何毓琦的个人博客分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/何毓琦 哈佛(1961-2001) 清华(2001-date)

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American Youth on US College life (7a)

已有 7093 次阅读 2009-12-13 09:08 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:海外观察

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This is seventh in a series of articles on American college life by my grandson Daniel Kim

Comment from a reader: “Thanks a lot for the sharing. I think one big difference between the US students and the Chinese students is the opinion toward sex and girlfriend/boyfriend relationship. I am not sure whther it is proper to talk about this topic here. But I do think that this is a topic many people are interested in.”
 
This comment was left on one of my earlier posts and I promised to address it in a separate article. That was some time ago. I apologize for taking so long to get back, usually I will respond or write an article quickly, but this one topic is very difficult. As for whether or not it is proper to talk about this topic here, the purpose of these articles is for Chinese students who are coming to the US, to ask an American student about life as a student in the US. This falls under that category so do not worry. I will try and answer any questions to the best of my ability. That is why I am here.
           My personal opinion is that for the most part, college students in the United States aren’t looking for girlfriend/boyfriend relationships. People tend to go out with each other on a basis of whether or not they like each other. I also noticed that many people ask my grandfather for advice and that they seemed concerned with finding an ideal life partner. I can tell you now with utmost certainty that very few American college students enter relationships with ANY thought of marriage. So I would say then that the attitude towards sex and relationships is more laid back and less serious. It is not uncommon for students to have “hookups” which can range from kissing to sex but purely for physical enjoyment. These hookups are not done for relationships or girlfriend/boyfriend, it is, as I said, supposed to be purely physical. The attitude is, you are young, you are trying new things, and it is too early to start thinking about marriage or long term relationships. So many students just try to sample what they can.
           Another point I should make is that sexual orientation is broad in America. There are many openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual students. It takes an open mind, because even here, there are still many people who are unaccepting of gays and lesbians. If you are uncomfortable with this, I would suggest you work it out or maybe go to a more conservative college. I am not here to judge one way or the other; it’s just something to keep in mind.
           Lastly, while I have said that the general attitude is pretty free in America, there are still people who do look for relationships in college. So if you are looking do not despair. I would advise that you just make sure from the start what you are getting into. It would be undesirable for someone to like someone else who sees the other merely as a casual encounter. But there are no set ground rules or definite advice that I can give you that will work in every situation. As they say, “All’s fair in love and war.”


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