When I read articles like this one, I feel like a crotchety old person. Kids today, I want to say. Except that I know that the kids today are pretty much like the kids yesterday, that the class of 2013 isn’t much different than the class of 2012, or 2002, or 1992.
They think they’re busy, but unless they are working their way through college, they’re probably not. Work is work. Work is a commitment. Running the Model UN club or the school newspaper is not, not really. I know, because I had three jobs to pay my bills, was editor of the newspaper and the president of a student club, did research with a professor, and never would have dreamt of uttering these words, “If I’m sober, I’m working.” But I certainly know people who would have, people who don’t recognise that privilege is a privilege.
But that’s all tangential, the too-busy-to-have-a-relationship-so-instead-I-need-a-fuck-buddy argument. What we’re really talking about here is choice: the arrogance of believing you have so many choices, the naivete of thinking you’re leaving yourself open when in actuality you’re limiting yourself just as surely as if made the opposite decision, i.e., only wanting the serious relationship. The last one first: Look, I don’t think much of people who get married at 21, to the first person they ever slept with (and given some of the doofuses in my newsroom who are presently engaged, kissed). They’re missing out on a lot of growing up and being selfish. But to say you can’t possibly have a serious relationship because you’ve got too much going on, that’s just as doctrinaire and equally limiting. The beauty of being in college is that, frequently, you don’t have to choose. You get to do what you want to do, hook-up, date, join the Model UN. And, seriously, no one is going to give you a job because of the latter.
But that leads to the first: It won’t always be this way. The older you get, the fewer choices you have. The classes of 2012, 2002, 1992, their options progressively are narrowing. They’ve gone down a career path, gotten married, stayed single, and over time, those decisions have become more constricting and the stakes higher. If you decide to stop hooking up with the guy in the next dorm over, really, who cares? If you decide after 10 years and three kids to get divorced, the consquences are a teensy bit greater. So, for fucks sake, stop grousing, stop moping, stop giving blow jobs if you find them demeaning. Enjoy your freedom, your options, your opportunity.