O-Issue 2011: Dating

Though the slogans might have some truth to them, students here don’t actually date squirrels

By Christina Pillsbury

Some day soon you will be relaxing on the quad, trying to read Foucault in peace, but some asshole and his girlfriend next to you won’t stop canoodling. Looking at their faces mushed together, you’ll wonder how did this adorable hipster couple fall in love at the school where the squirrels are better looking than the girls and more aggressive than the guys?

It’s quite possible that the Internet played a part in their relationship. Last year a little website popped up, and then it blew up across media desks. It started out as UChicagoHookups, which required a Uchicago.edu email address to sign up. At that time, it was a bunch of pretentious posts looking to hook up in the stacks. Then the website expanded, and became Eduhookups. Suddenly, the possibility of hooking up in Columbia College’s stacks increased exponentially.

If you are not looking for an Internet-sanctioned hookup, there are several places to meet someone of the opposite—or same, or unidentified—gender with whom to enjoy some intimate time. Surprisingly, the dating scene at the U of C is actually quite diverse.

First, there’s the frat scene. Assuredly, most first-years will end up at least one frat party during O-Week, and end up with a short fling, commonly referred to as an O-mance. It’s highly unlikely that you will find a soul mate during this time period. Although there are success stories, more often than not it will end with one party waiting outside Max for Safe Ride at 2 a.m. Be careful though—some graduate students come to frat parties and lie about their age to naive first-years just for a hook up. True story.

Second, there’s Hum (or Sosc, or Bio) class, because there are few things hotter than talking about the Illiad in Cobb Coffee Shop. Tread lightly though, because if things go awry, the next 10 weeks will be even more awkward than usual. Perhaps waiting until seventh or eighth week might be best before striking up an epic poetry-based relationship.

Another rich source of dating is to find your niche within the U of C culture. Perhaps you’re a theater geek, or you’re a varsity athlete, or you’re a bio nerd, or perhaps you fit into the LGBTQ scene. There’s probably some clique-cest going on, but it’s a convenient way to find someone cut from the same cloth. This may seem old hat, but with a small campus and so many avenues, there’s a lot to choose from, so look for the one with the most attractive people.

And finally, arriving at the worst possible place to find a mate: in your own House. There are people who will say this is a perfectly fine venue. Don’t listen. Don’t do it. Sitting next to that person in House meetings, in Bartlett, and bumping into him or her every day will be the most awkward and painful event ever. As if you aren’t awkward enough already.