Hooking Up: Harder to Define in College

By Claire Makley

College hook up

You hear it in the bathroom. It follows you to the dining halls. And it is lurking even in the study rooms at the library. “Hooking up,” two simple words with the most ambiguous meaning. In high school, the term was applied to passionate kissing, casual make outs, and for the truly ambitious, a scandalous sex story that was sure to hit the halls by homeroom. But college is a whole new ball game, folks. Guys use it to boost Bro Brownie Points, letting locker-room talk work its magic. Girls simply use it to euphemize the walk of shame. But still the meaning is murky, lost in between the first Four Loko and the twin dorm bed…

College hook up

First and foremost, “hooking up” in college is free from societal norms. These four years act as a stepping stone between childhood and real life, and it is also the period between high school’s meet-at-the-movie dating scene and the real wining and dining of the adult world. So nothing is off-limits here, and a hook up can mean quite honestly whatever you want it to, even if that is a random night under the dim of a TV screen.

College binge drinking

Secondly, college’s social life caters specifically to the spontaneous hook up. Dark dance parties, loud music, and more importantly, free-flowing booze, creates the perfect environment for the complete reckless abandon of inhibitions. So the hook up happens on the dance floor. It happens on a couch. It even happens in the bathroom. A make out here, a grope there- it’s all covered under the ambiguous umbrella of the “hook up.” Just don’t expect to find it happening in broad, sober daylight.

But is it really smart to define hooking up? Let’s leave it undefined, for it is that “gray area” that liberates us from the norms of society (only Sue Johanson would consider the amount of fellatio in college healthy). It is the ultimate shape-shifter, turning into whatever we need it to be at that time; we are free to throw the term around however we so feel inclined. College provides the perfect environment to discover what makes you happy and who makes you happy. Leave the picnics and matching sweaters for grad school.

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