If you’re new at varsity (or heading there soon), then trust us; you need a field guide on dating in this new and crazy environment. Here’s what you need to know before getting shot by the campus cupid.

Hookup culture

Hookup culture at varsity probably isn’t news to you, but no matter how many times you’ve been told about it, you shouldn’t underestimate the power (and potential dangers) of the “one-night-stand“ mindset.

Listen, we aren’t here to judge your personal choices. However, it’s important to remember that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to participate in it if you don’t want to- even if it feels like everyone else is having a great time. The last thing to remember about hookup culture is the real risks that come along with it. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy run rife at varsity, so while this less glamorous aspect of campus promiscuity probably won’t be a topic of conversation, it’s definitely happening and should be the reason why you always practice safe sex- no exceptions.

A Tinderella story

Next, let’s talk about dating apps. Lots of freshmen jump onto these apps as a way to meet new people on campus. They can be fun, sure, but remember that your safety is still important- even if you’re on campus or at res, datings apps can open you up to some unsavoury peeps who may get a bit too close for comfort. Always be sure to have strict privacy settings on all of your social profiles, and don’t be afraid to follow your instincts and not tolerate anyone who oversteps your boundaries.

So…what are we?

Ambiguous “situationships” are quite common on campus, since this is a time of learning for you and everyone around you. While you can never avoid getting hurt by people who lead you on, ghost you or send mixed signals, it’s good to remember your priorities. Remaining cool and unaffected by “situationships” is easier said than done, but trust us- there are better things you could be giving your time and energy to (like that assignment you’ve got due next week).

Party bae

It’s oh-so-easy to bend even your own rules when you’ve got alcohol (or other mind-altering substances) in your system. Know your limit, plan your safe night out and don’t compromise on your values and standards. For more info on staying safe while partying at varsity, give this article a read.

The not-so-pretty truth about dating in varsity is that you’ll probably make a few mistakes, jump into some things you may not be ready for, and your newly found freedom will come with the rude awakening that romance can be less of a fairy tale and more of a roller coaster.

Remember that varsity is your precious opportunity to get an education and start your life the right way. Prioritise yourself, your own success and the things that truly make you happy over short-lived thrills. In the end, make sure you’ve got your degree and your reputation- because those are the things that will truly last when the party’s over.

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