1. How did alcohol or other mind altering substances affect your relationship activities during college if at all?
Alcohol plays a large role in relationships and sex during college. It alters your judgement and can blind reality temporarily. People let loose when they are drinking and it can cause them to make decisions that they would not have made had they been sober. For me personally, anytime I attended a party or social event there was always alcohol, so it was hard to avoid. Throughout the majority of my college experience I had serious relationships, so I never encountered hooking up with a random person after drinking at a party. Although, I will say, in my serious relationships, when alcohol was involved, arguments were more likely to happen due to one of us saying or doing something that we normally would not. The one experience I had with the individual I had just met did involve alcohol as well. Had I not been drinking at the time I can guarantee I would have not had sex with him. In that moment, I just thought so many girls do this, so why not. I had a carefree mentality due to drinking. My normal thought processes were altered and I was not thinking logically.
2. Looking back over your college and post-college life did you ever experience nonconsensual sex? If so, did it happen during a hookup, date or other situation? Was alcohol or other substances involved?
I have never experienced nonconsensual sex.
3. What would you say are the differences (if any) between your college and post-college relationship lives? Did your relationship life in college affect it afterward and if so how?
There are several differences between my college and post-college relationships. First, the maturity level is completely different. Entering college, I was only 18 and it was the first experience of freedom and responsibility that I had. I still had a lot of maturing to do and my priorities were not completely aligned. In the relationship I had in the beginning of my college experience, we kind of grew apart in the aspect of a relationship. We were great friends, but we were experiencing college differently. I was enrolled at MTSU and constantly meeting new people and taking on the full “college experience” life; while my boyfriend at the time did not think school was the right choice for him and spent most of his time traveling and taking part in outdoor adventures (which was completely fine, school is not for everyone, but we were both just young, immature 18 year olds). The maturity level is completely different in my post college relationship… I say relationship singularly because I have been with my current boyfriend since the end of my junior year of college until now. Just comparing our first two years of our relationship, to the past year that I have been out of college have been different. Being around the college culture, the parties, the irresponsibility, gives college students a different mindset than post graduates. After graduation, you step into the real world and you have an adult schedule and more responsibilities to take care of. You stop caring about going out or pulling all-nighters, sleep and the home life becomes more of an importance; therefore, the maturity level shifts. Also, during college my goals were different than post graduate goals, which, in turn, made a difference in my relationships. In my undergrad, my goals were mainly oriented around my academics and health, and less about building a family and life with someone. Yes, I had a few serious relationships during college, but with my mind not focused on marriage and families at the time, obviously the relationship did not last. I was not ready for that kind of commitment and with my strong focus on my academic goals (like getting into Vanderbilt), I did not put as much energy into the long term of the relationship… even if we did date for a while. After college, though, my goals are more oriented towards building a strong foundation with someone and eventually starting a family. I still have academic goals as I complete ultrasound school, but with maturity and age, goals tend to shift in different directions that impact relationships