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The Dating Game: Students Speak About Relationships

27 Nov

It seems like college students these days are either skeptical or naïve about dating. College is supposed to be the best years of your life, which explains how settling down is the last thing on our minds. There are many opportunities during college for students to mingle and meet new people; whether it be through classes, club organizations, fraternity parties, or just hanging out in the dorms. Some people choose not to have a relationship because they would rather be free to be their own person, It’s common to hear college girls say, “I’m not looking for Mr. Right, I’m looking for Mr. Right now”. Another reason why college students may choose to avoid serious relationships is because they want to focus more on school rather than be distracted by dating. While these are not the only reasons why students stay single during college, these points are very relatable. On the other hand, there are many people who prefer to be in committed relationships because of it offers security and stability. Relationships are beneficial because your significant other could also serve as a reliable support system. This reasoning may lead some students to believe that they’re going to marry their college sweetheart.

When researching this topic I came across a study that was conducted to find out more about love and relationships among college students. Data was taken from 184 undergraduates at a large southeastern university which revealed that 94% of the students have experienced a love relationship. The young undergraduates (age 19 and under) were significantly more likely to believe that love conquers all rather than the older graduates. Current involvement in a love relationship was also significantly associated with this belief. The analysis of the data revealed that one’s relationship status is associated with one’s belief in the power of love to solve all problems. Those who are in a relationship are more likely to believe this notion rather than someone who is single. To find out more about the study click here

Andrew from Loyola said, “I absolutely think two people can make it through college and stay committed. It’s all about trust; if you have a lot of trust and confidence in your partner, then you can make it through anything.”

Jennifer from DePaul said, “It really depends on the person. Some girls are inspired by the “sex and the city” lifestyle and care more about fashion, martinis, and their girlfriends, rather than having a relationship with just one guy.”

Kelly from UIC believes, “Yes, I do think you can have a “romantic” relationship during college because if the connection is there, then your relationship can last despite other distractions that may come with college life.”

John from Columbia stated , “No, any relationship I’ve had since I’ve been in college has ended horribly. Some people are just way to needy and jealous. I don’t have much time for myself because of my course load, so I wouldn’t have time to deal with someone else who needs constant attention. Plus, I like to explore my options.”

Dating can be very tricky. Here are some tips and advice on how to make a relationship last during college: studies come first. Remember, you’re in college to get your Bachelor’s degree not your “MRS.” degree. Your first priority as a college student is to get educated. Help each other out, instead of going out to dinner or a party head to the library and help each other study. Be clear about your motives. College students get in relationships for different reasons. Some people want to be in a lasting relationship while others want flings and one night stands. No matter which category you fall into you need to be clear about what you want in order to avoid one or both of your feelings being hurt. It’s very important that when two people are together, they have the same expectations. Cook for each other. Sure it’s easy to walk to the dining hall and use that great meal plan you’re on however, change it up once in a while and look up easy recipes you can follow (refer back to my post about cheap dates for college couples). Choose to be single? Check out Nakendra’s post about surviving the single life in college

Surviving the Single Life in College :)

4 Nov

Be single. Be happy.

Ahh, it’s that time of year again! Cool air, warm drinks, and the need to snuggle. If you’re single, don’t stress. Society tells us that humans are meant to have close relationships (which you might have learned in your sociology or anthro class), and if we don’t have that, something’s up. Being in college is the time in your life before the real world comes knocking at your door. For some people, this is the best time to get to know yourself and frame your life the way you want it. CCL wants to give you a few reasons to not fret/what to do if you’re single in college.

