For incoming freshmen, college hookup culture can feel like a huge question mark with three options: have some one-night-stands, find the person you're going to marry, or never kiss a soul. While the social atmosphere is different at every school, love, sex and dating (and questions about all three) are a part of many students' college experiences, right alongside being challenged academically and learning incredible new ways to think about the world.
We asked HuffPost editors to weigh in on what they wish they knew about sex, love and dating in college -- and how to remain true to yourself throughout good, bad and plain old weird times.
Here are 25 things everyone should know about love, sex and dating in college:
1. It's worth spending the time to find someone special -- don't rush into having sex if you're not ready or are just trying to "get it over with."
2. Dance floor makeouts at parties can end at dance floor makeouts. They don't have to go anywhere else. (And they can also be incredibly fun.)
3. If you have a roommate, be communicative with her or him about your needs -- including your need for privacy sometimes. And respect your roommate's needs as well.
4. Anyone who pressures you into having sex is not someone you want to spend your time with. Goodbye.
5. Be vocal about your wants and needs in bed, because your sexual satisfaction matters.
6. Dating should be a fun learning experience, where you learn things both about yourself and what you want in a partner.
7. If you decide to date someone, remember to make friends on your own in addition to the ones you share as a couple. A relationship is always better when you have a life outside of it.
8. It's OK to take things slow.
9. It's also OK to take things "fast." It's all about what you want and need.
10. You're not a loser if you don't leave the party with someone. Sometimes, going home and watching Netflix in bed alone is 100 times better.
11. Talk to someone if you have a sexual encounter that makes you feel uncomfortable.
12. Sexual assault is NEVER. YOUR. FAULT.
13. Not having a serious romantic relationship during college is totally fine.
14. Having one is great, too. You do you!
15. Throw out the phrase "walk of shame." Having consensual sex isn't shameful. Make it a "stride of pride!"
16. If you're curious about threesomes or other nontraditional forms of intimacy, college is the perfect time to experiment in a safe way. (Again, open communication is key.)
17. Take care of yourself -- don't feel awkward about going to the doctor for birth control or getting tested for an STI. It's all part of owning your body.
18. Sex is supposed to be fun. If it stops being fun with someone, stop doing it.
19. Everyone talks about sex a lot in college, but really, not everyone is having it. Don't feel bad or weird if you're not.
20. It's totally OK to enter college a virgin. It's totally OK to leave college a virgin. Your decisions are your own -- you don't need to answer to anyone else.
21. Always use protection. You'll be glad you did.
22. Your friends are great sources of advice, but it can be helpful to talk to a professional if you have questions about birth control, protection, or mental health issues -- or if you're in an abusive relationship or have been sexually assaulted. Make sure to familiarize yourself with your campus' student health services.
23. You don't have to have sex with someone to make them like you. And if you think someone won't like you just because you don't want to have sex, then you should probably rethink liking them.
24. Remember: You will meet single people after you graduate! And they might be cool! If it happens in college, it happens; if it doesn't, it's no big deal. Don't force anything.
25. College is a time to meet other people, but remember that it's also a time to find yourself. So live it up because YOCO (you only college once).
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