This week, droves of recent high school graduates will shed for the first time their childhood bedrooms for cramped dormitories shared with strangers in towns hours away from home.
Along with typical concerns, like making sure they know where classroom buildings are, whether or not they’ve purchased the books they’ll never crack open and where the dining halls are located, these seemingly apprehensive teens also will usher in a flurry worries their parents considered but likely never mentioned.
Atop that list, of course, is sex, drugs and alcohol — and this has nothing to do with a rock 'n' roll music video.
Vulnerable and away from the watchful eye of mom and dad, the recently hatched youngins will find their sex drives ramping up into overdrive. Add some alcohol (and in some cases, drugs) and all hell could break loose.
There is no stopping that college sex drive, but think back to your post-high school era. If it involved college away from home, there’s a good chance that experience included happenings you either forgot or wish you could forget.
Obviously, any column about sex needs to be accompanied with advice suggesting teens practice safe sex. The reality of that happening, though, likely is slim.
To help combat the issues of unprotected sex, colleges around the country have begun hosting Sex Week events.
Surveys suggest college students are not having as much sex as earlier generations, according to this New York Times story.
At Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Sex Week student-organizers say the weeklong event — held in March — includes usual topics of safety and health concerns, but also includes helping students feel more comfortable having sex and feeling sexually fulfilled.
“What our generation is doing is really trying to address these issues in a way that respects individual experiences and beliefs and identities,” Samantha Meier, 23, said in the New York Times story. “And I see Sex Week as a part of that.”
Sex Week began at Yale University in 2002.
”Everyone who was involved in it wanted it to be something relatable and real and challenging, and something that people have to consider,” Eric Rubenstein, 29, said in the New York Times story. Rubenstein was a founder of what then was Campus-Wide Sex Week. “It’s not just talking about your regular topics.”
While Sex Week events have remained mostly politically-free, some have debated the events even being held at colleges.
At Yale this year, a new event was held to offset Sex Week — True Love Week.
It’s safe to assume college campuses can’t ignore that sex is happening, though.
“College classes about sexuality are always fairly academic, they don’t necessarily reflect peoples’ personal experience,” chairwoman of Sex Week at Brown University Aida Manduley said to the New York Times. “We try to balance out the situation.”
What makes today’s campus sex situations potentially worse than previous generations is the amount of hook-ups — one-night stands — that are happening.
In a 2011 study, researchers found that 54 percent of college students surveyed had hooked up, according to ABC News.
"Hooking up is used to describe a sexual encounter (vaginal, anal, or oral sex) between two people who are not in a dating or serious relationship and do not expect anything further," the study says. Most students "describe hook-ups as spontaneous sexual encounters fueled by alcohol that usually unfold without communication about sexual health and consent or protection against sexually transmitted infections."
Of course, alcohol plays a major factor in hooking up, researchers said.
"If you become part of this hook-up subculture, and you go to parties and you drink a lot and you're not fully aware of it, you probably don't have protection, and then you are more likely to engage in risky behavior,” researcher Amanda Holman said in the 2011 ABC News story. “There's more risk than having sex when it's planned."
And we can’t ignore how much easier it is for college kids to hook-up thanks to technology.
GPS-based apps, Craigslist and other websites offer a much easier chance for college co-eds to get laid than heading out to a smoke-filled, loud house party.
College is, after all, about finding yourself.
Have you ever attended Sex Week on a college campus? What do you think of this trend? Share with us your opinion on our Facebook page.
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Like this article? Check out other great pieces from twodaymag’s weekly contributor, Bobby Cherry: