relationships

Dating 101: URI Edition

July 24, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Love

For students at the University of Rhode Island, dating, hooking up, and relationships are pretty common. With 15,000 undergrads on one campus it’s no wonder one-night-stands, long-term relationships, and hook ups are happening. What makes our college campus different from others is how approachable students are. More often than not people are friendly making it easier to meet new people.

What is dating like at URI? I couldn’t really give you a general yet accurate explanation of how it works. From what I’ve seen, we’ve got an even split between relationships and hooks-up. More often than not, single Rhody Rams will take advantage of just about any situation to meet those of the opposite sex. From casual encounters in your classrooms to overly intoxicated nights at the bars, there’s always an end goal: to find someone of the opposite sex to share a medium McDonald’s fries with by the end of the night. No really….I don’t think there’s a way to sum up dating at URI because it all depends on who you ask.

Study Buddy

Study Buddy

I’m single and I like to ‘study’ I have been a witness to a few relationships and hooks up that have sparked from the sharing of interests between two students. It could be their involvement in a club or sport, a course their taking, or a favorite place to just relax. A lot of students at URI will meet during the course of a semester in their classes according to their major. Once you’ve seen someone in one of your classes, the odds are they’ll probably be in another one later on in your college career. Might as well make friends with them, right? After the initial encounter has been overcome, it’s a lot easier for students to transition out of that stage. Ever heard of study buddies and project partners? Well, you’ve just found yourself one that could last a little longer than the actual course does (wink).

Where should I go on my first date? Luckily for you, the University of Rhode Island is located fifteen minutes away from the beach and local restaurants. A walk on the Narragansett Seawall might be a nice start for your date and could transition to dinner at George’s of Galilee. You can never go wrong with seafood, especially the fresh seafood you’ll find in Rhode Island. There’s other possibilities like take a trip to Providence (WARNING: the ride is about 30-minutes so if you’re on a date with someone who isn’t talkative, be prepared for a long and awkward car ride). In Providence you’ll find more to do like arcade games and dinner at Dave and Busters or a walk around the Providence Place Mall. There’s always a lot to do in the heart Rhode Island so you’ll never get bored if you go out on a date there.

Next time you find yourself at the library or in the crowded room of a frat party, look around and introduce yourself to someone. You never know who you may meet; it could be your future Rhody Ram bride or groom or even one-night-stand.

Cynical Cornellian: A+ Smartphone Apps

January 16, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Love, Tech

As I often state, “College is the time to be an adult!” By that, I don’t mean that college is the time to make long-term decisions or even mature ones. Rather, college is the time to learn how to live like a starving artist in a low-rent apartment, in which your dinners consist of ramen noodles and saltine crackers and your daily routines consist of perusing your Tumblr dashboard and posting ironic Facebook statuses to hide the fact that you truly despise where your life has headed. All cynical college student jokes aside, being an adult in college means being broke and bored (still cynical, but hey, I’m a college kid).  So here’s a list of wonderful, life-improving/life-altering phone apps and websites that might make you just a tad bit less cynical about your slowly degrading adult life.

"Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up."

“Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up.”

Seamless/Grubhub: This is the pinnacle of foodie heaven (I’m a foodie, so you can trust me on this one). Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up. The application has the added function of dividing restaurants into food categories/genres (Pizza, Chinese, Sushi, Indian, etc.). Personally, I love the app because it categorizes restaurants based on distance and customer ratings. Moreover, I love having access to the menus in an organized fashion—I have a legitimate phobia to entering a dining establishment only to be bombarded with a huge menu and an impatient waiter/cashier. Seamless gives me the options with an unlimited supply of time to think about, and research/find pictures of, the food that I’m about to use my limited supply of money to purchase (as a cynical, broke college kid, you have to be economical). Use the app for any meal of the day—or late night, if you’re about that all-nighter life.

Tinder: Dating is tough. Dating in college is tougher. It’s true that college is probably going to be the time of your life in which you have the largest supply of potential life partners. From that perspective, you would assume that finding a date and, eventually, a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner would be as easy as reading a children’s pop up book (sans the people who are illiterate or have a phobia to paper that unfolds and pops out at you when you turn the page). Unfortunately, dating in college is not that simple—for reasons unbeknownst to me. Tinder makes everything so much easier! You make an account by linking your Facebook to the Tinder app, your Facebook profile photos sync to the app and become your main photo stream, you write a witty and provocative description, and you swipe right to all of the cuties! If you get matched, you send an awkward and slightly inappropriate greeting and cross your fingers that you’ll get lucky tonight. I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!

"I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!"

“I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!”

Yik Yak: Imagine seeing Regina George’s burn book but with names kept out of the hateful messages and the pages being short, electronic posts. Once you can conceptualize this, you’ve conceptualized Yik Yak. An anonymous social media app, YY allows users to upload rude, comedic, or somewhere in-between posts that get disseminated to an audience in a 10-mile radius. So if you’re bored and absolutely hate that girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library, post a status about that girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library and hope that people in that incredibly silent library give you a thumbs up—also hope that the girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library reads the post and turns off that garbage that she calls music.

