Though there is absolutely nothing wrong in that, women in our generation have grown up with the mentality to find a job. Moreover, we find college a time to grow. Women want to grow independently while the women before us grew more often than not with a man by their side. The millennials are notorious for being detached individuals that make sure their needs are met first. 

Simon from the School of Public Affairs says, “I love dating. I love taking girls on dates. They just don’t want a relationship.”  At least at American University, men are looking for commitment. And that’s fine! Most college women are perfectly content with the casual hookups that fulfill the immediate need.

Millennial women are focused on their careers and are far too ambitious for a relationship. A relationship seems like a lot of work; too much work and it’s too much to lose.  So here is the question, are we incredibly smart for dodging cupid’s arrow or are we missing out on a growing experience in itself?

In a world of independence, I think we are missing out on an important moment to learn.  Developing the emotional side is equally as crucial. The qualities that make you happy in life are compassion and love. Now this does not mean a long lasting relationship is necessary, but give it a shot. Going through a relationship tests character and builds strength. It takes great people to build themselves back up from a devastating fall out. It also builds relationships with those watching the relationship. After all, tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. 


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Mireille Olivo is a senior at American University studying Public Communication with a minor in health promotion. She is a self-proclaimed southern belle, sunset enthusiast, avid rock climber, Quentin Tarantino fan, and smiler.  When she isn't writing for HCAU, y'all can find her giving tours or strolling alongside the Potomac river. After graduation, Mireille plans on pursuing a career in public relations for the political movement. 
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