I was that person in high school who was talked about, and who was thought to be rebellious. I was judged, feared, and envied because I liked to have fun. My group of friends and I went out on the weekends, and weren't the kind of people you saw at every football game on Friday nights. We knew how to let go of what others thought and have a good time, while most of others our age were worried about who they would take to homecoming and if they were going to make it home on time for curfew.
I give props to those people, I really do. However, now most of you are the kids in college who are missing class, going out every night, and discovering your limits for cheap beer in the worst kinds of ways. On the other hand, I don't want to go out every night anymore. I have no interest in meaningless nights spent with meaningless people in meaningless ways. I care about my grades, my friends and family, and expanding my knowledge and personal growth through creativity and spending time with like-minded people.
There's only so many nights you can spend going to the same rotation of bars with the same people that really have no clue what kind of pasta you like or books you read before it gets exhausting. There's only so much cheap beer you can drink before you realize pushing your limits all the time is a waste of time and especially energy. There's only so many times you can pretend to laugh and have fun with certain people before you realize that the only way you ever spend time with them involves booze and debauchery.
Yes, I realize that I made some mistakes in high school. I missed out on opportunities that should have been shared with the people in my graduating class, and at times I sacrificed my reputation for my own indulgences. Do I regret any of it? No, because at this point in my life, I'm over the party stage. Sure, I still like to go out sometimes, but I've realized how to stick to obligations, maintain meaningful relationships, and put my effort into new experiences and situations that broaden my mindset and knowledge. I'm over the often occurring hangovers, the stress over procrastinating those study sessions, and guilt over missing class or scrambling to find someone to cover my shift because I can't make it in. I definitely feel in control of my own life.
For those of you enjoying the party stage currently, let your freak flag fly. You worked hard in high school, and now you're discovering for the first time both independence and mistakes that you regret in the morning. For those of you who have decided to not go through this stage at all, good for you too. Its all about learning and discovering as we go. For me, I've learned a lot about mistakes and who I am, and I contribute some of my self discovery to going through the party stage early.