A Male’s Guide to Dating at an Engineering School

A year and a half ago, I left my home in Dallas, Texas and moved to Troy, New York to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I stepped out of my cab from the airport and noticed immediately that there was something different about RPI. Instead of the standard 2:3:1 ratio of jocks, to normal people to nerds, it was more of a 1:2:5 ratio. I felt at home. The next thing I noticed a couple days into the semester- the ratio of men to women (which I shall now refer to as the Ratio), which is about 7:3 or worse.
I came from an all-boys’ high school, so I figured that 30% would be a huge improvement over 0% and that I would have no problems finding a ladyfriend. I was mistaken. However, I managed to perfect my skills over freshman year, and now am in a happy long-term relationship with a civil engineer.
Here is my guide to romance at a tech school:
1. Be yourself: The girls are here because they are also nerds- they don’t expect the Arnold, so why should you try to provide him when you easily bring Spock to the table.
2. Talk to them: Being yourself is excellent and all, but if you consider yourself to be shy, bookish, and incapable of talking to the opposite sex, then maybe you should try to change- just a bit though. An easy conversation about classes can easily turn into common interests, and then bang! The two of you are going out for your favorite foods: sushi and pizza.
3. Join a Club: If striking up a conversation out of the blue is hard for you, then join a club that you really enjoy. *WARNING* Some clubs you really enjoy may not have women in them- for a surefire chance at meeting an available girl, check out ballroom dancing or the local theatre group.
4. Strike early: “All the good ones are taken” is a very common anthem among the downtrodden singles; so, be there when they come into school, and then pounce upon the freshmen. *WARNING* Do not actually pounce; Public Safety usually frowns upon such behavior. *WARNING* Do not creep on them. If they show no interest- bail. Nothing is worse for your self-esteem and reputation as to be That-Guy-Who-Follows-Around-That-Girl.
5. Import: If you do not beat the Ratio, then bring in a girl you know from high school, or from another nearby college where the Ratio does not rule all.
6. Go celibate: Swearing off women for four years is tough, but if you can learn Klingon, Elvish, and invent your own variant of Draconian, I am sure you can do anything.

Well, gentlemen, there you have it. Six suggestions on how to step up to the plate. And finally, remember, even if you strike out, at least you’re getting a good education.


~ by Andrew Couture on March 23, 2010.

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