And there you have it: three apps that I consider to be A+ material for college kids struggling to be adults in a world where being an adult is a massively depressing ordeal that requires a trust fund or sugar daddy to truly be happy. Am I cynical? Yes. Are these apps A+? Absolutely.

Experience Boston and the Dating Scene

October 30, 2014 in Colleges, Events, Love

Remember those moments in middle school when holding hands and instant messaging every few days equated to being in a “relationship?” Or in high school when eating lunch together and kissing during sports games meant that you were committed? Here comes college with all its randomness and casual hookups, and we begin to wonder, how serious can dating possibly be during school?

With lively times at parties and unexpected encounters at social events, high expectations of finding love and a “soulmate” shouldn’t be set, at least not freshman year. Instead, living in the moment with friends and having rememberable, no-strings-attached flings will be widely seen.

Speaking for myself and the first-year Emerson community, serious relationships are rarely seen on-campus, especially two months into the school year. Although I have seen my Emerson friends “tie the knot” and commit to each other, the level and the maturity of the relationship depends entirely on the person. Some students are individualistic and simply want to experience Boston while focusing on themselves, while other students are ready for dedication, romance, and emotional attachment.

To accommodate both parties, below is a list of serious and not so serious date-like settings or hangout spots where it’s easy to meet new faces and form countless memories.

The Esplanade

This is the essential meet-up spot on Friday and Saturday nights. The Esplanade, a park and “Adult Playground” located on the Charles River and just a few blocks from Emerson College, is where Emerson, Northeastern, BU, and other surrounding college students meet and greet. They gather together by the dock, which overlooks the river and the city of Cambridge, make a few mistakes, and create memories.

Students and locals soak up the sun and enjoy Boston’s quaint charm on the dock, overlooking the Charles River.

Although this spot doesn’t have to be for informal, laid-back nights. It’s perfect for a first date or romantic encounter: playing Disclosure beats or The Beatles tunes, having a picnic at the park, taking advantage of the playground, or watching boats sail along the sparkling water make for a lovely evening.

The Common and Public Garden

Being positioned directly across from Emerson, these two parks are perfect for not only first dates but group hangouts, social events, guitar jams, or homework/study spots. Some students get takeout from a cafe and have picnics overlooking the duck pond. This can also be a romantic midnight setting of wandering aimlessly through the parks and listening to spooky music (especially during Halloween time).

Late night strolls can be perfect in the garden for spending date nights or time with friends.

Emerson students aren’t the only ones who take advantage of the parks. They’re public and home to all Bostonians, foreigners, and visitors. You never know what’s bound to happen in Boston. The city is a haven for unexpected possibilities, opportunities, and meetings with genuine strangers. Sometimes I sit in the park on warm days, write poetry while eating a burrito from Bolocco, and am approached randomly by people who were admiring my aesthetic or simply asking for directions. Fate is real, and it’s possible in a city like Boston.

Concerts

Speaking of fate, meeting complete strangers at concerts cannot be prevented. Being a music writer for Emertainment Monthly, I attend shows around Boston at least once a week, constantly meeting people from all over New England, and even outside of the country. Students at Emerson take pride in the expressive arts and communications, thus they’re bound to be part of mosh pits at punk shows, dancing wildly to electronic beats, or peacefully absorbing the sounds of jazz and folk bands at cafes. Either way, meeting new faces and having various conversations are expected.

Students, locals, and music enthusiasts having fun during a Chrome Sparks concert.

From listening to my friend’s experiences, they’ve met 20-something-year-olds at venues like Paradise Rock Club, The Middle East, and The House of Blues. Although most of those encounters ended up being “one night stands” or hookups, great memories were formed, adding to the overall college experience and urban lifestyle. I suppose Carrie Bradshaw was right. “People come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know that some are in your heart.”

Experience ALL of Boston

That’s the best advice I can give to incoming college students or visitors. Experience, experience, experience! Walk around outside, talk to strangers (obviously not creepy people lingering in dark alleyways), go to concerts, relax at the park, go for a run at The Esplanade, get a mocha at Thinking Cup Cafe or discover your own eccentric coffee shop, ride the train to Cambridge and other surrounding towns. Personalize the city and make it yours to cherish; four years will zoom by before you know it.

Stepping outside and exploring the city are great ways to meet people and spend beautiful days.

Love won’t always be knocking at your door, but patience is virtue and dating shouldn’t always be taken seriously, especially at a young age. In a city like [Boston], with its infinite possibilities, monogamy has become too much to expect. Well said Bradshaw, well said.

A popular quote from “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw — one that most college students live by.

Queer Sphere: The Collapse of the Romantic Fairytale

October 25, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Love

Mother: “It was a simpler time! Women would wait for the man to ask her out to the movies or the diner, the man would knock on the door and have the awkward two-minute meet-and-greet with the woman’s parents, and marriage was expected if the couple lasted into the college years. There was less technology to enable scandal and less social justice to muddle to gender roles.”

