Let’s face it: Whether we want to believe it or not, it is inevitable to see that “hooking up” has replaced dating on college campuses. Forget meaningful conversations over a fancy dinner where a cute guy picks you up and opens the car door for you. Unfortunately, those days no longer exist. Welcome to the days of Netflix and chill! Just kidding. Kind of. I’m sure there are still a few old-fashioned men on this campus, but are men the only ones to blame for this “hook up” culture that has become the new norm? I’m afraid not. Many young women choose to not engage in college dating either. Is “hooking up” significantly different than dating someone? Students at West Chester University give their thoughts on how they feel about “hooking up” versus dating in college.
Marsha Crow*, a senior at WCU, said, “Hooking up is more prevalent among freshmen and underclassmen rather than seniors. As a freshmen, there are a lot of new guys on campus that are immature and don’t take relationships seriously because they want to experience that ‘college feeling.’ More often than not, relationships tend to form towards the end of a student’s college career.”
Crow feels if there is someone out there who makes you happy, then you should be with him or her, but you shouldn’t waste your time with someone you do not see a future with.
Another WCU student, Bailey Hayes, said, “Hooking up means having a physical encounter with someone else, which can be anything from kissing to having sex.”
Hayes believes that two people can have some emotional connection or slight commitment to each other even if they are just “hook up buddies.”
In her eyes, dating means having the official title of “boyfriend and girlfriend,” something she takes very seriously.
“I don’t think having a relationship in college is an issue at all as long as it doesn’t hold you back from making memories with your friends and taking advantage of the opportunities presented to you,” said Hayes.
She feels that most students on WCU’s campus engage in the “hook up” culture, which rarely leads to a long-term relationship.
Hayes continued to comment, “I think most of the time students engage in the ‘hook up’ culture because that’s exactly what they are looking for: no strings attached. However, I believe some students are upset by the inability to find a real relationship and true connection with someone.”
WCU student Thomas Higgins said, “Dating isn’t a thing in college.”
To him, “hooking up” means two people are physically getting together, but no emotions are involved.
“As a freshman, I wasn’t looking to get into any serious relationship and mostly took part in the ‘hook up’ culture. I used to think college was the time to do whatever I wanted, with whomever I wanted,” said Higgins.
Now that Higgins is approaching the end of his senior year, his thoughts have changed, and he would not be opposed to finding a girl that he could settle down and share a future with.
Although some students at WCU believe “hooking up” is more prevalent than dating, there are still some people in college looking for a significant other.
*The names of students have been changed for confidentiality.
Brianna Preziosi is fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. Contact her at BP784122@wcupa.edu