I could tell you a story about a wild, exhilarating, sweat-inducing Friday night I had, but the blatant truth is, most Fridays I’m home alone, sitting in my flamingo pink sweat pants and staring at my computer wondering what I should “study” next.
It’s not like I didn’t have friends to go out with; it’s just that I’ve been forced to say no continuously over the years, and over time, they got tired of hearing it, I got tired of saying it, so they just stopped asking. Usually, I followed up with screenshot evidence of my mom texting me about a “family dinner” I had to attend to make my artificial excuse look legitimate.
Looking at Snapchat stories and Instagram pictures of my close friends riding the Ferris wheel together at the fair or screaming to their heart’s content at a local concert used to make my core hurt to the point of tears. I always thought to myself, “Why couldn’t I have normal parents who let me do normal things?”
I couldn’t even go to study session without an interview and a mock trial by my parents. When my Caucasian friends asked the dreaded question, “Well, why won’t they let you?” I never knew where to start because I didn’t even know why my parents wouldn’t let me go to the movies or go ice skating. Instead of a real explanation that would be extremely lame, to spare myself from social suicide, I created the crazy fantasy that I already had other plans — not just with my biology textbook.
Soon, the lies started catching up to me, and I became the dreaded floater. A floater is someone without a true “group” of friends who goes from one group to the next feeling like the awkward library book someone picked up, didn’t want and randomly shoved back into the shelf. I was without an order, purpose and truly out of real friends. While I had superficial relationships with almost everyone at my school, I missed out on forming the authentic friendships that could only be forged outside a classroom setting.
Of course, when I brought this issue up with my parents, they thought that having virtually zero contact with people my age outside of school (unless they had a perfect SAT score) was good for me. It enabled me to focus on my school work 24/7, so I could get into college. Then, I realized that I am working now to have the opportunity to work even harder in a competitive college and then finally work for the rest of my life at a job that I might loathe because my parents chose it for me.
My life is like a seesaw that’s tipped to one side permanently due to the pressure, stress and schoolwork I take home every day. Back to isolation in the car, I hear that Vignesh, Bhupen and Talia all became doctors in the month of October. Then I remember that Vignesh suffers from acute panic attacks, Bhupen eats his feelings and Talia has cystic acne from all the stress she had from high school though medical school. While my cousins had succumbed to the words of their parents, I decided I wanted to take a chance at learning from their mistakes.
Friday nights don’t exist for me; they never will.
Maybe, I can make Saturdays nights happen.