Movies like “Pitch Perfect,” “Love & Basketball,” “The Rules of Attraction” and “Stomp the Yard” all give pre-college teenagers a false sense of what it’s actually like to date while in college. Instead of a romance film, these college courtships mimic cheesy romantic comedies (heavy on the comedy, light on the romance.)
I’ve had my fair share of casual dating since I stepped on campus in 2015, but these flings (in the loosest sense of the word) never turned into anything serious. Not only are college students too overly stimulated by the plethora of available dating options, but we’re usually not financially ready to seriously date.
Many college students, like myself, experience their first observations of male and female interactions on campus while living in a co-ed dorm — where hookup culture is the law of the land. Curfews attempt to stop sleepovers in dorm rooms between opposite sexes, but are often overlooked and hardly reinforced. Those of us that hope for more than a one-night right-swipe look for potential significant others outside of dorm lobbies and hallways.
The Student Center, the HPER and sporting events are all hubs for potential boos. Although these hotspots are constantly filled with cuties, social media has allowed sheepish behavior from boys who would rather send a Direct Message than approach girls in person.
There is still usually hope for courtship in the classroom. My English literature and journalism courses are typically filled with pretty women, but lack my preference of men. Occasionally, I’ll take an elective or general education course that has a guy that catches my eye, but yet again, I run into a brick wall. In the past, these men either struggle to read out loud, are a class clown or are freshmen — which is the one characteristic that I cannot seem to overlook! I mean, freshmen can hardly commit to their major, I doubt if monogamy is on the brain.
Every interest is not a miss though. Occasionally, I’ll meet a charming and smart gentleman that lacks flaws except one big one — a girlfriend in his hometown. “Out of sight, out of mind” is true for a lot of college students that come on campus in a committed relationship. Too often, I have spent months texting a guy, just to catch him on Snapchat with his girlfriend during breaks.
Temptation brings up another issue when considering dating in college. Not only is there the temptation of cheating, but the pressures from single friends. While there are many relationships that flourish through college, into marriage, and happily ever after, there are other relationships that crash and burn in the face of impulse. Bars and parties welcome a social environment that usually teems with temptation.
I have not given up on my college sweetheart love story yet, but it’s been a hard road that I’m not sure I have the perseverance for anymore. Maybe graduate school is where I’ll find the Charlie Kelmeckis to my Sam.