*Disclaimer: this is just my opinion and my reflections solely stem from my own personal experiences.*
Thank you for this article. I agree with the individual above, that having access doesn't directly imply that utilizing these services is "enjoyable." However, by utilizing those services, I argue that the "enjoyment" factor is obsolete -- by consuming it and constantly seeking it out, they are services that are expected and ultimately vital to sustain their casual hookups.
Additionally, there is a major difference between witnessing partying/hookup culture via the media versus actually engaging in this lifestyle. Just because you are in college does not mean there is an even playing field -- in fact, the only time this may be leveled is when you are sitting at graduation with your fellow classmates -- y'all will have a degree from the same institution.
As a low-income, first generation male student of color at a "prestigious" university, I would absolutely characterize my HS mindset with that of Mercedes -- however, I solely withheld from this culture in HS to ensure I would actually make it to college (like she echoes). Once in college, I planned on fully engaging in this lifestyle -- despite my low-income status, I did in fact join a fraternity and enjoyed it immensely. I bring this up, because adding another layer of "equalization" (me in a fraternity with high-income students at the same University), my college experience dramatically differed from 99% (the one of other male on financial aid out of 65 guys) of my fraternity brothers across a myriad of factors. I held a part-time job (30 hours, not work study) every semester of college, maintained internships in 4 semesters (to build my own networking prospects since I didn't inherit contacts via family name like my brothers), and actually paid my entire fraternity costs. Despite these additional barriers, I fully enjoyed my experience and was one of the few graduating seniors who earned a professional career opportunity aligned with their studies (I find this important considering the landscape of our economy and the struggles college graduates have).
I mention this because of those individuals who did not get hired, because of their privileged socio-economic means, this was not catastrophic or remotely concerning. In fact, having graduated in 2011, only a handful of actually have a job to this day (many still live in our college town and party at least 5x a week). If you have the privilege to be supported by your family financially, can return home to your family post-college, or the freedom of mind to not worry about being unemployed (if I wasn't hired, I'd be on the streets because my family simply cannot support me with 3 younger siblings), this reinforces why I highly applaud this article because there are many underlying factors that may have contributed more to Mercedes' thought process than just "only students in my HS not on a college-bound trajectory, engage in such behavior."
Lastly, in response to the comment above, citing CollegeACB is just hilarious and ludicrous. I don't believe the author has ever made the point that there aren't low-income students who fully engage (and just love) the partying/hookup culture (i.e. others girls may love to be "banged" by many men-it's not just a rich, white sororistute thing to do), it ultimately surrounds if one does get pregnant, an STD, or any other unplanned/unwanted consequence, there are very different options and reactions to such given one's socio-economic means.
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