  1. Concentrate more or your work: You’re in college and I’m sure you knew that, which means there should be many, many hours spent studying. If you have one less person to worry about, you can put that energy towards studying and homework. It’s possible to slack off in school if you’re spending much time with a significant other. Take advantage of this time and make your school your main priority.
  2. Have a “you” day or night: Don’t have a date? That’s cool! People always say, “If you can’t be happy alone, how can you be happy with someone else?” Take yourself to a nice restaurant, take up a hobby, go to the gym, do something. Keeping yourself busy will keep you sane and prevent your mind from wandering.
  3. Make more friends: Sometimes if you’re in a relationship, you spend most of your time with that person. It’s important to build relationships with other for many purposes. These can be personal reasons or since you’re in college, these new friends can help you network for internships, jobs, volunteering, etc.
  4. Make your own decisions: College is a time to be free. You don’t want to have to hear from anyone else. You can be independent and plan out what you want for yourself. It will make you happier in the long run if you learn how to do this now.
  5. Understand the real you: With so many things going on, you could lose sight of who you are as a person. You are more than a college student, athlete, tutor, or whatever you are. It’s extremely vital that you realize that you should not be what you are being molded out to be. It’s better to be yourself and come to terms with who you are. Don’t be defined by your relationships.

Here’s a video from a life/relationship coach about being single in college:

Cheap Dates For College Couples

11 Oct

Is it just me, or have you noticed how a lot of students around the city are wearing t-shirts that say “broke ass college student?” As a “broke ass college student” myself, I can definitely relate. Many students in college choose not work, but those that do tend to only be part-time. As a result,  this can have a big effect on your social life; and if you’re in a  relationship, your significant other may feel this effect as well. Unfortunately, many students use the little money they earn on school, and other basic needs.These are supposed to be the best years of your life, so why not start enjoying them? Don’t let money hold you back!   

With the rising cost of tuition as well as other expenses, living on a budget for a “broke ass college student” can be difficult. On the same note, living in the city can be expensive, but dating doesn’t have to be! Chicago College Life searched for cheap but fun date ideas that you can enjoy with your main squeeze whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or some other occasion..

Check out these free events taking place in the city:

Do you remember the last time you attended the museum? Most museums offer free admission days. Take your honey out for a cultural endeavor, and learn something new on these dates in October:

The Adler Planetarium – October: 12, 19 & 26
The Art Institute of Chicago – October 14, 21, 28 from 5-8 pm
Chicago History Museum – October: 18 & 25
Field Museum October: 13-14, & 19-20
Loyola University Museum of Art – October: 12, 19 & 26
Museum of Contemporary Art – October: 12, 19 & 26
Museum of Science and Industry October: 4-6
Shedd Aquarium – October: 12, 18-19, & 25-26

Do you or your boyfriend/girlfriend have a love for music/free concerts?

Chicago is known for its free music events and inexpensive concerts. Check out Kingston Mines where it is free admission Sunday-Wednesday nights. 21 and over, free as long as you have your student ID. You also can periodically look at the Chicago traveler webpage: http://www.chicagotraveler.com/calendars/chicago-events-calendar.htm which lists all of the upcoming events taking place in the city.

Are you more of a sporty couple?

If you and your significant other are into sports you can always go to your college campus’ recreation center. As long as you both are students there is no cost. Also, many campuses have bowling alleys that offer student discounts.  If you like attending live sporting events many colleges offer student discounts for Chicago Bulls games, Blackhawks games, Fire soccer games, etc. Check with your student activities center to find out more about these deals. Is transportation to these events a problem? Hawkeyes bar and grill  in the UIC area offers rides to the Bears games as well as Blackhawk games for a very low price. The shuttle to the bears game costs $7 and the blackhawks shuttle costs $5.

Do you have a passion for cooking/eating delicious food?

Cook together. Restaurants in the city can be very expensive, take this as an opportunity to bond. Look up recipes online and recreate your favorite meals using inexpensive ingredients. Here is an easy recipe to follow:

Last Minute Lasagna  

All you’ll need is

1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce

30-ounce bags frozen large cheese ravioli, unthawed

1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water

8-ounce bag shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Really set the mood with some inexpensive candles, flowers from your local grocer, and a fancy table cloth.

Another option is to visit the ever so famous Millennium Park. Check out the giant bean and have a picnic in the park!

Are you more into the bar scene?

