Author: Junior HIPE Member
*Speaking from the female experience of being in a relationship at Urban*
Since my freshman year, I haven’t known Urban without having a boyfriend. I came in dating someone, broke up, almost got asked out by another boy, said no, then asked by another who I have been, and still am dating. I love dating, it’s just worked out that way for me. However, like many things in life, there are pros and cons to every situation. If you’re wondering what it’s like to be in a relationship at Urban, here are some things I’ve noticed from experience. (And hang on because things might get a little cheesy). To start with the good things, dating someone should make you happy. If you find yourself just generally in a better mood around someone, (they make you smile the brightest, laugh the hardest…) don’t be shy and ask them out! It’s always nice to have someone reliable to pick you up in hard times. I’ve noticed that even when I’m at my most stressful peak (such as in interims and finals week,) my boyfriend always manages to cheer me up. It may sound a little selfish but it’s nice knowing you have your own personal support system. I know I can always go to him with anything on my mind. This leads into another thing about dating, you get to know someone really really well. Their thoughts, emotions, hopes, fears, dreams, what makes them tick, their body (yes… their body)... The list goes on and on. And there’s always something new to explore. It’s comforting knowing someone so well, and what’s more is that they know you the same way. They know how to navigate your feelings when you might not even know how to! What’s also great is things get better with every new experience. Even in fights, getting past them is the greatest feeling. If you really like or love a person you’ll both work equally hard into keeping the relationship strong and healthy. We always use our mistakes as opportunities to grow both with each other and ourselves.
Off of emotions, the physical aspect of relationships is great. If you stay long enough with someone, you’ll get to know each other physically very well. After countless hookups and realizing that I felt like I could read him like the back of my hand and he could the same with me, we ended up losing our virginities to each other. What was great about that was I felt 100% comfortable and ready to do it with him. We had talked about it and when we were both ready, it happened. Not to sound cliche, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I didn’t feel any pressure from him or friends, I wasn’t drunk or high, it was great and I knew he cared about me and felt the same. After that, every time we did it, it kept on getting better and better. Because I trust my boyfriend so much, I feel totally comfortable sharing what I do and don’t like when we hook up. And the same goes for him. In the beginning, when things were not communicated as much, certain things hurt. This was obviously detrimental for my body. When I finally told him what was happening, things were amazing. Communication is key. Trust me it will benefit both parties if you tell your partner what you do and don’t like in bed. Sex (or anything you like doing) will go from 0-100 real quick. I’ve never felt physically better. Something to keep in mind though, you should never feel like you have to do something in order to stay with a person. If they truly care about you, they wouldn’t/shouldn’t pressure you into doing anything you’re not yet comfortable with. Sex (or anything physical) should be enjoyed and not forced. Another thing about sex is the safety around it. Because I’m in a committed relationship, I can rely on not getting STDs because we’ve both been tested and assuming neither is cheating, I’m less afraid of getting syphilis or chlamydia. As they say, “when you have sex with someone, you have sex with everyone they’ve had sex with.” Not to scare anyone who is looking to hook up with a random guy, but personally I feel better knowing my chances of getting an STD are lowered due to my committed relationship.
Alright, now onto the bad things. First and foremost, relationships are expensive. Though I love cuddling and watching movies with my boyfriend at home, that can sometimes get boring and we love going on dates! The downside of dates though is there’s usually a price to be paid, literally. Depending on where you go and what you do, restaurants are expensive and so are all other activities in San Francisco, even if you drive somewhere, there’s always fee’s you have to pay. Though money can’t buy love, it sure can buy good date spots. Emotionally, you have to juggle your emotions as well as your partners. During interims it’s great having that support but you have to remember they’re going through the same thing. You’re relying on them the same way they rely on you. You also have to manage your time with them split with school, friends, and family. Though you may want to hang out with them 24/7 it’s important to do your homework and dedicate time towards your family. It can sometimes be hard planning weekends when you want one on one time with your boyfriend, time with friends, and time with family and also time for Sunday homework. Another slight downfall is that relationships take more effort than just hooking up with someone. If you truly like the person, you have to actually fight for them if things go wrong, sometimes sacrifice a little bit of your sanity to talk them back into happiness and out of anger. You have to water it like a plant. When you stop watering, your plant will die. Which would be sad. The worst part about being in a long lasting relationship, is that you can get seriously hurt if you break up. Heartbreak is an awful thing, I’ve seen it interfere with everything in a person’s life. I never want that to happen to me and so I try to never think about the loomings of it. I love being in this relationship and I don’t even know how I’d feel if things ended.
