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Jan 20 2016
by Katherine Kokeas

To The One Who Made Me Realize Hook-Up Culture Isn't For Me

By Katherine Kokeas - Jan 20 2016
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By now, we've all done our best to assimilate into college life. We’re accustomed to the ways of this teenager-run culture and to living (for the most part) on our own. But, these newfound freedoms and exciting 'firsts' come with a sort-of culture shock for many. Along with football games, late night library trips, and finals cram sessions come another aspect of college life we’ve all encountered: hook-up culture. While this phrase is heard in many whispered conversations around campus, it carries a deliberately vague definition; it's used to keep private lives somewhat private, despite being directly in the public eye. Hook-up culture carries a different meaning to every person. And, it’s not every person who can entirely separate themselves from their emotions. And if you're one of those people, don’t feel excluded if you aren’t for hooking-up.

Whether it’s the desire to feel like part of this supposedly exclusive group, the pressure to make the most out of your newfound independence, or just the exhilarating rush that comes with making your own decisions, hook-up culture can appeal to most.

There’s a lot I could say to the people who have impacted my emotions, and I’m sure that they think they know most of it; but, before I jump to the various expletives I could angrily shout at them--which, let's be honest, my track record isn't the best--, let me say what I really want to: thank you. Thank you for allowing me to realize I am not the type of person who can hook up with someone without developing feelings. Thank you for allowing me to realize I’m not the type of person who can disregard my own feelings within a hookup. As much as it hurts me to admit that you’ve moved on, nothing prepared me for the moment I would finally realize that I’ve moved on too. I just want you to know, no matter how many times I use the word “hate” when you are brought up in conversation, it's not towards you. I hate how you made me feel, like you had feelings for me. I hate how I’ll never forget the feeling I had sitting in front of our friends with your arm around me, like some Olympic medal I wore with pride.

And while I know now that these little things were nothing more than actions in the moment for you, they meant the world to me; and, what hurts more than anything, they always will. And while our generation is defined by our habits regarding hormonal, physical relationships--and constantly mocked for our inability to “have real relationships”--, hook-ups allow us to feel alive. So, yes, we may have been nothing more than a hookup, but the way I felt went way deeper than whatever you thought we were. But, I don’t blame you. You taught me that I’m not as free willing as a thought; but at the same time, you gave me the confidence to know what I want and to go after it. So, I wish you well. Yes, your name will always hold a special memory in my mind, and maybe it will take some time before I stop feeling my heart race at the sound of your name. But I am so much stronger now, because I know how I love, and I’ll know what to do with my feelings the next time someone special walks into my life. I wish you the best, and with every fiber of my being, and to those who aren't able to reciprocate feelings, I hope you find happiness. Because despite everything you deserve, you deserve that as well.

Sincerely,

The Girl Who Will Always Care


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Katherine Kokeas - Syracuse University

Communications Freshman at Syracuse University.

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