Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

A culture of hooking up: It’s not an everybody thing, but it is a college thing

The following piece, written by the editorial editors, reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.

You know that running list of things the world is blaming our generation for? Well, we should take hookup culture off the list. Because we did not invent the hookup. We are not the sole owners of the casual sex revolution. That title doesn't belong to us.

If anyone, the title belongs to our parents or grandparents because they had just as much sex in college as we're having now.

That's according to a study in TIME Magazine from last year, which says the sexual practices of our generation aren't much different from those of our parents.

Hooking up in college is not new or newsworthy or a unique point of describing our generation. It's a college thing. College has always been a place for sex, if that's what we mean by hooking up anyway.

None of us are really that shocked by the steady stream of hookups that happen on the weekend. So why do we, quite literally, keep doing it?

When we get to college, many of us shed the idealized American dream of marrying our high school sweetheart as soon as we get our first breath of independence. Suddenly, there are swarms of potential suitors around every corner, in every class, in every bar and on every social media site.

We find out there are quicker, cheaper, more instantaneous ways to get what we want out of the opposite sex. We find out that mornings are for a whirlwind of baseball analogies and blurry recollections and loose definitions. We don't judge each other for it. We all accept it. Because hookups (when done safely of course) are low risk, time-efficient and usually go hand-in-hand with drinking.

For women, it's empowering and liberating. We can suddenly walk up to any dude in the room and break every old-fashioned code. Guys don't have to put the effort into being chivalrous and girls don't have to wait around to be asked out.

We all just get drunk, swipe right, send that flirty text and a human appears. In most cases, we can choose how committed we want to be. If we have a busy week of classes and exams, we aren't tied to hanging out with one person. But when we want it, just press a button. It's all very casual.

And that's what we're about at our age. To be anything not casual is like aging 20 years and giving up your right to wear yoga pants or hockey jerseys to class.

But let's be honest. In the back of our minds, we all know the day will come when we're tired of casual. When college is over or our twenties are over and we want something more stable. Because if our generation behaves anything like generations before us, we're all striving, in the long run, for something more. On some level, we all like the idea of monogamy, the whole boyfriend/girlfriend deal. We think maybe we'll get married when we're 30 or maybe we'll just date one person someday. But not yet. Not until we're ready.

Here's something worth noting. Not everyone is hooking up. According to another study in TIME magazine, only 15 percent of college kids across the country consider themselves a part of hookup culture.

If you need more evidence, look no further than The Editorial Board. Of the eight editors in this conversation, seven of us are in those real relationships. That means about 13 percent of us belongs to the non-relationship camp.

Coming from the relationship camp, there's a lot to be said for not hooking up with a bunch of different people who may or may not know your name.

But when we talk about dating in college, hookup culture is all we hear about. Most of us have dabbled down the hookup route, the friends with benefits route, the drunken late night "where are you" text route. There's nothing wrong with it, but some of us found out we liked something else better.

So when it comes to labeling us as the inventors of hookup culture, that's not quite right. Some of us do it and will keep doing it, but a lot of us won't. Hooking up isn't really a culture or an epidemic; it's a phase we all go through. And it's something we'll probably grow out of.