My entire life I've been a talkative and outgoing person. I always run my mouth and ensure that my opinions and ideas are heard. Many people assume that my loud and rambunctious personality means that I am a party animal. They thought wrong.
Being a senior in college, it is easier now than ever to be a hermit as well as an extrovert. People don’t question me anymore. I'm not coming to a new area, trying to meet new people and attempting to discover my place here in college.
As a freshman and sophomore, however, it was a bit harder to be a person who likes to stay home. While all of my friends wanted to go out to bars and frat parties, I wanted to find a less crowded and calmer activity surrounded by my favorite people. My freshman and sophmore year, I did a lot of exploring throughout the city of Charleston. Because I didn't have the drive to go to bars, I forced myself to make an effort and find something new outside of my apartment that would give me a sense of wonder and excitement. I didn't need a crazy night of drinking extravaganzas. Now, don't get me wrong, going out and letting lose is fun at times but, for me, I prefer to do so on special occasions, when I appreciate it more.
It has taken me a while to come to terms with this part of myself. When I was younger, I’d find myself anxiously wanting to go back home whenever I was out at night. I wasn’t sure why I didn’t enjoy staying out late and partying the night away. I had thought there was something wrong with me or that it would pass. Now I know that there isn’t something wrong-- it’s just a preference. If I feel more comfortable at home, in cozy clothes, surrounded by the people I love, what’s the problem? That doesn’t mean I NEVER go out, but my idea of a party is one surrounding my living room table listening to my favorite music doing my favorite activities.
So for those of you out there, struggling to find your place in college and feeling uncomfortable because the party lifestyle isn’t for you—know that it is absolutely okay! You are who you are. Just know that you shouldn’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone every so often. Life would be boring if you hid in your room every second of every day. I know being home is the best place to be, but what if there are other better places to be that you wouldn’t discover if you don’t leave your room? There would be no room for new experiences and fun adventures because the only room you're thinking about is the one with a bed. Test the limits, try new things and push your boundaries. If at the end of the day you realize that you would rather be doing something else, now you know, and at least you tried.
Most importantly, don’t allow others to bring you down. No one can make you feel any type of way. Peer pressure is one of the worst feelings, especially in any new environment. Stand up for yourself. The earlier you do so, the easier it will be for you to find your place in this world, I guarantee it. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and make decisions for yourself—as long as it’s not hurting you or others. Just because you aren’t a part of the status quo, doesn’t mean you’re not living college the “right” way. Whether these four years are the best or worst years of your life, don’t allow others to make you feel like you need to experience college in a way to please THEM. Experience college in a way to please yourself and no one else. Because, the truth is, you’re stuck with YOU forever. If you aren’t happy with your decisions, you’ll kick yourself around because you wished you would have listened to YOU and not others. What’s the key word here?