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An Open Letter to the Girl Worried About College Hookup Culture

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UGA chapter.

To the people worrying about hooking up and dating in college:

It’s real, and it’s something that needs to be talked about: the hookup culture of college. Many people shy away from this topic, but as adults (especially for college freshman, who are new to college life) it is vital to talk about the whole dating/hooking-up culture on campus. Coming from high school, the scene of college dating and guys was foreign to me. It still partly is, but through my experiences and my friends’ stories I have learned one main thing: don’t worry too much (really). I’ve noticed too many times when people, including myself at points, have been worried about where they are in their dating life and how far they have gone. The funny and positive thing about college that some people lack to recognize, is that no one really cares. This is partially due to peoples’ absorption into their own lives and partially due to the copious amounts of changes and experiences school and a new setting can offer. College presents a plethora of different people. There are some you will not mesh with, but the people you will want to genuinely hang around and stay close with are the people that are going to not care how many guys you have hooked up with downtown. Here are eight relevant things to think about when dating and hooking up in college.

1. Learn to impress yourself, not others.

Impress yourself by your own strengths and growth. Other people are not supposed to define you. The goal is to make yourself the best person you can be in order to live the best life. You do you girl. There will always be people who seem more than you, but their value truly isn’t. Your worth is not defined by a boy, a number, or a night.

2. We all do things we regret.

It’s college. The cliche “It’s a time for experimenting” is true. Don’t be too hard on yourself for something you have done or want to do. The craziness of college can put us in situations we have never been in before, and it’s okay to figure them out through trial and error. Each experience is supposed to teach us and make us stronger in order to be wise later on.

3. Be safe and prepared, whatever your choice.

If you want to hook up with someone, don’t be scared of what other people think. Important side note: UGA, like other college campuses, offers a free condom service.  Always be safe, and don’t let someone pressure you into doing something that you don’t want to. As Olivia M. (Freshman) puts it: “Know yourself and know your limits.”

4. Not all guys want hook-ups and not all guys want relationships.

Freshman year especially, this concept is hard to grasp. This is totally relatable to every SEC or large school as well because of the amount of people you meet and encounter your first year. Some people go crazy their first year because of this and their new-found freedom (it happens). It was shocking when some guys seemed so perfect the first week of school only to be tainted by the college partying life the next. Even though many guys are looking for just hook-ups and how many girls they can get with, there are nice guys out there. Don’t flip out if you haven’t met one yet. My best advice: don’t get feelings involved until you have figured someone out, and also be up-front with what you want.

5. Stop looking for your soulmate in college

If you find him/her in college, you will find them. If you don’t, that’s it. You cannot predict if you will meet the love of your life from this small portion of your life.The problem with a lot of people is that they try to force love or what they perceive as love. College is supposed to be the best time of your life. Love yourself and live your life without inhibitions because when are you ever going to get this time again? ThoughtCatalog states, “Because if we didn’t have to search for the love of our lives, we would finally be free to realize that we are allowed to be the loves of our own. That we can spend our lives developing ourselves, challenging ourselves, pampering ourselves and building ourselves up to be bigger, more capable people than we ever once hoped to become. We could become everything we’ve been searching for. We could construct our soul mates in ourselves.” Be your own soulmate!

6. If you are looking for that relationship…

“Personally, I don’t think you should hook up the first time you meet someone because it usually leads to one person forming emotions while the other doesn’t. People just need to take it slow and get to know each other before getting to that level. Yet, we live in a society (a.k.a. Athens) where we go downtown and everyone has one mission: find a cute girl/guy, hook up with them, and hope it won’t be awkward in the morning. I think you should date your best friend and really get to know them before getting into a relationship.” – Emma C. (Freshman)

7. In the end, do what you want.

If you don’t want a relationship, don’t feel ashamed for wanting to experience college hookup culture. It can be fun and make for good stories. Like stated before, don’t make people pressure you or let a jerk take advantage of you. Don’t feel “slut-shamed” for something that you want to do. Be confident in yourself and your decisions. Confidence is the key for attracting people. Also, if you have less experience, don’t psych yourself out. Ask your friends for tips; everything will be fine!

8. Be ready for after

It might be awkward when you lock eyes at the dining hall with the guy you were making out with last night, but it’s alright. The moment may forever be permanent thanks to the “UGA Makeouts” Twitter account, but it’s alright… It happens. Things might be awkward, but they will usually blow over. Either be casual about it and the tension will fade or address the issue.

The big takeaway from this should be that you shouldn’t worry too hard about what base you stand at or what people are thinking about you because of your decisions. Things eventually fall together or fall apart. It’s inevitable, so don’t agonize too much about what happens. Some things fall apart, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be opportunities later. As the wise Kelly Clarkson once sang “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” That may be a little over-dramatic for the situation, but you get the point. Learn from your hook ups, and if you end up finding a relationship (or multiple) in college, treasure it and keep the memories and lessons they can bring!