I'm Not 'Missing Out' By Skipping College Parties, But You May Be Missing Out By Going To Them

I'm Not 'Missing Out' By Skipping College Parties, But You May Be Missing Out By Going To Them

I'm not sure when "sober fun" became an archaic concept, but we really need to stop shaming people who choose to live their lives against the college norms.
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Everywhere you go on the internet you run into this idea of "missing out." Missing out because you had to study or missing out because you had to work or missing out just because.

I've never really understood that concept.

I don't go to college parties, and to be honest, never once have I felt like I was missing out on something because I'm not there.

What is there to miss out on, anyway?

A bunch of people who have had just a little too much packed together in an already cramped house? Yeah...sounds like a really good time...

I'm not sure when "sober fun" became an archaic concept, but we really need to stop shaming people who choose to live their lives against the college norms.

It's kind of odd if you really think about it. We're shaming people for deciding that paying thousands of dollars per a year for an education means that you actually care about the education.

In fact, every year there are 1,800 college students who die as a result of alcohol consumption. You may think, "oh that doesn't sound that bad if you think about how many college students are out there."

But to be quite honest, that number should absolutely terrify us.

It should terrify us that those 1,800 students weren't around anyone who could call for help when they showed the first signs of alcohol poisoning.

It should terrify us that the friends of those 1,800 students were also too drunk to know what was going on, didn't recognize what was going on or just plain downright ignored it.

So why are we still shaming students who choose to not go out and party for a good portion of their nights each week?

Who would willingly put themselves in that situation?

I know, I know, "it'll never happen to me."

Well, I bet that the 1,800 students who die every year never thought it would happen to them either.

Whether or not you choose to drink alcohol is up to you. Neither I or anyone else can really make that decision for you.

I get it, I know that 80 percent of college students drink in some capacity. I know it's considered a "college norm."

But it doesn't have to be a "norm" to see students dying from alcohol and to see 50 percent of college students participating in binge drinking and to see 20 percent of college students able to be classified as having an alcohol use disorder.

Fellow students, wake up. I'm sick and tired of hearing about alcohol-related incidents and deaths on our college campuses.

I'm sick and tired of hearing about how many students blacked out at a party.

What is the fun in that?

I'm certainly not missing out on everything college has to offer, but maybe, just maybe, you are.

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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To my music teacher

You are so much more than a director

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I still remember the day that we first met. I knew next to nothing about my instrument, let alone music. The only thing that rang through my mind while I sat in the last chair in a room full of experienced musicians was, "I can't do this." I went home crying that day because I really wanted to learn about music, but felt like it was going to be impossible. My mom even came with me the next day to tell you that I couldn't do it- it just seemed impossible to the both of us. But then, you looked me in the eye and asked me to do one thing, "Please trust me. You can do this."


I spent two years under your direction. Every morning I came to school and the first thing I got to do was be in your class. I spent some of the best times of my life in that class. You taught me some of the greatest lessons I have come across, and the application of those lessons is something I do every day. Here are some of my favorite things you have taught me.


If you work hard, you will see progress

I never thought I would be able to play anything off of my D and A strings on that first day, let alone be able to sight read an entire piece and actually sound half decent. But, you worked with me, had a lot of patience with me, and encouraged me to keep going. After two years, I was able to sight read-the goal that I set for myself at the beginning of this whole experience.

The hard work you put into your craft carries over to other parts in your life

Because of the structure I had in practicing my music, I found myself gaining structure in other parts for my life. My grades were the best when they were in your class, my relationships were strong, and I began to come into my own under your supervision.

You can find spiritual growth anywhere

You took the time to foster my spiritual growth- the best thing a teacher has ever done for me. You were not shy about who you were, or to whom you belonged. You were unapologetic about your love for Jesus in a place that doesn't always accept him. This witness served as an inspiration to me then and still does to this day.

You do not have to fit the stereotype to be a success

You taught me that people will look past the person who is performing. You took the time to introduce us to awesome musicians who did not fit the mold, but captivated their audience because of their proficiency in their craft.

You taught me to trust and believe in myself

I never had someone call out my self doubts and cast them aside for me like you did. Whenever I said "I can't" you would show me how I could. There was never a time you were wrong either.

Balling on a budget is a real thing

The two trips that I took with our orchestra under your direction were extremely memorable. Not only did we do well as an orchestra, but we all had the times of our lives. The first trip I went on, I didn't have to worry about money. However, the next year, my parents were dealing with a job loss, and it was the first time I ever experienced not having the funds to participate in a school program. You showed me how to budget, save, fundraise, and scrimp to put myself on that bus up to New York. I can't express to you how important that experience was for me and how much it still impacts me to this day.

Always take care of yourself

You made an effort to show us how you were caring for yourself. How you were eating well, going to the gym, going to church, getting involved in your community, taking time with your husband and kids, AND pursuing your Masters degree. I have yet to see someone work to better themselves like you do.

Follow your dreams

You had me make a vision board for our classroom after seeing that Gaby Douglas had made one on her journey to Olympic gold. You also encouraged me to make one and frequently asked me what my goals were. Whenever I would start to explain that my dreams were too big, you would cast that doubt out of my head.

Learning about different cultures is the best way to be respectful of them

For our final in your class, you had us do research on the country of our origin to prove how diverse our classroom was. We discussed the different musical traditions from each region, and how they all blended together into what we play today. You also had us cook a meal from our country and share it with the class!

Don’t be afraid to take action

You jokingly told us multiple times "Better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission" whenever someone felt like they needed your approval to get something done in the classroom. That joke was probably the most transformative thing I have ever seen though. I saw students go from timid children to musicians on a mission whenever we would say it. It helped us get a lot done in your class period!

Thank you for working as hard as you do. You have made a tremendous difference on my life and so many others. Thank you for being your true authentic self!

Cover Image Credit:

Allison Mallory

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