One Night Only

Sarah Smith*, Chapman University sophomore, can practically predict her weekend before it even begins. She starts out Thursday, pre-gaming for a night out. After figuring out which parties she and her friends will hit up, she begins thinking about which boys she will bump in to, and which one she wants to pursue.

Several mixed drinks and hours later, Sarah goes to the party and makes a point to reach out to her male of choice, flirting enough to convey interest. More hours pass and the two go home together to hookup. The next morning, she arises early and slips out, doing her best not to be seen. 

The next thing that happens for Sarah is routine: avoid eye contact the next time she sees said male, especially when sober. One or two nights later, Sarah will most likely attend a house party, where she will most likely spot said male. After hugs to the usual circle of friends, she will run into him and the two will act as if nothing happened, maybe even sharing an awkward one-arm hug. Both parties try their hardest to remain casual, acting as if the night before was nothing but a drunken one night stand.

From here, the night can go one of two ways. They will continue to ignore each other, or the cycle will repeat itself again. 

What is it about the hook-up culture at Chapman that makes girls do things, simply put, that they wouldn't do sober? 

"Being able to meet people sober, like in classes, isn't a thing anymore. Nothing happens until you meet people out, under the influence," says senior Jackie West*. "Most relationships here start with a drunk hookup. It's backwards. You no longer go on dates first and progress to going out together. Now, it always starts with alcohol."

While alcohol seems to fuel this "backwards" system, some girls at Chapman aren't affected by the lack of attention from a one night stand.

"I think as a girl, it is perceived that we want romance in our sex lives. For me, that's not true. I have no problem having casual hookups. I am comfortable enough with myself and my sexuality that if I want to hook up with someone, I will let it happen. I am not looking for a relationship," adds Brittany Matthews*, junior.

Others experience negative feelings, or feelings of sadness after a random one night affair.

"My worst experience with the Chapman hookup culture was after a breakup with my long-term boyfriend, when I rebounded with someone random. Instead of helping me get over my relationship, not receiving any texts and the overall lack of attention from the male after our encounter made me miss my relationship even more," comments Lindsay Johnson*, sophomore.

"I realized the harsh truth of the hookup culture at Chapman early on in my freshman year. I was really into this guy and finally one night, thanks to liquid courage, I expressed my interest and we hooked up. After the night, I expected him to contact me and want to hang out again. Instead, he ignored my existence and I saw him making out with another girl from my floor the very next night at a party," shares Karen Thomson,* sophomore. 

What do you think? Join the conversation now by commenting below.

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.