Ah, the O-mance. You’ve spent the entire month of September stuck at home, launching a strategic Facebook “liking” campaign to win the attention of that special someone in the Class of 2018 group and anxiously reading think pieces about college hookup culture. At last, you arrive on campus and meet each other in person—your time is now!
But on the off chance that your O-week hookup isn’t “The One” and you find the spark fizzling by third week, fear not. Your college years represent a smorgasbord of social, romantic, and sexual opportunity, should you choose to partake. After all, you will most likely never again find yourself surrounded by so many smart, interesting people who are mostly single and, objectively speaking, probably the hottest they’ll ever be.
Sure, you could always join an RSO or play the long game of befriending/seducing your Core Bio lab partner, but this is the 21st century. So, assembled here for you convenience: three of the most millennial “dating” methods on campus.
Looking to anonymously appreciate the cute person who you always see studying on the same floor of the Reg and/or objectify strangers? The Facebook page UChicago Crushes is the perfect venue. Moderated by a mysterious editor who must spend half his/her life keeping up with the steady flow of submissions, it’s unclear how many posts are genuine and how many are written by those masquerading as secret admirers in order to give their friends a self-esteem boost. Either way, now that summer is over and the annoying influx of poems addressed to significant others fighting the long distance blues has eased up, the page is sure to be good for entertainment, at the very least.
If words aren’t your specialty, Tinder replicates the basic experience of meeting people in bars, but in app form. Set your desired age range and location radius to be shown a steady stream of photos from eligible single/bored people in your area. If you and another user both “swipe right” to indicate approval when presented with each other’s profiles, you’ll be matched up and given the opportunity to chat. Perfect for exchanging flirtatious messages with cute grad students on the North Side and screencapping the profile of your Sosc class’s very own That Kid.
Finally, for the bold amongst us, there’s always 2studentbodies.com. Founded by UChicago students and ostensibly a dating site catered towards the populations of various college campuses, the website is more often used by students seeking no-strings-attached hookups and usually caters towards those with kinkier tastes. Though there’s no way of knowing how many users are successful in finding partners with their desired fetishes, the website seems rarely used. Interested parties might be better off joining the RACK, the RSO dedicated to kink culture and BDSM.
But if the Internet betrays you and you find yourself alone, staring into a void of manufactured digital flirting and desperate for a shred of human contact as you struggle to find meaning in the hellscape that is your 20s—and the hellscape that is Chicago the winter— just relax. Romantic entanglements are meant to come at their own pace. And if all else fails, there’s always Bar Night.