Duke Forum

freshman expectations

As a freshman girl, I came to Duke with initial reservations about the “hookup culture” here. After reading an article in “Rolling Stone” that describes Duke as a school in which serious relationships don’t exist and random sex and hookups are prevalent, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to create the kind of relationship that I would want. After being here for a semester, I’ve realized that although that sort of “hookup culture” mentality does exist heavily at Duke, you can take what you want from it.

Yes, I met my boyfriend at a frat party. Yes, we went to Shooters the first time we hooked up and yes, we made out on the dance floor. But, even though it’s not common, there is a way to progress from that. Recently, we discussed how at Duke it is much more intimate to hold hands on the quad than it is to have sex with someone. Although I’ve been reassured by friends and peers to “enjoy my freshman year” and not deal with the “baggage of a boyfriend,” I’m happy with my decision to go against the grain and have a relationship that actually means something.

-Freshman Female

Do freshmen arrive at Duke with a clear notion of and willingness to participate in the hookup culture, or are they influenced upon arrival?