As seen through the number of Tindur posts, Durham is certainly a place where people are looking for someone, be it for love or a hook-up.
Freshers Week was an almost lucid dream of making new friends, nerves, and late nights accompanied by (you guessed it) alcohol and high expectations. Along with the reality of being thrust into the adult world, the added pressure that is a part of university culture can be quite intimidating. Score charts of ‘pulls’, competitions to get a hook-up, and the temptations of Tinder (and Tindur) create this false image of a raging sex-focused group of people. However, this simply is not true. People are much more interested in making friendships and relaxing – which quite possibly is more enjoyable in the long run. From personal experience making toasties with flatmates, watching movies and talking into the night feels so much more rewarding than trying to pull every night out.
Increasing the conversation around the effects of the ‘hook-up culture’ will create a more open environment where sex, and sexual violence, is widely discussed and the issues dealt with. A study has revealed that one in five women and one in sixteen men are sexually assaulted on campus– a staggering statistic that highlights the need for greater education and discussions around consent, healthy attitudes to sex, and a movement away from a ‘hook-up culture’.
Your worth is not determined by the number of people that you ‘pull’ or hook-up with and you should never feel pressured into either of these things. You are at university – it is a time to work on you.
It’s important to take the time to focus on what you want for yourself – relationships can be incredible but don’t fall into one because in some form you feel it ‘necessary’. University is a place of growth and self-discovery; there has never been a better time to try things out like new sports and hobbies. It is a brand-new experience so throw yourself in and don’t fret about finding ‘the one’. Although it may seem like everyone and their grandmother has found that special person who makes them feel incredible – that is not the case and you should not feel the pressure of hunting this person down so early into term and your university career.
Be safe, throw yourself into everything, and most importantly enjoy yourself.