Minus the City: The Easy Things

One of the cornerstones of hookup culture is its ability to be “easy.” A Huffington Post article once described this culture as, “easy, sleazy college sex,” and enumerated how millions of students from a wide array of universities were tempted by the accessibility of casually having sex. Hooking up requires little emotional attachment, commitment or thought to succeed. There’s never a shortcoming of parties, or eager sexual partners looking for the same thing as you, so this culture predominates. At Colgate, virtually every student could elaborate on the convenience of hooking up after one party. So, if hooking up is meant to be easy, many of us feel that in order to find something real, it must automatically be harder to attain. Exclusivity, responsibility and monogamy are all seen as components of a relationship that make it difficult. But what happens when strong feelings and emotional capability come effortlessly, and at the same time? Can they be mutually exclusive? 

One of my closest friends pointed this out to me when she asked a simple question, “Why can’t we really like the people who make everything seem so easy?” I didn’t know how to respond at first, but as I thought more about it, I think it reflects a trust issue. In life, we are always taught that the things which matter the most, are the same things we have to work the hardest for. We see examples all the time from personal success stories of billionaires who arose from poverty like Oprah Winfrey, to gut-wrenching romance movies like The Notebook. These examples all highlight the strong correlation between working hard and reaping the benefits of your troublesome efforts. But, if you’ve taken Intro to Statistics, we all know that a strong correlation does not prove causation. So just because you work really hard for something, it doesn’t necessarily make it better.

 A couple of my friends have begun to establish consistent hookups with the same guys. This is a trend that I think is extremely common on Colgate’s campus. You find someone that you get along with, are mutually attracted to, and then hook up for the first time. But as the weekends continue, you find that you’re back with that same person again. People often attribute this phenomenon to the fact that this hookup is considered “easy.” They’re comfortable with their partner and both people want the same thing. From their feedback, it seems as though there definitely is a connection, but they automatically assume that nothing serious or meaningful can stem from something which seems so casual and “easy.” 

And that’s the thing. We surround ourselves in a culture that has hundreds of potential hookups waiting for you at any given point. So the fact that you go back to the same person every Friday night doesn’t just mean it’s “easy.” It means that there might be something else there, maybe something we don’t even realize, but it’s pulling you back to the person, nonetheless. However, we don’t trust the fact that you can have feelings for someone, and it feel so effortless. 

But, as I have realized, sometimes the greatest things in life are the ones you don’t have to work as hard for. When you find someone you really are compatible with, and care about, it doesn’t feel like a strenuous uphill battle that you climb everyday. It’s effortless. So, maybe it’s time to trust your instincts over your culture, and realize that the easiest things in life can also be the most worthwhile. 

Contact Helen Misiewicz at [email protected].