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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Summer lovin’: Is it a blast?

Summer is a time for vacations, sleeping until noon, staying out all night and, of course, love. Chances are, before students graduate from college, they will experience a summer fling, or at least know somebody who has.

According to a UC Davis Silo worker who wished to remain anonymous, it’s an excellent option for those hoping to mend a broken heart.

“I had been hurt recently, so I just needed to fill the void. I met this firefighter, and he was so hot,” she said. “I was never interested in him though; he wasn’t my type. What I was interested in was the fact that he was amazing in bed.”

According to Jose Guzman, third-year engineering major at Sacramento City College, summer is the perfect time to have some fun without being tied down.

“We’re out of school, so there is more free time to ‘sight see’ and meet some girls who just want to have fun. When it comes down to it, I haven’t met the girl I want to marry yet, so I’m just trying to have fun,” Guzman said.

Laylah Medina, fourth-year biological sciences major at American River College, thought she was exploring the same territory as Guzman, but was pleasantly surprised at what she found.

“We just started hanging out. He was pretty cute, but not necessarily the type I would usually go for. We had fun behind closed doors, and hung out here and there. Before I knew it, I was falling for this guy,” Medina said.

Only eight months after their “summer fling” began, Medina was engaged to be married to the man she never expected to love.

“You never really know what’s going to happen, and I think that’s what is so exciting about having a summer fling,” Medina said. “If it meant I would end up right where I am now, of course I would do it again.”

Even if a fling doesn’t become the love of your life, this may just be a way to discover new friendships.

“I do still talk to him. He is a really good guy,” the UC Davis Silo worker said. “I don’t think I would do it again. Maybe it wasn’t the best way to mend a broken heart, but I made a good friend. I don’t regret it at all.”

However, for some, having a summer fling doesn’t always leave them with a positive experience. What about those who don’t know it is just a fling, or are hoping it turns into something more? Alexia Whitlaw, second-year English major at American River College, had to deal with just that.

“It was my first year of college; we all know how it is. The parties get overwhelming and the guys say all the right things. When he said ‘You’re all I want,’ he definitely wasn’t talking to my face,” Whitlaw said.

This can be a rough way to start college, and the worst way to spend the end of the summer. For Whitlaw, it left some damaging effects.

“I don’t trust men, at all; but I know it was partially my fault. I had trouble in school next semester because I was focused on too many other things,” Whitlaw said. “I don’t recommend it at all, because you never know who you are hurting. But if you must, I say good luck; just don’t come knocking on my door!”

According to Dr. Emmeline Ju, OB/GYN at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Sacramento, Whitlaw may have it right. Young people may want to be careful when engaging in this particular extra-curricular activity.

“STD testing does rise in the summer, close to 30 percent higher, and it’s because people are out putting themselves at risk. Your best bet is to take precautions,” Ju said.

The two sexually transmitted diseases that give young adults and doctors the most cause for concern are chlamydia and gonorrhea, according to the Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention website. These are the two that have the highest percentage of contraction in adults between the ages of 15 and 24.

Guzman said STDs aren’t something he generally worries about. Being in college, he isn’t willing to take any risks for himself, and doesn’t want to risk to health or futures of him and his partners.

“Of course I only have safe fun. I have a future; I don’t want some nasty disease. I have a lot of condoms,” Guzman said. “Besides, I’m young, which means she’s probably young, and we can’t have a baby right now. It would make things much harder.”

Medina agreed.

“We used condoms until we were serious. He was a virgin, so I was pretty sure I could trust that he was clean. I had always been safe, but got tested anyway. Now, we’re in love, and I’m taking birth control, so condoms are just a bother,” Medina said.

The UC Davis Silo worker couldn’t say the same, but does believe in getting tested, especially during “peak fling” season.

“We used a condom the first time, but then talked about being tested. Both of us had been, and I was taking birth control,” she said. “I’ve been tested since, and maybe I didn’t make the best decision at the time but he was a good, upstanding guy. I trusted him.”

Ju did have suggestions for staying healthy not only during a summer fling, but anytime of the year people find themselves searching for some love.

“Have fun, but don’t lose your head. It’s so easy for all adults to feel invincible, especially during summer, but remember that you aren’t,” Ju said. “If you’re going to have numerous partners during anytime of the year, use a condom and get tested.”

MICHELLE STAUFFER can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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