How to date at Calvin College

For purposes of greater clarity, I shall divide this topic into two parts. Freshman and sophomore year in one group and junior and senior year in another. I do this for two reasons: a) because this is the typical divide between living on campus and living off-campus and b) Freshman and sophomore year you are aurrounded by people pressuring you to act in certain ways (dorm life is the greatest conformer ever). I am also, in this post, identifying the average experience; I’m not interested in exceptions to the rule or what the outsiders do. And, of course, this is merely a rough sketch which I shall hopefully have the opportunity to fill in more later.

Freshman/sophomore year:

  • one of the major things I remember from Quest (that’s the second level of orientation, for all you non-Calvinites) was the this piece of advice that we all were given: Break up with the gf/bf you have back home. Many heed that advice (except for the rebel outsiders).
  • The first floor date is a major deal freshman year. While it has all the awkwardness and lameness of a youth group outing, the girls at least make a big deal of it.
  • Most Calvin students come from Christian schools and conservative Christian backgrounds. This means that there is no casual dating. From the first official Facebook “In a Relationship” announcement it is assumed that you two will marry if you are together for more than a year.
  • “Dates” will take the form of going to the dining hall together, dorm banquets, movie nights (with all your friends) in you beloved’s dorm room or dorm basement and Calvin events.
  • Favorite make-out spots: The Hiemenga Hall courtyard (for those more daring), the corner of the stairwell in the dorms, the Sem. pond and in the dorm lobby where you think that the deskie can’t see you (hint: they may not be able to see you if you are up against the metal mailboxes, but the sounds you make will be magnified).

Junior/Senior year:

  • There is still no such thing as casual dating and if you and your beloved have been involved for more than a year an engagement ring is coming soon.
  • You will host dinner parties at your off-campus residence (or on-campus apt) and you will invite other couples you know
  • You might try, out of the both of yours’ desperation, to hook up your best friend. All contacts with the opposite sex start taking on a more desperate tone if you are single.
  • Dates may now take the form of off-campus events such as dinners, movies and ice skating.
  • You should start planning the wedding. And don’t even think about asking that girl out if you aren’t gonna propose, mister!
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