You hear about it in every movie: college is the time to experiment and find yourself! When you are so surrounded by this mentality, it can feel like there is so much pressure to jump right into the hookup culture. As someone who witnessed the same sort of hookup culture growing up in New York City, it was interesting to see some of my classmates experience culture shock from this new, upbeat environment they were facing: it was nothing like they've encountered at home. This made me curious about the hookup culture around the country and at different schools. I decided to survey students from colleges all across the country about their first hookups as college freshmen.

1. Gender: Female

City: Lewiston, ME

Was it a good experience?: It’s complicated

Where was it?: The guy’s room

When was it?: September

The story: “It was two weeks after my high school boyfriend and I broke up. I was looking for a rebound so I hooked up with this asshole football player on my floor. The hook up itself was fun but I got sad afterward and texted my ex-boyfriend about how much I missed him.”

2. Gender: Female

City: Syracuse, NY

Was it a good experience?: It’s complicated

Where was it?: My room

When was it?: The second night of school

The story: “Got with a guy on my floor at 1 am on the second night of school...then the fire alarm went off and we vacated the premises.”


3. Gender: Male

City: Myrtle Beach, SC

Was it a good experience?: Yes

Where was it?: A bathroom

When was it?: The first week of school

The story: “We were chilling in a quiet building on campus (‘twas night) and we had smoked a bit and he was just like hey ... wanna hook up?”

4. Gender: Female

City: Williamsport, PA

Was it a good experience?: It’s complicated

Where was it?: In his room

When was it?: The second week of school

The story: “I met him at a party and we started dancing... and he tried to get me to leave with him. I didn’t wanna leave the friends I came with so I didn’t. Then the party got shut down and the friends I was with told me to go after him. So we went back to his room and he kicked his roommate out. Turns out he was in one of my classes and was a junior but after hooking up again the weekend after (then never again) we actually became pretty good friends.”


5. Gender: Female

City: New York, NY

Was it a good experience?: Yes

Where was it?: The park

When was it?: September

The story: “We met up, it was our first date, then we went to the park and he kissed me.”

6. Gender: Male

City: Syracuse, NY

Was it a good experience?: Yes

Where was it?: At a party and in my dorm room

When was it?: August

The story: “After move in and before classes start, the upperclassmen of the Drama department hold a house party for the freshman to kick off the year and to welcome us. Well at this party, my friend came up and asked if I thought this guy was cute. I had already met him on campus and we had even hung out in a large group before because he’s also a freshman in my program. I thought he was hot from the moment I met him. Like, hot, hot. So I obviously said yes and the next thing I knew he was saying ‘hi’ and dancing with me. We danced for a while and things heated up and before you knew it we were making out against a wall. Wild I know. Occasionally you would hear someone scream ‘Look at them go!’ muffled through the music, which somehow made the situation hotter. People eventually began to filter out and go home for the night, which was my cue to invite him to my room. We got an uber back to my dorm where we discovered he lived in the same building only a few floors up from me. He ended up staying the night in and we continued to hook up for a few weeks after that. Today, we’re really close friends.”


7. Gender: Female

City: Baltimore, MD

Was it a good experience?: It’s complicated

Where was it?: At a frat house

When was it?: September

The story: “We were sitting outside on the porch of this frat and this kid was smoking a cigarette, which usually would be kind of gross, but I was pretty gone. I thought he was cute but nothing to write home about until he started talking to me and was BRITISH. So, of course, my pants dropped. We kept talking and he was showing me English house music that kind of sucked but I was curious so we kept listening. After about 10 minutes he grabbed my face and started kissing me, which I wasn’t opposed to but it was a little abrupt. It would’ve been an okay kiss but the kid really tasted like cigs and was God awful stiff. After about 3 minutes I said I had to go to the bathroom, found my friends, left, and got some chicken fingers with honey mustard. I see him around Baltimore sometimes and I smile at him but he’s not having it. I’ll live.”

8. Gender: Female

City: Los Angeles, California

Was it a good experience?: No

Where was it?: At a baseball team house party

When was it?: Halloween

The story: “I was sad, heartbroken, and desperate. My vision was blurry and after stumbling upon this guy I kept asking him a bunch of questions. I found out his name, major, age, sports teams, and ended it off with ‘Are you cute?’ He said ‘I don’t know but I think you are,’ and started kissing me. It was not good because he had stubble. I didn’t like it because it was so rough against my skin and I decided to leave. A few weeks later I was at the gym minding my own business when he started running on the treadmill next to me. I thought it was a coincidence and quickly ran to finish my mile. Did I mention he was on the track team and it was starting to get cold so they did their training inside? The next week I went to the gym again and I bumped into him AGAIN and I swore never to go to the gym again. My school is too small to do things like this. Good thing he’s graduating next year.”


9. Gender: Male

City: Binghamton, NY

Was it a good experience?: No

Where was it?: At a bar

When was it?: Recently

The story: “Me and a couple of friends were dancing at the bar when they spotted someone who they thought I’d wanna get with. My friends talked to the person and their group of friends and got me to talk to the person. Had a few drinks with them and we started to make out. I wanted it to stop right away especially since all of our friends were staring and making it awkward.”

10. Gender: Female

City: Syracuse, NY

Was it a good experience?: It’s complicated

Where was it?: Frat House

When was it?: The first night

The story: “Having heard the story from second-hand accounts, (because I was blackout drunk) I hear that it was a very gross makeout session in a very gross fraternity. Would not recommend. I haven’t talked to the boy since then but we follow each other on Instagram so...?”


11. Gender: Female

City: Gambier, Ohio

Was it a good experience?: Yes

Where was it?: On the lawn in front of my dorm

When was it?: The second or third week of school

The story: “We liked each other and he’d been waiting to hang out for me outside for a few hours while I was at Acapella group auditions. When I finally met up with him we hung out for a couple hours and then he walked me home and we ended up lying on the grass, looking at the stars and kissing."

12. Gender: Male

City: Bronx, NY

Was it a good experience?: Yes

Where was it?: In a dorm room

When was it?: November

The story: “Met a girl, she came to my room, and magic.”


The lesson to be learned from of all these stories is that everyone has a really different first experience with the hookup culture in college. The first hookup you have your freshman year does not have to be a drunken blurry memory at a frat house if you do not want it to be, but it also can be if you want it to! Although I was surrounded by a very similar culture of hooking up throughout high school, the freedom and independence to do whatever you want changes the dynamic in college. As a college freshman myself, college hookup culture has taught me is that it is a great way to learn about what you want. Do you want random meaningless one night stands? Do you want to go on a date and kiss at the end of it? Or do you not really want to feed into the culture at all? No matter your preference, it is important for all college students to be exposed to this culture and figure out what they themselves want.

Note: For privacy reasons, the name of the college and of students have been removed. Responses have also been edited for spelling, grammar and clarity.


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