It is only in my last year here that I have noticed that UCSB is a world of its own. The fact that I haven’t “gone home for the weekend” for the past three years has given me a chance to observe the way people interact in this world. The challenge lies in not getting sucked into the modes of thought operating behind these instances. Let me explain.
When I walk to class, most of what I hear is, “Dude, are you gonna go to that party Saturday night?” or “I got so wasted/high/danced naked for 50 people on a table,” or “So who are you gonna hook up with tonight?” or even just “Duuuuuude.” OK, I’ve only heard the table comment once, minus the table and the dancing. But you get the general idea: Students are centered on altered states of consciousness and sex. Yes, I said sex – that should hold your attention, at least for a bit.
People are focused on sex to an extreme here. It motivates people to meet each other, to go out and to dress provocatively. I used to be more social and try to meet people before I realized that people only want to meet you if they think you’re attractive and fancy a chance at ending up in your knickers. That’s the reason I don’t pay much attention to the male population at this campus. I want to meet people and expand my mind, not talk with people focused narrowly on sex. Because that’s all I hear — sex, sex, sex. It’s everywhere. What is this big obsession? I can understand enjoying sex and wanting to have sex, but the way that people are constantly talking about it makes me roll my eyes and huff impatiently.
I find it sad that people think sleeping with many partners or hooking up randomly is something good. It is so ingrained in the fabric of student thinking that it was hard for me to shake off during my freshman year. There is nothing cool about sexually transmitted diseases. I’m not jealous of the fact that you’re more likely to get herpes than I am. I’d rather have sex with someone with whom I share a connection, not some hot guy who won’t remember my name in a few days.
Perhaps this is the elderly bit of me blooming early, but I am not impressed with the whole business. You slept with some random person last night after getting wasted? That’s supposed to be something to which I’d like to aspire? Wearing low-cut jeans so that everyone can see your unmentionables is desirable? I assure you, it most certainly is not.
I can’t tell you how many ass cracks and thongs I have seen in the past year. People, you look ridiculous. Pull up your damn pants. And what is it with these thongs that are customized so as to let you pull the strings up above your jeans? Why are you showing me your underwear? Am I supposed to compliment the piece of string in between your butt cheeks? I’ve felt the same way with guys and their low-slung pants with boxers – what is cool about having to constantly pull up your pants? “It’s the style.” Well, I’m obviously behind on the times, then. I’d rather be fully dressed than look “cool,” thanks.
I’m almost out of school, but I felt maybe it would be appropriate to dispense some advice to any remaining students that will listen: Re-think what you’re doing. Having multiple sex partners just makes you a likelier candidate for pregnancy and uncomfortable diseases. Dressing provocatively is not going to help you when you’re applying for a job after you graduate. Or hell, maybe it will if you’ve got a sleazy boss. But this is really the time for you to be trying to learn more – if not about academics, then at least about yourself. A person is not defined only by their sexual conquests, but also by their mind. Get the most out of your time here – and don’t forget to pull up your pants.
Briyanna Maatuk is a senior mathematics and economics major.