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Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years ago

A work in progress....

They say that the quality of your life is the quality of your relationships. The relationship that will most likely have the greatest impact on your life is the one that you will share with a significant other. Since this is a topic that affects nearly everyone, I feel that it will be an appropriate subject for my final paper. Due to such major variables like social freedom, new sense of independence, and easy accessibility of alcohol, relationships in college tend to be the most unpredictable, delicate, and hopefully meaningful. I want my final paper to argue that college is “where the action happens,” so to speak. I think the rest of the world needs to understand why college kids do what they do. I believe that there is a misconception by older and younger individuals that college is just a place where men and women just run around throwing moral and sexual caution to the wind. I say, that these men and women are discovering themselves, and ultimately looking for that “special someone,” whether they want to admit it or not.

To help people better understand the dynamic or people’s intimate relationships in college, it will be advantageous to realize that today’s generation of young people have new standards for relationships, which are often vaguely defined and loosely translated. To an outsider, this can be utterly confusing. An older generation would view some of these standards as morally flexible at best. Every generation pushes the boundaries of social acceptability. Every generation of boys and girls will do what their parents don’t want them to do. The graph of adolescent social unacceptability is a linear concept with the slope at a constant incline. Every generation is going to do things that their parents wouldn’t do. With respect to this concept, an old man is going to think the behavior of his great granddaughter is way more outrageous than the behavior of his own daughter. But by the same token, from the daughter’s perspective, the behavior of the great granddaughter is not going to seem quite as outrageous as the old man believes because the daughter grew up with a different set of social standards. My point is, that social taboos are based on a sliding scale; it completely depends on who’s perspective you are looking at. To better help the old man understand my argument that college is not just a brothel of immorality and sin, my final paper will include definitional arguments of the latest social definitions. For instance, a word like “girlfriend” does not translate today as it did fifty years ago. By no means am I under the impression that my paper is going to justify every morally questionable action of every college student, nor will it cause every old man to suddenly approve of his granddaughter’s dating practices, but I do want to provide them with the knowledge that may help to explain why college students may act the way they do.

Studies show that the loneliest of all Americans are between the ages of 18 and 26 (Nicolino). This helps suggest that at this age is when people begin to feel the need for support of a significant other. My paper will discuss college relationships on all levels. This includes everything from the infamous one night stand, to the sanctity of a monogamous relationship. I will also discuss reasons for which these particular relationships develop or tragically end. There will include psychological research to support my theories. There will be examples of different relationship dynamics to better explain ideas. Being a topic that baffles most people outside the 18-25 age group, I feel that it is important to explain why college is where today’s youth will flourish, mature, and hopefully develop a meaningful, lasting relationship.

Alcohol will certainly play a major role in the explanation of college behavior. It’s accessibility and mass consumption on college campuses explains many social behaviors (Fischer, Fitzpatrick, Cleveland, Lee: Binge Drinking). The pressure for students to fit in causes them to consume alcohol and often times make poor social decisions. People tend to base their self-esteem on other people’s approval (Fischer, Fitzpatrick, Cleveland, Lee: Doing Gender). They believe that if everyone else is drinking, they have to as well, or they won’t fit in. It is situations like these that lead to occurrences of random “hook ups” or even “one nigh stands.” In a national survey, 40% of women said they have experienced a hook up, and 10% said they have done so more than six times (Hill). It is difficult to determine if these events are a step forward or a step back in one’s path in finding a significant other in college. Some people say that the sweet isn’t as sweet without the sour. They say that you’re going to have to kiss a few toads before you find your prince. Some say that you need to experience these poor relationships so that you are better prepared for when you do find a deep and meaningful relationship. That’s what college is all about; kissing a few toads before you find your prince.

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