For Those Who Don’t Love to Party
When I moved into residence in first year, partying was a big part of the culture for many people. I remember strange nights wandering from cluster house to cluster house, residence to residence, my friends searching for cute guys or stories to tell the next day.
These nights were supposed to be fun, but I spent a lot of the time worrying about how tired I would be the next day, thinking that I could be spending my time doing so many better things…where were the people who loved to spend Friday nights drinking tea and watching chick flicks, reading a good book, going to the climbing gym, or going for brunch or an outdoor adventure early on a Saturday morning?
I felt like I was immensely abnormal, and so I carried this secret, hidden carefully in my back pocket, behind excuses of being a competitive athlete or driven student. The truth was, I just didn’t really like to party. Most of the time, there were so many things I would rather be doing (or rather be spending my money on).
Although I was happy staying in, it was hard not to feel left out. The FOMO (fear of missing out) was real. On Saturday nights while my roommates were playing beer pong in my living room, I was in my PJs in my room, working on an essay or watching a movie (okay, now I do sound lame). Even though I knew deep down that I just didn’t fit into that lifestyle, I still felt insecure about it.
Over time, I started to feel more confident in who I was. I started celebrating the things that made me different from some of my peers, instead of feeling that they were flaws. I loved that I got good grades because I wasn’t spending my weekends drinking. I loved that my dedication to my training allowed me to make the National rock climbing team after first year. And man, I also loved cozy nights in with my roommates, obsessing over Gilmore Girls and homemade sushi.
As I started to accept myself, I started to draw in others who were like me too. I realized I wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to party every weekend. I made so many new, wonderful friends who I had so much more in common with, who I would go on camping trips with, make homemade cupcakes with, and, on the odd occasion where we did feel like partying, make our own mojitos and have a wonderful night with friends.
There is a transition that happens part way through University, I think. No longer eighteen and fresh out of high school, you become okay with who you are. You stop blushing when people ask you who your favorite artist is (saying Taylor Swift would be way too uncool). You become okay with saying no. You start to own who you are, what you want to do, and you start meeting people who share those traits with you. It’s a beautiful thing. So if you’re in first year, and feeling strange because those nights of cluster-wandering really aren’t your thing, please don’t fret. There are lots of people like you out there, I swear, you just have to look a little harder.