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Dating in College: Expectation vs. Reality

Dating in College: Expectation vs. Reality

College is viewed in a completely different way before and after you attend. While kids and teenagers envision a place where they can run wild and free, adults look back at it as a valuable experience where they learned the necessary lessons to prepare for life. The reality is somewhere in the middle.

Dating has its own misconceptions, and dating in college gets even crazier. If you’re looking for real talk about sex, dating, and love in college, look no further. Here’s the perception and reality of dating in college.

1. Finding the One

Expectation: 

    Kids have this vision of a perfect person. They’re not looking for just any mate–they’re looking for that perfect soul mate. After hearing every set of parents discuss how they met and fell in love, kids have a perception that their ideal fantasy hook-up can and will happen.

    Reality: 

      Hindsight is 20/20. When adults reflect back on how they fell in love with their partner, they tell you an abbreviated 10-minute version of a story that took them 20 years (multiply by 525,600 to see how many minutes) to live through. They’re leaving out the parts where they desperately fantasized about celebrities or the popular girls in school. Real people are much different–keep your expectations in check.

      2. Sexting

      Expectation: 

        When you get someone’s number, you get excited, no matter how cool you try to act. You want to imagine the other person being equally giddy to hear from you. You start with some flirty messages, and the next thing you know, you’re sending nudes and suggestive texts. If they respond, they must be into it.

        Reality: 

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          Sexting is awkward. The least sexy thing I can do is play on my phone. Trying to replicate a sexual experience through text is a waste of time and it makes everyone uncomfortable. Save it for the date.

          3. Romance

          Expectation: 

            Now that everyone’s a mature adult over the age of 18, you imagine having creative and romantic encounters with mature college men and women. These are the cream of our nation’s crop, so they’ll have their act together and know how to treat you right.

            Reality: 

              College guys are selfish and ignorant, while the girls are clumsy and awkward. Nobody knows what they’re doing. They are all still just students, albeit older ones. Thirty-year-olds looks back at their college selves the same way college students looks back at their preteen selves.

              4. The First Kiss

              Expectation: 

                All the Hollywood movies make it look like the first kiss is the most important indicator of whether or not a relationship will last. So much pressure is put on that first kiss, and you want to see fireworks like you’ve always heard.

                Reality: 

                  You don’t realize how bad college students are at kissing until you kiss them. Kiss enough of them, and you’ll get better. Unfortunately, they’ll still try too hard to replicate what they’ve seen in the media and on the Internet.

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                  5. College Girls

                  Expectation: 

                    College girls are real women. These strong, smart, and sophisticated women must be like the ones on Sex and the City. You’re no longer dealing with the misguided and annoying teenage girls you grew up with–you’re in the big leagues.

                    Reality: 

                      These “women” may sound intelligent (and are likely quoting something they learned in their freshman Sociology class about how they are), but they’re every bit the same mess you are. They’re out of their parents’ house for the first time, and they’re learning how to act. It takes baby steps to maturity, and they’re not even close, no matter what some guy told them to get in their pants.

                      6. College Guys

                      Expectation: 

                        Tired of all those silly boys trying to lie their way into your pants, you’ve finally reached college–a place where you can date real men. These men are intelligent, witty, and sophisticated. It’s so refreshing to be surrounded by scholars and academics. Finally you can have an intelligent conversation with like-minded people who like you for your brains instead of your body.

                        Reality

                          The only thing worse than walking by those ignorant construction workers making cat calls at you is walking by a frat house. College guys are as sophisticated as a Twinkie. They may have ambition and all these great ideas, but they’re none of those things they say they are–they just aspire to be. The odds of them actually achieving these goals are slim, and they’re grossly unprepared to rise above the flock. Also, guys of every age are just trying to get in your pants; some are just willing to treat you like a human being to get there.

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                          7. First Date

                          Expectation: 

                            Dating is so exciting–from dinner and a movie to attending a festival or event, each date is an adventure that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Every detail has to be planned and perfect. You’re going to have such a great time.
                            Reality: 

                              A movie will set you back $20, dinner is another $50, and you’ll waste a quarter tank of gas traveling between the two. Everything costs money these days, and popular date ideas are even more expensive. If you’re lucky enough to have a job while in school, it doesn’t pay well. If you want to afford that lifestyle, you better start selling your plasma…or drugs…

                              8. Sex Life

                              Expectation:

                              couple bed

                                The colleges and universities on TV are filled with beautiful people attending huge parties and orgies. You may have left high school a virgin, but when you get to college, you’re going to get laid all the time. It’ll be exciting!

                                Reality: 

                                  You’re still you. If you lack confidence and common sense, you’re going to have just as hard a time getting laid in college as you did in high school. Your crush is dating a professor by the time you build the nerve to talk to her. If you’re lucky enough to hook up with someone, you probably sucked at it, and you’re unlikely to get a call back.

                                  9. The Morning After

                                  Expectation:

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                                    Having finished a wild night of passion, you just want to relax and lay next to someone. Maybe they’ll cuddle up a little bit, but not so much that you feel smothered. Who would’ve thought you’d bump into a successful music producer or investor at a party? You were drunk, but you managed to land a dime.

                                    Reality:

                                    what did i do

                                      Is this person male or female? What did I drink last night? It was a bad idea to snort coke off a stripper’s stomach. I gotta get outta here. Wait, I live here–I need to get them out of here before my roommates wake up.

                                      10. The End

                                      Expectation: 

                                        Maybe we’ll get married and start a family. If not, we’ll end things amicably and remain friends for the rest of our lives.

                                        Reality:

                                        hate everything

                                          Featured photo credit: PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com

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                                          Last Updated on March 14, 2019

                                          7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                                          7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                                          Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

                                          For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

                                          Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

                                          1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

                                          A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

                                          It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

                                          It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

                                          How it helps you:

                                          If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

                                          Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

                                          2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

                                          Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

                                          Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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                                          How it helps you:

                                          Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

                                          Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

                                          If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

                                          Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

                                          3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

                                          Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

                                          Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

                                          How it helps you:

                                          This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

                                          For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

                                          Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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                                          A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

                                          4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

                                          To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

                                          A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

                                          How it helps you:

                                          One word: hierarchy.

                                          All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

                                          In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

                                          If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

                                          5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

                                          Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

                                          Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

                                          How it helps you:

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                                          Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

                                          If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

                                          This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

                                          6. What do you like about working here?

                                          This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

                                          Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

                                          How it helps you:

                                          You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

                                          Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

                                          Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

                                          7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

                                          What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

                                          As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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                                          How it helps you:

                                          What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

                                          First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

                                          Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

                                          Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

                                          Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

                                          Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

                                          Making Your Interview Work for You

                                          Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

                                          Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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                                          Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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