6 Reasons Why The College Hookup Culture Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be

By Nicole Mainardi on October 23, 2014

(source: http://flavorwire.com)

I personally never experienced the college hookup scene; I’ve been with my boyfriend since junior year of high school. We even went to the same college (University of California, Santa Barbara).

But it’s hard to get away from the hookup culture when you’re airdropped into the mecca. UCSB is one of those schools where its reputation precedes it: according to Princeton Review’s Top Party Schools for 2014 (http://www.collegeatlas.org/top-party-schools.html), UCSB is number two, and its projected for 2015 to drop down only one spot to number three.

UCSB hasn’t left the Princeton Review’s top 10 of party schools for the last four years. And with the sheer mass of people that turn up at Halloween in questionable costumes and what we call Deltopia with nothing but bathing suits, it’s easy to see how the hookup scene is completely normal for UCSB students.

But there are numerous reasons why the college hookup culture that has become so glorified is not all its cracked up to be.

I’m sure you’re probably asking yourself, “How would you (as in me, the author of this post) know what the hookup culture is like at UCSB if you were never a part of it?”

Well, the answer to that is going to enough parties sober, and a Facebook page called UCSB Confessions where students can turn in anonymously their darkest secrets and/or opinions. And a lot of them have to do with people’s hookups.

So why is the college hookup culture more grief than it’s worth?

1. STD’s

(soure: https://www.tumblr.com/)

STD’s are probably the most obvious of reasons not to hook up with a bunch of random people over a long period of time.

It’s not made any better by alcohol, and the impairment makes it less likely that the guy is going to use a condom. That hookup may only last five minutes, but herpes is forever.

Confession: ”There’s a genital crabs epidemic going on in Manzanita that no one is talking about.”

2. Normal people turn into jerky guys and slutty girls.

(soure: https://www.tumblr.com/)

What seems to happen a lot is that most freshmen are thrown into the college life with very little experience when it comes to sex and hooking up with people.

But the older people that have been at college for some time change all that. It’s easy to spot a couple of strangers strike up a flirty conversation and half an hour later start making out before finding their way to a bedroom at a random party; this teaches inexperienced freshmen boys that drunk women want it, and teaches freshmen girls that there’s no reason not to give it to them.

Freshmen get the wrong idea about sex, and it changes the way they see all relationships for the rest of their college career.

Confessions: ”Well IV it happened. I fell in love. At first, this was the most amazing person I thought I had ever met in my entire life. Funny, sweet, considerate. I had the craving to see them every day, or my day wasn’t fulfilled. Then as time went on, I saw the person for who they really were. Cold, distant and cynical. I didn’t care, love is about appreciating someones flaws. I tried everything in my power to make it work, but instead I was pushed away. No I don’t miss them, I miss what we were. It makes me sad to invest so much time into someone in return to be fully ignored. Here’s to moving on. Now I’m looking for someone who can appreciate my flaws instead of being fully focused on themselves.”

“So as we’re playing fifa 14, I start talking to my housemates and friends about random girls I slept with. Turns out, two of my housemates, and the homie I skate with all slept with the same girl over the course of spring quarter. The worst thing is I was the last one and didn’t use a condom. Even worst then that, I know her boyfriend and he says they have been together for a year already.”

(soure: https://www.tumblr.com/)

“I just found out that the guy that I’ve been hooking up with for about a month has a girlfriend. It makes me so sad that this is how life is in IV. Guys seem to cheat on their girlfriends without a second thought. It just seems obvious that if you want to hook up with other people, then be single. I’m starting to wonder how I’ll ever trust men again after all the cheating I’ve seen happen here.”

3. Rape becomes almost acceptable, or at least no longer shocking.

(soure: https://www.tumblr.com/)

Sadly, rape happens a lot in IV (Isla Vista, where most of the students live). There are a lot more precautions that should be taken, by both men and women, and yet it continues to be an issue. The only way I can really prove it, though, is with the confession below.

