From The Girl Who Skipped The Party Stage

From The Girl Who Skipped The Party Stage

Sorry, I am really not sorry that I'm skipping the party.
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What's so wrong with skipping the party stage?

I can't count how many times I've been told I am missing out on the "best years of my life" because I'm not participating in stereotypical college party-girl behavior. I have even been told that I'll have a mid-life crisis because I am skipping this apparently crucial stage of life. Really? A freaking mid-life crisis? Because I'm skipping out on hooking up with strangers and being belligerently drunk every weekend?

Naturally, as a 19-year-old college student, my favorite pastime should be getting intoxicated. For some odd reason, though, I find it hard to believe that the best years of my life are supposed to be filled with moments that I won't remember.

Because my priorities lay in a different place than the stereotypical college kid doesn't by any means indicate that I am uptight, boring or a prude. Believe it or not, I get high on life just as much as you do on booze and weed.

Spending my time reading a good book with my morning coffee definitely tops a nasty hangover. Cuddling with my boyfriend of two years undoubtedly makes me happier than any one-night-stand ever could.

A successful girls' night for me is filled with hours of "Grey's Anatomy," ridiculous singing to Taylor Swift, and one-too-many slices of pizza — not dancing with girls that I barely know at a frat party.

Sorry, but if you're looking for someone to black out with and compliment your dress that is just too tight, I am not your girl. Want to have an actual discussion? Want to go to dinner, maybe even take a road trip? I am totes down for that.

When I look back on the best years of my life, I want my mind to be filled with memories that will bring a smile to my face — not a cringe.

Sorry, I am really not sorry that I'm skipping the party.


Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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I Ghosted My Old Self For 5 Months In An Effort To Reevaluate My Life

My life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

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BREAKING (not fake) NEWS: It's true, you have to hit your lowest before hitting your highest.

I want to share my lowest with you, and I'm almost ashamed to say it had nothing to do with the loss of both of my parents. I like to think I handled that like a warrior.

Turns out I didn't, and the hurt I've been burying from that hit me all at once, the same moment my life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

My life flipped upside down overnight back in August. I had my heart broken shattered, lost two very important friendships that I thought were with me until the end, lost my 9-5 job, my health took a hit stronger than a boulder, and I was absolutely lost. For the first time, ever, I let go of the reigns on my own life. I had no idea how to handle myself, how to make anyone around me happy, how to get out of bed or how to even begin the process of trying to process what the f*ck just happened. I was terrified.

Coming from the girl who never encountered a dilemma she couldn't fix instantaneously, on her own, with no emotional burden. I was checked out from making my life better. So I didn't try. I didn't even think about thinking about trying.

The only relatively understandable way I could think to deal with anything was to not deal with anything. And that's exactly what I did. And it was f*cking amazing.

I went into hiding for a week, then went on a week getaway with my family, regained that feeling of being loved unconditionally, and realized that's all I need. They are all I need. Friends? Nah. Family. Only. Always.

On that vacation, I got a call from the school district that they wanted me in for an interview the day I come home. It was for a position that entailed every single class, combined, that I took in my college career. It was a career that I had just gotten my degree for three months before.

I came home and saw my doctor and got a health plan in order. I was immediately thrown into the month-long hiring process for work. I made it a point to make sunset every single night, alone, to make sure I was mentally caught up and in-check at the same exact speed that my life was turning. I was not about to lose my control again. Not ever.

Since August, I have spent more time with family than ever. I've read over 10 new books, I've discovered so much new music, I went on some of my best, the worst and funniest first dates, I made true, loyal friends that cause me zero stress while completely drowning me in overwhelming amounts of love and support, I got back into yoga, and I started that job and damn near fell more in love with it than I ever was for the guy I lost over the summer.

But most importantly, I changed my mindset. I promised myself to not say a single sentence that has a negative tone to it. I promised myself to think three times before engaging in any type of personal conversation. I promised myself to wake up in a good mood every damn day because I'm alive and that is the only factor I should need to be happy.

Take it from a girl who knew her words were weapons and used them frequently before deciding to turn every aspect of her life into positivity — even in the midst of losing one of my closest family members. I have been told multiple times, by people so dear to me that I'm "glowing." You know what I said back? F*ck yes I am, and I deserve to.

