You are desperate. You are lonely. You are jealous. It is obviously uncomfortable to see your best friend hand-in-hand with her crush while you cannot wait to change your Facebook status from forever “single” to “in a relationship with…” However, it is unlikely or even impossible for you to find a date…Stop your worrying now because Hesston College has a perfect solution: the “pick-a-date.”
Pick-a-date is a Hesston mod tradition, a group date with a series of well-planned activities.
Most mods choose each individual’s date in secret, picking “dates” based on their modmates’ personalities and who they think the members would have the most fun with.
Some mods choose dates that their members have never spoken to.
In some cases, a reserved and introverted student may tell his RA who he wants to go with and the RA will ask the date for him, or the RA just matches him with a random girl.
In most circumstances, the guys are very excited about being selected and the girls have a great time laughing at their responses on the phone.
“Some said, ‘I have a girlfriend here so I will ask and call you back,’” Muna Mohammed laughed.
Most find pick-a-date to be fun, interesting and exciting.
“I think it is a fun way to meet new people and the surprise is always a good thing,” Sophomore Sarah Gilman said.
Pick-a-date is also entertaining because it gives you a fun way to get to know people better, especially when some feel there are not many amusing things to do in this small community.
“It is just to get some change from the campus environment,” Freshman Muna Mohammed said.
Moreover, we can build relationships outside our mod.
“I expect to have a lot of fun and to grow closer to my mod and hopefully my ‘date’,” Sophomore Sarah Gilman said excitedly.
Pick-a-date is a also a special occasion for international students who can learn more about American culture through their American dates.
“As an international student I think it is a good opportunity to learn about American pop culture,” said Alex Nguyen, a sophomore from Vietnam.
I have seen a few “international-domestic” couples in the pick-a-date. However, some international students pick dates from their home countries. Keisei Ohta, a sophomore from Japan, was picked by three Japanese girls and they ended up going to the same place for their dates.
For others, pick-a-date is a silly and weird idea because it does not ensure a long-term relationship.
“It is not the best idea because you will know only one more friend and it does not guarantee that you will be a close friend to him,” said Freshman Nadia Loveta.
Others criticize the name of the tradition. The name “pick-a-date” may cause some misunderstandings.
“A traditionally “pick-a-date” name gives a romantic gesture with which I am not comfortable with,” stated Sophomore Ashish Pathak. “If it was named something else, I would feel more comfortable.”
The RAs are responsible for the whole process which determines the success of their dates. They choose the dates, making sure everyone can actually make it, contact everyone involved, brainstorm date ideas with other RAs, and the most important thing, choose an activity that is within their budget.
Some guys seem to be very popular. When picked by multiple girls, they’ve become really busy recently.
“I cannot keep track of my girls,” Freshman Drew Hostetler laughed.
My advice? Just enjoy your dates and see what happens. Just remember it does not really matter whether you already know your date or not.
“If you do, you’ll just build a stronger relationship with that person,” Vicky said. “If you don’t, well, you get to meet a new person.”