As my mother makes clear, romances in the early ‘70s were drastically different to those prevalent within modern society. She made it clear that women had fewer obligations, that cliché film portrayals were the realities, and that gender roles defined the course of actions that both individuals would have to take. Those dissimilarities have proven to be difficult—as I’ve seen with most, if not all, of my college friends’ relationships. However, I hold a slightly extended pessimistic perspective than my mother because of my sexual orientation. In my case, not only has technology ruined the fairy tale promise, not only do gender roles muddle the dating process, but the gay identity stirs up a melting pot of additional stresses!

Sorry, mom, I think I have it worse.

Grindr: The Collapse of the Romantic Fairytale

To be blunt, Grindr is a hook-up app and nothing more. To make the argument that Grindr is a network through which an individual can meet other gay-identifying individuals is both to be naïve and to miss the point of the one-photo-reveals-all tactic. Unlike its more PG-13 cousin, Tinder, Grindr only allows user to upload one image. This image, along with a short blurb and a few details about one’s level of masculinity and body image, are all that one is able to offer about oneself. As such, the app perpetuates racial idolization, body shaming, and vanity. When someone starts a chat with me, it isn’t to learn more about my major (unless the guy finds LGBT Studies kinky) or my likes or dislikes (unless it’s about my bedroom preferences). The romantic ideals of a guy bumping into me at a café and asking me about the novel in my hands have died at the hands of hookups-in-the-palm-of-my-hands. Again, sorry, mom, but I win this one.

Body Shaming: The Ramifications of the Six Pack Ideal

As an obese child turned average-weight college student, I can personally attest to the detrimental psychological and physical ramifications of body shaming. Anything related to “plus sized models” to “overeating” to “maybe you shouldn’t eat that bag of Cheetos” is a trigger. Having grown up watching pornography and hyper sexualized male portrayals in Hollywood films, I was deceived into believing that six-pack bodies were the ultimate ideal. Because porn perpetuates these types of bodies, other gay men have also fallen into this trap, and pursue these body types accordingly. It’s difficult to not have a six-pack, or to be tall, or to have a refined jawline and still feel good about one’s body image. It’s tough to score a date when one doesn’t fit this idolized aesthetic. That’s another point for me, mother!

Media Representations (Or the lack thereof)

It’s tough enough to think about who has to pay for the meal in a heterosexual relationship. Now, imagine having two men dating. Absent the absurd notion that one man in the “man” and one man is the “woman,” who does what in the relationship? Media is just now beginning to represent all forms of queer relationships—ranging from polyamorous, to internalized-homophobic, to binary-fitting, to non-conforming. We’re just now beginning to see all forms of “who does what” and “how does one do this.” It’s a fickle subject to discuss gender roles in a homosexual relationship, and even more difficult with college students—18 to 22 year olds who, presumably, have just come out and have never been in a queer relationship before. By now I think the winner of this battle has been revealed—sorry, mom!

It’s difficult to date in a queer sphere dominated by dating apps that perpetuate body shaming and aesthetic-preferences. It’s difficult to start what is, presumably, your first queer relationship when the world is still not fully comfortable with who you are. It’s always going to be difficult, but it’s always going to be worth it in the end. Stay strong!

Love is in the Air: Chowan University

August 29, 2014 in Campus Life, Love

college-dating

college-dating

I’m sure every college is used to seeing the hand holding, the passing of kisses, and the overall exaggerated love scene that has been present since students’ high school years. At college that stereotypical love scene does not fail to exist. At Chowan University the dating scene may not be as visible as other colleges but love continues to discreetly run through the air. Sometimes it appears obvious that two people are in a relationship, other times love can be hidden. Overall, Chowan University is home to many blossoming relationships long term and short. There will always be a mixture of relationships and individuals living the single life.

 

What’s dating like at Chowan University?

At Chowan University many of the students in relationships meet their partners on campus. There are only a handful of students that meet their other outside of college. Many of the couples that are together meet at parties and other student gatherings that occur on their own time. And sadly there are those creepers that are looking for relationships with people that are just not interested. This is probably one of the worst aspects of dating life at a small college. Many female students encounter flirting from men they are in no way interested. For the most part, even though no couple is perfect, days like St. Valentine’s Day at a small college shows students that true love may exist.

Are there lots of couples?

At Chowan University several of the relationships that exist are discreet. It’s not so much like high school where we are used to seeing handholding and other public displays of affection among the students. Many of the relationships that exist on campus are obvious through social networks rather than in real life. In other words students may not know people are a couple if it weren’t for social networks like Facebook and Instagram where couples publicize their relationships with photos and conversations. It may appear as though there are not a lot of couples visible on campus but maybe it may be the fact that PDA is just a thing of the past.

 

Where do students look for dating or a relationship? 

There are various types of students on campus all seeking different sides of love. Some students seek long term relationships while others are simply looking for mutual dating or a fling. Many people that are looking for nothing serious tend to find that at parties. Students that are looking for something more serious and long term tend to vary by personality.

 

What are good date places?

The misconception about a small university is that there are no places to go out for a date. There are tons of restaurants off campus and forms of entertainment off campus that prove to be beneficial for any first date. It has become popular for people to go to parties together while dating.

 

Even though Chowan University may not consist of the typical love scene, it still goes to show students that love can in fact be found in the smallest places.