I am so happy with myself and it has nothing to do with the things around me. It's so much deeper than that, and I'm beaming with pride. Of myself. For myself.

I want to leave you with these thoughts that those people who have hurt me, left me, and loved me through these last couple of months have taught me

Growth is sometimes a lonely process.
Some things go too deep to ever be forgotten.
You need to give yourself the permission to be happy right now.
You outgrow people you thought you couldn't live without, and you're not the one to blame for that. You're growing.
Sometimes it takes your break down to reach your breakthrough.

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

My god, it's so f*cking good.

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Find Your Beautiful

The world wouldn't be the colorful and intriguing place it is today without the curious minds of the humans that walk this earth.

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I mean, sure, we can try to outweigh all of the success that human beings have been able to accomplish. All of the beautiful creations that have been made thus far with less than desired thoughts of what negative impact we have on the planet. Or that we can't simply come together as humans beings and live peacefully in a world that has so much to offer.

A world to live a better life of less violence and more love. Less hate and more love. It's tough sometimes sorting through all of the messiness the world has to offer, but what I can tell you is that there is a world full of beauty out there, and I keep finding little bits of it as I get older and older.

I remember days when my anxiety was so bad during the Spring semester of my sophomore year. It was crippling, and to add depression onto it as well, that made it super easy for me to just ignore all of my responsibilities. I would cry for hours, feeling so confused knowing that this wasn't who I was.

I used to question everything so much that it made it impossible to interact with anyone. So, I hid away in my little room of our apartment. I remember feeling so sad, knowing that I was falling out of love with music. It happens, it wasn't for good, but because of all of the stress academically involving music, that made it super hard to love it.

I had also stopped playing field hockey, so I was a literal lost puppy. I remember always scrolling through Instagram, that was my way of staying connected to the world, I guess. I followed a wide mix of accounts, and a good bit were deejays, so as you'd imagine, my timeline, explore page, everything included festival photos, videos, and most importantly, dancing.

I remember coming across a video of a girl dancing and I was in complete awe. Immediately, I scrolled to the hashtags... shuffling? Shuffling, this girl was moving her feet in all different angles, and cuts, and slides, and glides, I couldn't keep up. I was hooked. Her name is Elena Cruz, @e_cruzn on Instagram, and I wanted to know how it was done.

I wanted to know everything, so I taught myself.

The summer going into my junior year, I would walk to this little basketball court that was near my house with my phone and my headphones. I was a little embarrassed to be trying something that some people might find so odd, out in broad daylight, but I was too invested in learning. If I could have a photo of every look I got that summer, that'd be a great photo album.

When I first started learning to shuffle, I started with the basics and just learned the shuffle before I even dove into the thought of shape cutting yet. What I found was that learning shapes to slower songs made it so much easier to learn the steps, and once I had that, I'd simply incorporate it into a faster-paced song.

I felt myself becoming more and more comfortable, even my walk to the court was more confident. Something in me changed when I started shuffling. I found the courage to finally just post my first video, and with that came the first like… and the next… and another.

The feedback was so positive. It put the biggest smile on my face, and it made me all around happy that someone was actually enjoying something I had created. As Summer flew by, I posted more and more videos, and people really loved them. To think that I started shuffling then, and to see me now and the progress I have made, and the friendships I have made, and the love that's been spread, and the beautiful art that I create making someone smile... is all the more feedback I'll ever need.

Shuffling has been another little bit of beauty that I've crossed paths with during my time on this planet, and I can only imagine the beauty that is to come.

Never in a million years did I think I'd be a dancer, but it's the best feeling in the world when I look back and think about that sad little girl who was so confused, in her room hiding away from the world. She is now flourishing and giving the world a beautiful piece of herself.

She was scared, unsure of herself, afraid of what might be said about her. She doesn't care anymore. She dances on rooftops, she dances where she wants, she dresses how she wants, and she is her own beautiful person. There is ugliness in this world, yes, and it can be so hard at times to see it, trust me I know.

I've seen the ugliness since I was five years old, but you can be a beautiful part of this world, no matter what. I promise you, we can do it.

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