College may be the first time in your life when you feel that you are fully independent; after all, you are living on your own and making your own decisions. College life can be fun, but there are added responsibilities: what you do now will define the trajectory of your life.
First: Maintaining your safety is important.
From parties to drinking, to guys and relationships, this guide will outline what you need to know about navigating this unique time in your life.
You can command respect from a man simply by the way you conduct yourself. When you command respect, you put yourself in a position of power.
If you are wondering, "How do I go about commanding respect from a college guy?" Consider these recommendations for developing your own action plan for achieving respect through your personal dignity, tact, awareness and joy:
So take care, move slowly, size up the candidates and how respectfully they treat you. These clues help you discern better outcomes.
College offers a rich opportunity to meet new friends, harness new and long-term relationships, and be involved in exciting activities. This may be the only time in your life that you are surrounded with so many single, intelligent candidates of such variety and availability. Consider seizing this opportunity - it is one of the gifts of a college education. Also keep in mind the possible dangers - you need to recognize both how to be safe and how to search through this resource all while you are engaged in becoming an educated woman who can function in the world outside this cloister! You have a lot to master. What a challenge! What a reward!
Recognize that the male brain is hard wired to think about sexual connection every few seconds. It seems to be nature's design to ensure survival of species. When you understand these biological principles of male sexual chemistry and brain processing, you can be better prepared to guide guys to court you. Their training, ethics, character building, and other overlays of civilized cultures will show you if they qualify for your time and your energy.
Start with places to go to meet guys:
The party scene can be a fun way to go out with friends, meet new people, and practice your social and flirtation skills. Think of it as a playground for developing your social and conversational skills. Here are some tips to navigate the party scene in a safe, healthy, and fun way.
As a freshman in college "the red zone" begins with your Orientation Week and ends after Thanksgiving Break. During the red zone, you are at a significantly higher risk of being sexually assaulted. Protect yourself against this risk by following some of these rules of thumb.
1. Avoid the appearance of sexual availability to a man with whom you have not yet become friends.
2. If you can't answer these questions, you do not know him. So be very cautious about any suggestions that you are "available" since you have not yet pre-cleared him for safety.
3. Be aware of your surroundings in any situation. If you notice something that doesn't seem quite right, immediately remove yourself from the potentially dangerous situation. Many women who have been assaulted recount in retrospect, "I had a weird feeling about the situation, but I decided to just ignore it". Always trust your gut.
4. Practice using and then carry safety tools. Put them where they can be quickly and easily retrieved in a time of crisis.
5. Take any seminar your school offers on preserving your safety and pay attention! Learn what safety tools they recommend: a cell phone? Pepper Spray? LED flashlight?
If you are sexually assaulted: conduct yourself with courage.
Go directly to the police rather than going through campus police systems if you are sexually assaulted. In the summer of 2014 the news stories kept revealing that college authorities had failed to serve the victim correctly. Many students that have been sexually assaulted have found that pressing charges against the perpetrator through their university was damaging to their life and ineffective. They risk embarrassment, ostracism or worse. And they risk the perpetrator walking away free of charge. If you go through the off-campus police, then you will have a real investigation that is documented. Although this choice will lead you into a more thorough and time consuming investigation, you are more likely to see justice served. And just as important, your courage will help other women avoid the same bad experience.
The Federal Department of Education is working to improve the campus judicial system, which on many campuses is letting athletes and other "assets" to the university get off guilt free for crimes that deserve jail time. Know that the system simply isn't up to par yet and protect yourself.
In summary: First and foremost be aware of surroundings and take precautions to avoid sexual assault. If sexual assault has already happened report it to the police.
Should online dating be used to try and find courtship? Know what you are dealing with. IPhone and Android Apps such as Tinder and Badu are good examples.
Tinder is a "dating" app in which you create a profile with up to 6 pictures and provide a brief description of yourself. Then you select an age and location range and view profiles based on that range. If you "like" a guy on tinder and he "likes" you back, it is a match and you can begin messaging one another.
The great thing about this app: it's quick, it's easy, it's fun, and most importantly, you can Tinder anywhere.
The bad thing about this app: Because Tinder is almost solely based on appearance, it is used as a medium to find quick, easy hookups.
How to Navigate Tinder if you're looking for a relationship: Ignore/block all pick up lines and inappropriate messages. Only "like" people with descriptions that seem attractive to you and have some substance to them. Engage in conversation over the Tinder messenger and accept dates to public places such as cafes for coffee/lunch. If you choose to go on a date with someone from Tinder, plan an escape route should you want to leave in a hurry. Never meet up with a new candidate in a place you cannot freely leave.
Reservations about this App/any online dating medium:
Attraction is based on more than just looks and banter. Biology plays the pivotal role through our pheromone signals. Body chemistry is the silent partner. And you can't tell if you will have chemistry with a person until you meet in person. So avoid spending a significant amount of energy and time into talking to a person just to meet up and feel disappointed.
Want to know more about pheromones? See: Our Pheromones and Sexuality: The Current Research On Human Pheromones and Their Role in Sexual Attraction.
*Many have been hurt by Tinder, but many others are in committed relationships because of this app. If you use it, do so with discretion. Conduct that broadcasts self-respect is a practice that leads to safety at the beginning. *
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Dr. Cutler recommends that whenever you are meeting somebody for the first time or for a first date, arrive independently with separate transportation so you can leave in a hurry if necessary. For more information about how to be safe on first dates see Chapter 5 in her book, Searching for Courtship.
It can be challenging to maintain a positive attitude if things aren't going your way. Here are some tips on how to keep yourself in good graces.
Take responsibility for your choices. Resolve to learn from error. Practice resilience. Do not weigh yourself down by blaming other people and having hatred within you. Move on!
Students often feel lonely. Try a shift of mindset. Think of time alone as an opportunity. As positive solitude. A time to take a break and ready yourself for your next task. (For more information on how to cope with Loneliness see chapter 2 of Dr. Cutler's book- Searching for Courtship)
Spending spiritual, quiet time in community can fulfill your basic human need for interaction, while enhancing your spiritual being. This will develop your well-being and positive attitude.
For more information on getting spiritual and enhancing your qualities of integrity, which readies you to search for courtship, see chapter 2 of Dr. Cutler's book- Searching for Courtship.
Another way to maintain a positive attitude is to follow a social media account that will bring uplifting spurts of positivity into your life. These can be accessed through church websites and many other resources.
To prevent chaos later -- when you set up shared living it helps to agree on some rules to follow. Make sure to put all of these agreed-upon rules in writing while you are still friendly with those that you live with. This practice of negotiating and putting it in writing will help develop your skills with male candidates for courtship too.
Things to consider:
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Please visit our new guide to the medical school admissions process for premeds: Searching For Admission: The Smart PreMed Student's Guide to Applying for Medical School