"Sorry I am being so weird, haha, but I just wanted to say sorry about the other night. I really am not like that at all, but I guess I am now, but I don’t want to be … I guess I am confused cause I have been so moral my whole life, kind of anyway, and then third morning in college ... Actually it really isn’t a big deal in my head, but I feel like it should be.”
This is only a portion of a Facebook message I sent to a boy during the first week of my freshman year, and strangely enough, I would like to thank him for sending it out for all of campus to see. While I might have angrily kicked over a folding chair in his fraternity’s front yard Wednesday night, I have since come to realize how useful this little blast from the past is in affirming my decision to detach myself from the hook up culture.
The words written above are straight from the mind of an awkward girl coming from eighteen years of a sheltered life and a Catholic education. The third night of freshman year, she was exposed to a part of the college culture that she hadn’t experienced before. She was obviously conflicted and didn’t know how to handle it. Unfortunately, she enjoyed it enough to dig deeper into this fun, unknown world.
It’s embarrassing to admit, but fratting, drinking and getting affirmation from guys were exactly what I placed at the center of my freshman life. By the end of the year, I was constantly disappointed with myself and sad. I was living for those temporary highs but suffering because they weren’t permanent. The random hook ups were destroying me, and I finally had the strength to pull away.
This was my decision, and never would I judge anyone for choosing otherwise. To those of you who can detach themselves when relating to others physically, good for you. But I couldn’t, and neither can most girls. I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve seen cry because a guy didn’t call them back or didn’t invite them to a date party even though they’d been hooking up for weeks. I’ve seen girls cry because they want something long-term; something more permanent. Even guys complain about not being able to settle down and start a relationship. We’re all seeking meaning and purpose, and we all want to be loved. Hooking up is a way to temporarily satisfy that longing, but it often becomes dangerous when people seek this love and identity through it.
My testimony was published for the whole world to see. I woke up Monday morning to find that the reporter had published the article without checking with me as she had promised. She misquoted me and misrepresented the school I love. If I had known that this was going to happen, I probably would have never spoken with the CNN reporter. I am glad I did, though. Despite the negative, disappointing response from the Vanderbilt community, the amount of affirmation I have received from the world outside “the bubble,” and support from friends within, has been inspiring.
People are seeking advice and want to know why this way of life is so attractive. Frat guys might find all of this hilarious because this is what they thrive on. But other people are getting sick of this culture because they are realizing that we are meant for more. There is more to be sought in life than a little “afternoon delight.”
Frannie Boyle is junior in the College of Arts and Science. She is the former editor of the Vanderbuilt University Torch.