STORY BY EMILY VANSCHMUS
If you get up early enough on a Saturday morning, you’re likely to see at least one or two individuals walking home in last night’s clothing.
You know the look — eyes averted, most likely with a slight look of embarrassment plastered across their face.
This used to be something to talk about. Conversations whispered behind hands about so-and-so who was seen walking home from Greek street at 7 a.m., or the boy seen walking home in the wee hours of dawn.
But the truth is, that isn’t big news anymore. It’s not a shock if someone stays overnight after a night out (or a night in, for that matter).
This is no longer a surprising sight — the hookup culture is becoming the accepted norm on college campuses across the country.
This is a culture that says casual sex is a good thing.
It says rather than talking for a while, going on a couple dates to see if you’re compatible and seeing where things go from there, the solution is to meet someone on a Friday night and go home with them two hours later.
College students used to ask each other out on dates. What’s even more surprising is that they used to actually go on dates, do the whole talking thing and then the dating thing.
The going on dates part isn’t surprising — lots of people go on dates in this era.
What is surprising is that this used to be the standard — the normal expectation for what two people who are interested in each other would do.
While some students are still sticking to these traditional ways, more and more college students are finding a partner by stumbling up to the bar and looking to their left.
Rather than taking things slow, as the years go on, things are speeding up at an alarming rate.
Now, I know I’m coming off a little judgmental, but I promise I’m not here to judge.
I’m not here to say you shouldn’t go home with the cute guy who offers to walk you home, when both of you know you aren’t actually going home.
I’m just here to say this doesn’t have to be the expectation if you don’t want it to be.
If you’re just out to have a little casual fun, by all means, go right ahead.
Let the cute boy chat you up and take you home (as long as it is a mutual decision and consent is given soberly).
If you’re making decisions for you, and you’re having fun, you do you, girlfriend.
But if you’re going home with the same cute guy from the bar you met 45 minutes ago and you’re expecting a future beyond tomorrow morning, you may be disappointed.
If you like a guy, the hookup culture says you should try to meet him out and make something happen. But the reality is that if you do hook up, it’s most likely going to be a one-time occurence.
What’s also more than likely is that the chances of you two dating and being a couple are slim to none.
Instead you’ll smile awkwardly on your way to class and avoid sitting at the table next to his in the dining hall.
By allowing the hookup culture to become the norm, we’re saying we don’t need the serious dating culture.
Yes, it would be nice to have both, a little something for everyone, but that’s not the way it works.
The number of happy relationships in this country is falling while the rate of failed marriages is rising — something that coincidentally (or not so coincidentally) corresponds with the rise of the hookup culture.