1. Expectation: You have to have a date.
Reality: Plenty of people go alone or with friends. You will still have great time!
2. Expectation: You have to hook up with your date.
Reality: Hooking up is not a given. Make sure to communicate well with your date so that if you hook up it is consensual.
3. Expectation: you are going to get faded with all of your friends before.
Reality: Breathalyzers work. Every one who attends prom is breathalyzed. Getting caught drunk at an all school event has serious consequences. Is it really worth it?
4. Expectation: Boys have to (prom)pose.
Reality: At urban there aren’t any gender expectations about who asks who. It’s very common for girls to ask.
5. Expectation: Your (prom)posal has to be epic.
Reality: Although it’s good to ask in person, you don’t have to make a big show of asking someone to prom.
6. Expectation: Your date will pay for your prom ticket.
Reality: Tickets are expensive so expect to pay for your own ticket unless your date offers.
7. Expectation: You are going to look AMAZING in all the prom photos.
Reality: Between amateur parent photographers at pre prom and very candid dancing photos at prom, you might look sub par in the photos uploaded to Facebook.
8. Expectation: Prom is the most important night of your life.
Reality: At urban there are FOUR proms that you can attend. So if you don’t have any other worthwhile nights in your life, it will only be one of four of the most important nights of your life…and if it sucks at least you will have a funny story to tell your kids.
9. Expectation: Everyone rents a limousine.
Reality: I got driven to prom my freshman and sophomore year by my friend’s parents. Typically the whole limo and party bus thing is a junior and senior year tradition, but still by no means an expectation.
10. Expectation: Everyone has sex on prom night.
Reality: Although prom night sex is promoted by movies like American Pie, this expectation is a MYTH. Having sex on prom night is by no means the norm. Just have fun with your friends and party! If you do happen to have sex, do it responsibly (sophomore year health class everyone) (;.
Disclaimer: This piece reflects the opinion of the author and may not be in line with your own viewpoints.
Senate Bill No. 967!
As you have all probably heard, a new senate bill was passed that put in place the slogan: “Yes means Yes.” Although we might say “well of course yes means yes,” the previous law stated that “no meant no.” The difference in wording may seem insignificant but in fact this change makes a huge difference. Now verbal affirmative consent is required when engaging in sexual action. This little change makes quite an impact on many men and women all over the country because silence is no longer an acceptable form of consent. This bill is especially impactful in the lives of college students because 1 in 5 women will be raped or sexually abused in college, and men too are often taken advantage of or sexually abused as well. When it comes to the legal aspects of the cases in which a victim accuses another of sexual assault or rape, a largely used response is “but with your body you were saying yes” or “but you never said no…” This new bill will clear up the confusion in these cases, which will protect many victims in college and in daily life as well.
In addition to initial verbal consent, affirmative consent is required every time you move on or “ advance” to another sexual act. This bill helps make it easier to self advocate because the silence that one might be stuck in can no longer count as “okay, go ahead.” Due to pressure or fear some people can respond to discomfort by not being responsive, but this bill says that that is no longer an acceptable form of consent.
Sex is supposed to be a positive experience for whoever is involved, and this new senate bill can maintain the security of your own boundaries or desires. You always have the right to say no, however now you also have the right not to say yes.