Wed. May 29th, 2024

Recently, on my way over to the library to slave over a paper, I overheard two girls talking in the quad. They were walking a few feet in front of me and I had barely noticed them. Although this campus isn’t big, I didn’t know either of them. But for the sake of the story, let’s say their names were Sam and Alex. So as I’m walking behind them, checking my Instagram and Twitter feeds, my ears perk up when I hear, “I thought it was really sweet. He seems into it”. Naturally, as any other girl on this planet, I enjoy a little gossip now and then (if you’re reading this and saying to yourself “not every girl likes a little gossip” you’re lying to yourself). So I’m listening in on their conversation and was a little taken back when Sam said,
“We were partners in pong all night. Then he disappeared and Amanda swears he left with her.… But I guess not because then he texted me at like 2 and asked if I wanted to hang out. I thought it was really sweet. He seems into it.”

“That’s really cute. Do you think you guys are ever going to date?” Alex responds.

“I don’t think he wants a girlfriend, but you never know…”

First of all, my heart ached for this poor girl. Even if you aren’t willing to admit it, we’ve all been there. Repeat after me ladies: “if he tells you he doesn’t want to take you seriously, he is not worth your time!” It doesn’t matter who he is, what sports team or frat he is a member of, he is not worth your wasted thoughts. There is absolutely nothing romantic about a 2 a.m. text to hang out. It’s definitely not sweet and doesn’t show that he’s into you. Well, he might be physically into you, but if he can’t text you when the sun is up, you shouldn’t give him the time of day when the sun is down and he has a little alcohol in his system. But I’m not going to be all judgmental because we’ve all been there. It took me a very long time (almost all four years of college) to get to the point to where I understand and accept the college dating game for what it is. And I still don’t even know exactly what it is or how it really works. What I do know is that we all have a time in college when we believe we’re going to make the “frat-star” boy, who refuses to believe in monogamy, settle down and fall in love with us. We want to be different. We want to feel like we’ve accomplished the impossible. But that’s what it usually is: impossible. I’m not saying you can’t find love in college because a lot of people do. What I’m saying is that the way we get to know each other and date is not what it used to be. And quite frankly, it sucks. Asking someone on a date to get dinner is now an equivalent to “Netflix and chill.” Being the first to “like” your selfie is considered a romantic gesture. A WCW (woman crush Wednesday) post on Instagram is not something you should be sincerely flattered by. Girls are taught not to be a “stage 5 clinger”, even though she might get called one anyway. A 2 a.m. blacked-out text to hang out shouldn’t be “sweet,” it should be borderline insulting. The more I think about how our generation gets to know each other and how we “date,” the more I’m baffled. What exactly is the difference between actually dating, “hooking up” or “talking”? Good luck trying to explain those concepts to your parents.

There is nothing wrong with casual dating or playing the field, but when the field includes juggling six different people and “Netflixing and chilling” with all six, there’s an issue. College is about having fun, but it’s also about growing as a human being and preparing for the “real world”. It’s about maturing into adult hood, while having a great time doing so. Accepting a 3 a.m. blacked out call every now and then doesn’t make you the problem, but accepting it as standard might. But let’s be clear, this isn’t a rant judging the millennial college dating scene. I am a millennial and I’ve definitely been there and seen it all firsthand. As I come to the end of my time here at WCU, I’ve learned a few things. It is not romantic when someone texts you 45 times at 3 a.m. It’s usually because they are lonely and had more than a few too many. This is not a sincere or romantic gesture, so can we all agree to stop thinking it is? I also want to make something else clear; I’m not solely blaming the guys either, because they’re not the only problem. It’s all of us. As a generation we have lowered our standards, and that is the problem.

The topic of dating is a common subject between my friends and I. Although the interpretation of college dating differs from person to person, my friends and I agree on one thing…dating in college is at a pretty serious level. We agree that college dating is like looking into what you like or dislike about different people and personalities, in the hopes that you’ll have experience for when it’s time to find a partner in life. I can tell you in my four years here, I have learned a lot about different people. The idea of dating is so blurred among our generation, I don’t even know if my own college relationships were considered legitimate or not. That feels really strange to me. I used to believe the culture of college hook-ups and the no-texts-back type of dating has been deemed standard and was completely normal. It took me a few years, but I realized that it shouldn’t be the standard. If you’re lucky enough to find a partner or a great relationship in college, good for you! That is awesome, and something I know a lot of us feel envious of. If you didn’t find a serious relationship around this campus (like me), maybe we should collectively decide to stop accepting the college “dating game” as the standard.

Like I mentioned earlier, there is nothing wrong with casually “dating.” But dating is not “Netflix and chilling” or making out at a party, and I think we all know that. Being the first to “like” each other’s Instagrams or favorite a tweet isn’t romantic, and neither is actually saying “hi” to each other sober. What happened to seeing a movie together? Maybe getting dinner uptown? Or at the very least hanging out completely sober and getting to know each other? Collectively, we need to start taking pride in our youth and in our generation and date the right way. Let’s take each other serious and have a great time doing it.

Sarah Wegrzynski is a student majoring in journalism. She can be reached at

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