Every year Oklahoma Baptist University hosts a week long event dubbed TWIRP week, which stands for The Woman Is Required To Pay. This week consists of numerous date nights and a Sadie Hawkins dance to close out the week. OBU markets this week as a chance for the ladies to ask out their boyfriends and pay for it, as well as an opportunity for ladies to ask out a classmate that they might have had their eye on.
But here in lies the big question; why? Why does the university go through such great efforts to put on a week long event that encourages or pressures ladies on campus to go on dates?
To me it seems that through TWIRP week, OBU is sending a message to the ladies on campus that being in a relationship or being proactive about going on dates should be one of our top priorities. It definitely sends a message to me that it is better to be in a relationship than to be single. Why else would OBU put on a week-long event that screams “date date date date date.”
Another thing to consider is the timing of TWIRP week every year. This event usually always takes place in the fall semester in either September or early October. So, essentially, it is one of the first events new students experience on campus. To me, that sets the tone for the freshman that, now that they are all moved in on campus and possibly settled into a groove with their classes, the next step for them as an OBU student is to participate in a week-long event that centers on finding a relationship, or focusing on their relationship. I feel it says a lot about the culture at OBU that one of the first events on campus every year is TWIRP week: a week full of events focused on dating.
Now, a couple of date night events hosted by different clubs on campus sporadically throughout the school year is different. It sends a different message that says “hey, if you’re in a relationship here’s a fun date night sponsored by University Concert Series or Blitz Week.” It sends a message that encourages growth in relationships or opportunities to go out on dates, but it doesn’t pressure students to go on dates or be in a relationship that I feel that an annual week dedicated to dating on campus does.
Don’t get me wrong, I aspire to be a wife and a mother, and I can’t wait for that day. But, (it has taken me years to realize this) it’s perfectly fine to be single. I’d rather be single than rush into a relationship because I feel ashamed to be single.
In fact, in scripture, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:8 “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: it is good for them to stay unmarried as I do.” To the single ladies on campus such as myself, don’t be discouraged or pressured by events like TWIRP week; it’s okay to be single and it’s even okay to graduate college single.