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Take a Dip in the Kiddie Pool: The Pros & Cons of Dating Younger Rhodes Boys

Miriam Webster defines a “cougar” as a “large American feline.” Urban Dictionary, however, defines a cougar more appropriately as an “older female who is on the hunt for much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything males.”

Sometimes cougar is considered synonymous with “old,” “desperate,” or “past their sexual prime.” 
At Rhodes, however, cougarhood is socially accepted as a normal ritual of the Rhodes culture. Over the summer, many upperclassmen girls prowl through the Rhodes Class of (insert unnaturally high 2000s number here, 2015 for example) Facebook group for good-looking, incoming freshmen. But how young is too young? What are the pros and cons of robbing the cradle?

4 Reasons to Stay Away from the Younger Breeds

1. Pledgeship—right when you’re ready to spend a chill Thursday night with that younger man, he gets the call—that is, the phone call from the pledge educator, who is more in your age range, telling him to report to “pleducation.” 

2. Discrepancy in maturity level.
Let’s face it: “that’s what she said” jokes will always be funny, but there’s still a 99% chance that there will be some variation in maturity level. However, there is a litmus test for responsibility & maturity, so you can tell where a boy/man falls on the maturity spectrum: see how much dirty laundry in his room. If the pile is reaching alarming heights, a red flag should be raised. This may help you decide how young it too young.

3. The classic legal barrier: you look much better in that dress than in an orange jumpsuit. Let’s not forget that some of these freshmen are 18 (or maybe even the occasional, and creepy, 17). There’s nothing quite like realizing that the guy you're hanging out with is still in the throes of puberty.
4. Generational Differences.You don’t want to be like Samantha in SATC who is sassily told, by her hip young assistant, “Samantha, the difference between you and I is that you stood in line for Studio 54 and I stood in line for Studio 54….the movie.”

4 Reasons to Rob the Cradle ASAP

1. Youthful naiveté. Young boys love the thrill of an older woman. In the eyes of a spring chicken, as I call them, the older woman will likely be a goddess. Plus, the younger boy can flaunt her to his fellow freshman friends.

2. No baggage. These younglings are pure white lambs, if only due to the fact that they haven’t made out with half the student body…yet. Older women want to capitalize on the fact that the young boys haven’t yet been initiated into the Rhodes cest-pool.

3. They don’t know your reputation. The real reason you missed the GirlTalk concert during Rites of Spring? The network of relations you have mapped since Open Rhodes? Totally irrelevant because the younger men are oblivious, and probably hadn’t even taken the SATs yet when these deeds went down.

4. Juvenile hyperactivity.
Younger men have better stamina, and don’t get droopy eyes cerca 11 p.m. on weekends. Their young energy will rub off on you and hopefully prevent you from folding before the stroke of midnight.

If you choose to succumb to the younger crowd, however, I advise you to live by the golden equation of Cougarhood. This simple math can help you determine whether or not it's acceptable: divide your current age in half, and then add 7 to find your youngest possible age.

For example:
20 (my age)
         2                    = 10

Then 10+7= 17

This means that 17 is the absolute youngest that I can date. However, the equation is nullified if the result is under 18, because that’s just breaking the law. 

Even if he looks 18, however, I still prefer to ask a simple, and straight to the point, “what year were you born?” If chest hair and voice pitch isn’t a convincing indicator, be sure to have him bust out the ID before he asks you to a Justin Bieber concert or makes a reference that you’re too old to understand. Either way, be sure to walk away if the year they report is the same year you were learning to ride a bicycle or trying on your first training bras at Limited Too.

Chelsea is a junior at Rhodes College, class of 2012, majoring in English and minoring in both Chinese & International Studies. She plans to pursue a career in print or broadcast journalism. Her involvement on campus ranges from serving as co-captain of the varsity field hockey team, to being a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, to writing sports & fashion articles for Rhodes' media outlets. Chelsea has interned at CBS Channel 4 News Boston in the sports room, as well as other companies where she enjoyed internships in event-planning, marketing, fashion, jewelry design, and human rights. Aside from work and school, Chelsea enjoys running, music, singing, and shopping online.
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