29 March 2019
During orientation, a representative of the University of San Francisco told us how she
met her husband– in her first week of college. This became an inside joke between my roomates
and me, every cute boy we saw could be a potential husband. Through our first year of college
we have each had very different experiences, especially as romance is concerned. For the sake of
my roommates’ privacy, their names in this essay are Erin and Zoe. Erin hasn’t had much
romantic experience, Zoe has been in a committed long distance relationship, and I have been
exploring. Society expects a “college girl” to act a certain way, back in the day women in college
were seen as husband chasers and today it’s all about sexual liberation in the form of hookups.
College is a time for us to find ourselves and figure out our own future. Fulfillment can be found
in many ways; it’s ok for each young woman to navigate college romance however works for
One way form of navigating is not having a love-life. Erin has never had a boyfriend,
never been on a second date, never even had sex. These days a virgin in college is a pretty rare
sight. With the sexual liberation women have gained and the technology available, having sex as
a pretty and nice young woman isn’t very hard. Why doesn’t she make a Tinder or put herself
out there? Erin is taking a very heavy course load and works almost 40 hours a week. She is
burnt out most of her waking hours and barely has time to care for herself, let alone a boy.
Others who share this attitude toward sex avoid it because of “pressure to succeed, social lives
increasingly conducted on-screen, unrealistic expectations of physical perfection encouraged by
dating apps and wariness over rape” (Bahrampour). Erin does not find sex and boys to be a
valuable use of time. Erin’s aversion to pursuing boys is “not anything about chastity or fear of
sex… ‘Eh, it’ll happen,’” (Bahrampour). She isn’t saving herself for marriage or anything, she
just hasn’t come across the right person, right circumstances, right mood. Some may see her as a
prude, a girl who won’t ‘put out’ because she’s no fun, but she is showing herself love by
prioritizing her personal future. Sometimes she feels as if she’s missing out but getting straight
A’s, hitting the gym four times a week, and making about $500 a week seems to me like she’s
got her life in order. She doesn’t need a relationship to feel whole, she’s already got that down.
Although her life does not fit many fantasies of romantic love, by focusing on making herself
happy she’s practicing self love, and that’s perfectly ok because she is happy.
For others, having a serious, committed relationship is a source of strength. As for my
other roommate Zoe, she has been with her long distance boyfriend since 8th grade. They see
each other maybe twice a month if they find the time to travel the four hours in between them.