Is The College “Dating” Scene Ruining Us?

Red solo cups litter the floors and tables, filled with either Busch Light or some untrustworthy concoction made by the bartender. So called “bartender” is actually some frat boy wearing a beer helmet and a sign around his neck that says “007.” There are two guys holding a kid by his ankles in his attempt to do a kegstand, and there’s a few couples dancing in the living room to the latest radio hit (by couples I mean complete randos, and by radio hit I mean Justin Bieber).

Just a normal Thursday night.

So you and your group of girlfriends have spent the last hour getting ready for this Sigma Kappa Rho party, and have your slinkiest dresses on. As soon as you walk in the door you force your way through the mob (aka slutty sororstitues) at the bar (aka kitchen table) and ask for the infamous Jungle Juice (aka Death).

“Nice choice, ladies. You’re gonna feel it after one cup of this, it’s that insane,” the frat boy says as he hands over the cups full of icy blue liquid.

You take the cups and proceed to down half of it in one go; it’s the easiest way to get drunk, and at a party like this, you definitely need to be drunk. With your new alcohol-induced vision, or lack thereof, the not-so-attractive guys become pretty damn handsome, and therefore better potential for a make-out sesh. Because that’s the whole point of a frat party; you get drunk, then hook up. That’s what you do in college.

Now fast-forward four years into the future. You’ve just graduated and have landed a sweet job at a marketing company, with enough income to fund your Upper East Side apartment. OK, probably not apartment; more along the lines of a prison cell, with room for a bed, and well, that’s it. But it’s still pretty awesome for a recent college grad.

But now that you’ve got this great career, what about the state of your love life? After all, all you did in college was hook up. And like one of College Candy’s articles said, only 12% of hookups lead to relationships.

Wait… what?!

You wonder why no one had told you about this before. If you had heard about it, maybe you would’ve been less prone to seek out the one night hookup and be more attuned to finding an actual relationship with the guy, blah blah blah. But it’s OK. You can start now. What’s that thing called… oh yeah, dating.

So you head out with your girlfriends to the local bar you heard was pretty hot, or at least that’s what it said on Yelp.com. You sit at the bar and scan the room, eyes finally resting on the cute guy decked out in Armani with… is that a Rolex?

What are you supposed to do now?

Do you make the move first, or do you try to catch his eye and get him to come over to you? Is more alcohol required, or are you supposed to stay sober? What if he’s not actually nice at all, and is a total creeper? And how are you supposed to know – he’s not a friend of a friend of a friend. He’s a random guy that cold kill you…and once you’re alone with him, there’s no sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, hallmates, or campus police to help you out. But, then again, he could be nice. And if you don’t go back to his place for “a drink,” what do you do?

How does real dating work? What does it look like and how do you do it when all you know is what you learned in college, and what you learned in college was late night booty calls followed by walks of shame? Look, I’ve had plenty of experience in the college dating scene, but by normal standards, I’m a dating virgin. I’ve never been on an actual date, let alone really “dated” anyone. I’ve hooked up with plenty of people, yes, and some of those have turned into something more serious, but as far as “dating” goes? What the eff is that? How do I do it?

As I near the end of my college experience and take a look back, I have to wonder: is the college not-so-dating scene of our present hindering the happy endings of our future?

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