Confession: ”Last night, my friends and I basically saved a girl from being raped. She, for sure, was gone. She could barely walk, say words … she was barely conscious. The guy, also drunk, was taking her to a room. It was not okay. My friends and I tried to get her and take her home, but his friends interfered saying “she’s okay, she’s okay, don’t worry about it.” The guy said “this is my house, don’t interfere, Imma make you leave!” We didn’t leave and somehow got her back in the living room. We all rested for a couple of minutes on the couch, trying to comprehend what just happened. Right after we sat down, the same guy came talked to another friend on my right, trying to get her to his room. We left right away. It’s just unbelievable that probably after we left, he tried to get more girls. And maybe his friends would again say that “she’s okay, don’t worry about it” and that girl might not have friends backing her up and making sure she’s okay. Yesterday, I realized that, unfortunately, the buddy system is 100% needed, and I realized that no one has the right to say how you feel or how conscious you are. Don’t be the girl that drinks alone and don’t be the guy who lets the situation pass.”

4. People are seriously judgmental … especially towards themselves.

(soure: https://www.tumblr.com/)

Being thrown into this hookup culture is truly a shock, and kids find themselves scrambling to keep up with everything that is college.

I said earlier that this culture turns people into jerks and sluts, and while this can be true, who are we to judge people for how they live their lives?

College is a time for finding yourself, but people in the hookup culture judge you for being less of a slut or less of an alcoholic. That’s a bit backwards, especially for when you’re tossed out into the real world.

Confessions: “As someone who doesn’t drink, I have always felt incredibly judged and out of place in IV. Most everyone I meet just wants to go out on the weekends and get f***ed up. As a result, in the two years I have been at UCSB I have made no friends. I know UCSB is so much more than its party school reputation, but am I just better off transferring?”

“Isla Vista is the most judgmental place I’ve ever been to. People here are so quick to categorize you on sight. There is no real love or community in IV…”

“When I started at UCSB, I was a virgin. I thought that was super lame because I’m totally comfortable with myself and my sexuality … So I made it my mission to lose my virginity, which proved to be a rather easy and sadly, forgettable conquest …”

(soure: https://www.tumblr.com/)

5. Finding an actual loving relationship and someone you might settle down with becomes impossible.

(soure: https://www.tumblr.com/)

I’ve heard about it countless of times: the girl wants more from the relationship, the guy wants to keep in casual so that he can have sex with other girls guilt-free.

The girl doesn’t want to leave the guy because she cares about him and ends up getting hurt because the guy only wants sex from her. I even knew a couple that’s still together now after graduating where at first it was the guy that wanted more from the relationship, but the girl didn’t.

And as we saw above, even when you get in a relationship, the hookup culture makes it so easy for your significant other to cheat on you. There’s such a lack of respect for each other in the hookup culture.

Confession: ”I spent half my UCSB life running away from relationships, now I spend half the time trying to find one lol”

6. Regret

(soure: https://www.tumblr.com/)

All of the above reasons sort of culminate into this ultimate suck-fest: regret. The first time I checked out the campus of UCSB, my boyfriend and I walked on Del Playa, the street most widely-known for the serious ragers.

One of the first things we see is a girl doing the walk of shame in the most stereotypical fashion: mascara smudged under the eyes, messy hair, killer heels in hand, disheveled slutty dress. It was the first time since stepping foot in IV that I thanked the powers that be that I was in a relationship, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

Confession: “Being a senior looking back at my time at UCSB I just have one regret, I never truly opened myself to the beautiful women I’ve been involved with. Whether it be fear of getting hurt or my own narcissism, I have shunned the thought of a committed relationship. It was fun and exciting for a while, but eventually it fades away. My advice to guys out there is to put your pride aside and give yourself in entirety to one woman. Now I’m graduating in six weeks with a boatload of superficial relationships and feeling lonely as ever.”

I asked my old roommate who still goes to UCSB and has been single most of her time there, how she felt about the hookup culture there.

This is what she said: “It depends. It works if you really want that type of relationship and you’re trying to investigate your sexual identity. It might help. But if you want a relationship or a friendship, [the hookup culture] sort of ruins that idea because it creates a distance and even an excuse for rudeness and disrespect between men and women. They’re only using each other for body parts and it dehumanizes people.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. If you want the hookup culture and all its trappings, then you have to be willing to accept the consequences.

At places like UCSB, with the hookup culture so ingrained in the mental makeup of the student body, it’s all too easy to be that person. But it makes it that much harder to stop being that person and actually settle down with someone.

College is a whole new song and dance that we all have to learn the steps to. Ah, high school.

Why can’t things be simple like they are in “Clueless?”

(source: http://i1183.photobucket.com)

I'm a total book addict and a novel-writer aspiring to be published. I graduated from UCSB with an English degree. I play soccer, and I love sushi, Red Wings hockey, Harry Potter everything, Disney movies, and my boyfriend of almost seven years.

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