Hooking Up On Campus -The New Handshake?

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A College Student's First-Hand View of Sex On Campus

By Guest Blogger: Tenly Rose

I consider myself a pretty typical college student. A sophomore majoring in sociology, I attend a large Midwest university and find myself juggling classes, studying, and contributing as an active member of my sorority. I live in an apartment relatively close to campus with two friends. When I graduated from high school, I thought I knew what to expect from the college social scene. What I didn't know and have come to learn, is how common casual sex is on campus.

At our apartment, we have parties at least once a weekend and if we're not hosting something big, we'll have a few people over to “pregame”… that's when people start drinking at one house, only to get buzzed enough to go to another party later or out to bars. Because of this and because of my experience living in dorms last year as a freshman, I have seen many a classic college ‘hookup’.

It seems that in college, people casually sleeping together is less of a big deal than it was in high school. Because of the vast size of most universities, less people care if you’re hooking up with multiple people because fewer people find out. Plus, the usual cause for people having numerous partners is the fact that they were drunk… unfortunately, a steady flow of alcohol is notorious on college campuses.

Sadly, the casual sex scenario has happened to many of my friends. They've shared with me they felt like they “had” to sleep with whatever guy because they were either past the point of not being able to say “no”, or simply weren't sure how to. Other times, they've just been too intoxicated to resist or to even know what was going on. For one of my friends, that's how she lost her virginity. Her experience really hit me… for something that special to be taken away from her like that is unacceptable. That moment should have been something precious she would have remembered for the rest of her life, yet she has virtually no memory of it.

As a freshman, several of my friends weren’t sure how to handle all the alcohol and attention upperclassmen were throwing at them each weekend. I have come to understand how very important it is to realize what to expect your first year of college. For many college students, having sex is as common as shaking someone’s hand. This is a trend I think needs to stop.

Parents can advise us before we leave for college about what to expect on campus, which is helpful IF it's a real and honest conversation. The pressure and enticement to drink alcohol is real. The pressure and enticement to have sex is real. If kids aren't prepared to deal with those realities before arriving on campus, they are forced to figure it out when they get there. Some successfully navigate those waters, while others feel forced into a ‘handshake' and have to live with the ramifications of their actions.

What a lot of my friends and I have learned to do is to keep an eye out for each other. We have one another's backs and don't let each another go home with anyone but people we know or trust. Also, we do our best to monitor each other and not drink more than we can handle. The fact is when you go to college, 9 times out of 10 you will be in a social setting with the opposite sex and alcohol… it's important to know what to expect and how to respond.

To Parents:

Shockingly, 1 in 4 college students report they have been either raped or the victim of an attempted sexual assault. Talking with our sons and daughters about this issue is vital to their safety and well being, not only in college, but at high school, as well. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for Tenly's follow-up blog which will address reasons that students don't report these incidents/attacks.

About Tenly

Tenly is a sophomore sociology major and sorority member at a large university in the Midwest. Keeping her true identity anonymous, she has chosen to share the realities of college life with her end goal being to help parents better understand what actually takes place on college campuses today and aid them in preparing their children for these real-life experiences and challenges. If you have a question for Tenly, please direct it through Ginger on her website at www.gingerkadlec.com or email [email protected]

About Ginger

Working to improve the world one child at a time, Ginger has made it her life mission to raise awareness of the world-wide epidemic of child abuse. An impassioned child advocate, trainer, speaker and child forensic interviewer, Ginger can be contacted via her website “Ginger Kadlec: 4UrKids™” at www.gingerkadlec.com or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gingergkadlec.

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