Check out Anatasia’s feature to find out about drink specials around the city: https://chicagocollegelife.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/man-i-love-college/

Dating on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, you just need to be more creative! Next time you’re walking around the city look at your surroundings, there are many different fun things you can do without breaking the bank.

-Megan

Not Everybody’s Doing It (But How to Stay Protected If You Are!)

1 Oct

College students are often bombarded with statistics regarding their sexual activity. Are you like the majority of students who dismiss what you read?  Do the typical facts presented hold true in your life or do you find the “facts” seem skewed?  The majority of us have been getting information about practicing safe sex thrown at us starting in grade school, so it’s hard not to ignore any new information that comes our way.

Instead of wasting time searching for more mundane statistics to provide to our readers, I decided to go beyond the typical college student resource of Google and speak with a Wellness Center representative at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  In all honesty, I was a bit nervous to go into the Wellness Center at first.  I did not want to be the awkward student looking at pamphlets while the employees stared at me or even worse- judged me!  Also, I feared others would view me as a sex fiend who was just coming in to grab all the free condoms and lube the office had to offer!  Surprisingly, the experience was not bad at all.  Not only was the staff was friendly and knowledgeable, but they actually welcomed me into the office.  I’m sure they understand that a lot of students hold the same viewpoint I had before visiting the Wellness Center.  I told the receptionist about my initial concerns about visiting the center and she jokingly replied, “We aren’t judging students for coming into the Wellness Center.  Get some information.  Take some free condoms and lube- it’s there for a purpose and meant to be taken by our students.”  Hearing her say that was a huge relief!

The Wellness Center provided standard brochures like “Discovering Your Body” and “Sexually Transmitted Diseases.”  However, there were also more interesting ones that related directly to college age students, go figure.  Looking back, I’m actually happy that I dragged myself to the Wellness Center, because I would have never have found out some hard hitting facts.

  1. Ladies, for your birth control to be 99.7% effective like it says on the package, you MUST take it every day within a 30 minute window.

Each active pill’s hormones are only preventing you from ovulating for a maximum of 24 hours.  Increase the time between your daily pills and you increase your chances of becoming pregnant.  Put a reminder in your phone; write it in your planner.  Be safe and responsible by getting yourself in the habit of taking the pill at the same time every day.

2.Mess with the time you take your birth control each day and the pill you think has a 99.7% effectiveness really only has an effectiveness of 92%.

That means you have an 8% chance of becoming pregnant each time you have sex.  Seriously ladies, take your birth control at the same time each day to minimize that chance of becoming pregnant.  8% might seem like a small number, but it is not when it concerns your future and a possible child’s life.

3.Consuming alcohol lowers your body’s ability to ward off infections.

Not only does this increase your chances of catching a cold, but it also means you can have a greater chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.  Think about it- say you have a little alcohol in your system and are feeling frisky.  It’s possible that you and your partner might put the condom on incorrectly or even at all.  In fact, I found out that 70% of sexually active college students admit to having sex while intoxicated and one in five individuals who normally use protection do not when they have sex after drinking.  This supports another statistic I found which explains 60% of sexually active college females who report having an STD contracted the disease in a drunken sexual encounter.

4.STDs can have an incubation period of six months.

This means that from the time you get some STDs like HIV, it might take up to six months to show symptoms (if you contract an STD that shows any symptoms at all.)  Get yourself tested to keep you and your partner safe.

I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times before, but please take your sexual health seriously and practice safe sex to keep yourselves and your partner healthy.

For UIC students, don’t be shy to check out the Wellness Center located in Student Center East.  Visit the website for details on hours, services offered (like free, confidential STD testing and free condoms) and programs offered.

For Loyola students, visit the Wellness Center located in the Doyle Center on the Lakeshore Campus.  Operating hours and links to resources are available on the website.

For DePaul students, visit the Wellness Center at the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center on the Lincoln Park Campus.  Hours, services offered and more information is available on the website.

If you don’t go to these colleges or want an off-campus option to learn about sexual health and get free resources, the city of Chicago has some drop in Specialty STD clinics which offer free condoms and free STD screening.  Check the website for locations, hours and available services.

