Now with a full year of college under my belt, I felt like I was finally getting this school thing down pat using the following list:
1. Keep God first.
2. Go to class and hit the books hard.
3. Go to work and always perform well.
4. Go to the gym and get big.
5. Hang out with the homies and get girls.
For the majority of my collegiate career, I did a pretty good job keeping this list in order. I've always been a "list" guy, so that was never my problem (until it became a problem, but we'll get to that story later). I liked rules and I followed them - been this way since I was a kid. I always felt like rules made perfect sense and kept people in check. Without them, everyone would be out of control, which would not be ideal. Rules create structure and accountability. For my world, that meant as long as I played within the rules (the rules I made up for myself, not God), I was "all good," especially when it came to the ladies.
Even as a sophomore virgin, my approach with women on campus never appeared amateurish or clueless. It wasn't flawless either, though. It was quite seasoned and charming (according to most women around campus, including juniors and seniors). Now, please don't take that the wrong way. I wasn't being cocky or overconfident. I'd say, just confident :-)
My end game was never to sleep with them. However, I always wanted to genuinely make women feel good. Whether it be from making them smile from a compliment I gave them to cracking a corny joke to make them laugh, I enjoyed being around women and the reactions I received from them. So did my crew. Right or wrong, we were all about the ladies and everyone knew it!
For me and my crew, it was pretty simple: If she looked good, we were "on it." If we saw something we liked around campus, there was nothing that would stop us from pursuing. Not weather. Not transportation. Not class schedule. Nothing. We all had different personalities and interests - a very eclectic bunch. But the one thing we had in common was our mentality. Even though I was the only virgin running in the pack, I had the same savage mentality as everyone else. Now when I say savage mentality, I must explain myself. Overall, I appreciated all women and their beauty (inner and outer beauty), but I found myself only being attracted to women whose outer beauty outshined their inner beauty. My position was shallow, but it was real. I allowed my flesh to dictate my feelings, not my faith. I was open and low key addicted to infatuation at this time (FYI infatuation will be a reccuring theme within WTWG Chronicles).
Just like the guys who were looking for lust and sex, I was looking for like and infatuation. Instead of being primarily attracted to personality and sensibility, I was primarily attracted to good looks and body parts. I wasn't even playing the same game as everyone else, but I adopted their rules. See, this is where rules can be bad because they seem like they're really helping you when they're actually hurting you.
BLOOD IN THE WATER
Because of me and my crew being so "ready" to entertain women around campus, I always felt I had to claim something that wasn't mine. For instance, if I liked a young lady (introduced myself/had at least one convo/pulled her number), I told the fellas "that was me" so they would back off. Now, this tactic didn't work all the time because some of my boys knew exactly what I was doing. I was basically calling my shot before it went in ala Steph Curry. College was an equal opportunity enterprise (when it came to talking to people), so most cats needed to see proof before they backed off. Some just did it because I was a nice guy and gave me the benefit of the doubt.
Looking back on it, I never realized how much blood was on my hands. My intentions were good, but the execution at times was flawed and misleading. I allowed myself to be influenced by popular culture. My surroundings dictated my actions. Essentially, I became a product of my environment (the campus hookup culture and the objectification of women). I never would classify myself as a "shark" or a "dog" in college but I definitely had shark-like or dog-like tendencies. This will become more apparent in the next chapter. It seemed as if I developed a "reputation" around campus of which I was unaware.