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Thoughts on the “Hook-up” Culture in College

It is Saturday night. You are out at a party with some friends when you see a cute guy (or girl) across the room. You make some eye contact, maybe smile a bit when you catch their eye. The night progresses and you find yourself dancing with this person, then possibly making out with them, and finally, you find yourself leaving with them. You may have had a few (we won’t tell) but you know what is about to happen- do you go for it? Or do you go home alone?

First off, for the purposes of this article the term “hooking up” means going home with someone you did not arrive with and with certain intentions or expectations, what actually happens from there is between you and the other person. Secondly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to hook up or not hook up. Everyone is entitled to his or her own beliefs. On many college campuses, including our beloved Denison, the hook- up culture is alive and well. Anyone walking through Huffman or Curtis dining hall can usually hear bits of stories, (as in “Did you hear about what happened at Beta last night?” or “I could hear my neighbor through the walls”), about the exploits of their peers from the previous night of partying.

Being a non-participant of the hook-up culture here, I have decided to look a bit further into this phenomenon to see if I can decipher what the fuss is all about. I have seen both sides of the coin- the girls who have regretted their decisions to go home with that one guy, and the girls who had a great night with no remorse (and to be fair, I have heard both stories from guys as well-not all girls are created equal either). To be able to do what you what with whomever you choose is a great and fundamental college experience, but is it worth the potential drama?

Let’s look at the pros of the situation. Assuming you have a great time, and all is well in the morning, you have a good story to tell and a great night you both hopefully remember. Who knows? It could even turn into something more permanent (if you are both into that idea). However, it could also be a night that you regret for a variety of reasons- you were overly intoxicated, their roommate came home early, etc. One girl, who will remain anonymous, commented that it was fun until it ruined a friendship due to “emotional complications”. Another said that it was no big thing as long as they were safe (always important).
So what can we take away from this? Not everyone wants to be in a relationship, some people prefer things that do not require commitment and that is perfectly acceptable. You don’t need to be one of those couples that sit at their own table in Huffman making kissy faces over their stir-fry to enjoy college. It would seem that the keys to a successful hook-up are: always use protection, be aware of how much both of you have had to drink, know when to leave, and most importantly, always lock the door!

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