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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

Jessie Borkan | College Is As College Does

What is it about Halloween that somehow makes everybody get it on? Maybe it's the intense sugar high combined with the anonymity of wearing a costume. Maybe it's the fact that it falls right on the two-months-at-college mark or that the weather is just cold enough for people to get cozy. Whatever the reason, Halloween hits, and suddenly campus becomes "The Real World: Medford." We all start finding out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real, and this generally translates into a lot of making out.

My freshman year, I was out of town for a wedding over Halloween, and when I returned, I discovered that I had missed the ultimate weekend of love (or rather ... lovin'). Everyone I knew had gotten together during the two-and-a-half days I was away. Was this a result of the exorbitant number of scantily clad girls dressed up as "slutty literally-any-noun-here," I wondered, or just a product of half a semester of sexual tension mixed with a little jungle juice and a lot of parties? I was bamboozled but have since realized that Halloween isn't that crazy a phenomenon — it's simply the culture of college hookups we've always lived with, magnified several dozen times by large amounts of candy and booze.

This week, I'm challenging everyone to get with someone. This may sound suspiciously similar to the mantra you've probably heard every weekend since puberty from your frat brothers/BFFs/housemates/(mom?)/older siblings, but I mean it a little differently — I mean do it sober. Do it during the day. Go up to that cute girl you always see after class and lay one on her. OK, so maybe don't do that (Did you GO to In the SACK!?), but talk to her. Give your number to that guy who always makes your sandwiches at Hodgdon. You know that hottie in your group project? Flirt unabashedly.

Don't wait until you accidentally-on-purpose run into each other at a party after you're both three beers in and acting drunker than you are and then hope that there is enough social lubrication and covert amorous intent in the air to make something happen. If it does, then you two can finally … what? Avoid each other completely? Pretend it didn't happen, or at the very least, that you don't remember it? Actually not remember it? Awesome, sounds like the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

All this coy and emotionally guarded ridiculousness isn't getting anyone anywhere. We shouldn't have to be drunk to say how we feel, and we certainly shouldn't require a dark, or worse, black-lit environment to express interest in another human being. You know how I said last week that this campus isn't friendly enough? Well, now I'm saying it's not flirty enough. How many famous love stories start with an inebriated hookup? Not that many, unless you aspire to be Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain (or a very pregnant Katherine Heigl). Great love (or even like) begins with an honest admission of attraction, and while I have accepted that romantic comedies do not equal real life, I would still love to see our hookup culture, if it must remain as that, become a little classier (and a lot less alcohol dependent).

So Tufts, I want you to figure out who it is you were hoping to bump into this weekend and then make a point of bumping into him or her this week. Go out there and make it happen, and do it totally sober, with natural lighting, even. Use a Tufts-themed pick-up line if you must (Hey, what are the chances of NQR coming early this year?) and know that the manner in which you have just approached the opposite sex is more original than your Sarah Palin Halloween costume. Don't get me wrong, party hard this weekend. Just maybe this year, instead of a wingman, bring a date.


Jessie Borkan is a junior majoring in psychology. She can be reached at

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