Have more resources that you want to share?  Leave a comment!

– Ashley

Staff Introductions

17 Sep

Name: Anastasia aka Anamal

Age: 21 years

Hometown: Brookfield

Major: Communications

Minors: Gender & Women Studies and Sociology

Three Random Facts:

  1. There’s nothing I hate more than flies and the word “ca-ca.”
  2. I have a Red Bull and chocolate addiction.
  3. My favorite drinking game is THUMPER.

INSPIRATION FOR WEBSITE: The city can be so overwhelming! After growing up in the suburbs, I was not prepared for the busy lifestyle of Chicago. There are so many deals and free events for students, but I always have a hard time finding discounts that appeal to me. Now that I am 21 yrs old, it has become even more complicated! Therefore, my inspiration for this website was to spread awareness on inexpensive entertainment as well as to provide recommendations on the bars and drink specials for Chicago college students.

Name: Ashley aka Ash or Ashro

Age: 21

Hometown: Hoffman Estates

Major: Communications

Three random facts:

  1. I was born with three kidneys!
  2. I love Bon Jovi & know all the lyrics to his songs!
  3. I know it’s bad, but I still have never learned how to swim!

INSPIRATION FOR WEBSITE: From an early age, I knew I wanted to get out of the suburbs and live in Chicago!  Choosing to go to college in the city was one of the best decisions that I have made.  I loved every minute of exploring and getting familiar with the city, but I wish I had more information about different neighborhoods and places to check out that were not recommendations from my RA.  My inspiration for this website is to provide college students with information about their new home away from home that will help them get out and explore the city in between living the hectic life that comes along with being a college student!

Name: Megan aka Malibu or Blondie

Age: 23

Hometown: Chicago

Major: Communications

Three random facts:

  1. I am overly obsessed with Halloween especially coming up with original costumes!
  2. I have a fear of pigeons
  3. I somehow am able to hold 3 jobs and be a full time student

INSPIRATION FOR WEBSITE: The creation of this website was very important to me. When I entered college I had NO idea what I was in for. I am the first of my siblings to attend college so I really had no guidance. As time went on I learned about cheap ways to buy books, learned great places around the city to study, and many other valuable tools to get me through my college career. With this site I hope to give you information that I wish I had received, I will write about topics and issues that us college students deal with everyday.

Name: Nakendra aka Pooh, Kenny, or Nicky

Age : 21

Hometown: Chicago

Major : Communications

Minor : African-American Studies

Three random Facts:

  1. I’m a Lady Gaga addict.
  2. I love chocolate, chocolate flavored foods, foods with chocolate in them, fudge, chocolate frosting, etc.
  3. I intern for WGN Morning News.

INSPIRATION FOR WEBSITE: I truly appreciate being in school and the opportunities that come my way. I was born and raised in the city of Chicago and am currently a senior at UIC. I believe that it’s important for students to have resources available to them to have a successful college career. It’s also important to have a social life while in college. These are, after all, the best years of your life! I love going to different restaurants, museums, and just strolling around downtown on beautiful days.  Ice skating at Millennium Park is cool (no pun intended) in the winter too.  Enough about me though; I hope you guys reading our blog will enjoy it and use it to your fullest extent! Enjoy your college years! They fly by pretty fast.

Name: Rima aka Mima 

Age: 22

Hometown: Chicago

Major: Communications

Minor: International Studies

Three Random Facts:

  1. I hate chocolate, fruit, and cheese in all its productions
  2. I know a singer who looks identical to me
  3. I’m a pro at hookah

INSPIRATION FOR WEBSITE: In college, you “live your life.”  It’s true only if you actually know how.  As a senior-international student,the unfamiliar conversations that were disclosed between my peers have led me to Google anything. My life off-campus has restrained me from opportunities to join any kind of sports,organizations or clubs. I don’t want other students to have to go through the same process of Google-ing everything the same way I did; I also want to advise students on how much they are missing out for living off-campus. Instead this blog will provide some insight that I never had!

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