Personal Space Is More Important Than Socializing

Personal Space Is More Important Than Socializing

Stop pretending you don't need a break from your friends (and life).

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Firstly, I would like to say that FOMO is a very real thing.

For those born in the prehistoric era, that means 'fear of missing out'. It's something that definitely came with the age of technology, and the tendency for everyone to post the best aspects of their social lives in an attempt to prove they have one (don't stress, I'm the biggest culprit). It's also something that's potentially destroying our ability to prioritize our need for time alone.

I feel like we're all in a competition to be the most social person in our social media bubbles. I'm sure you can agree there's that pressure lurking every time you do something fun to whip out your phone and make sure you take a snap of it, to prove you actually did something with your day other than binge watch David Dobrik vlogs.

Even when the aspect of social media is removed, FOMO still hangs around. Sometimes I just don't want to go out. I don't want to get out of bed, to get dressed, brush my hair. Sometimes I simply don't want to socialize — small talk is exhausting! But yet, I get that feeling like I really should go out and see people, like I'm not spending my time wisely unless I'm soaking up every chance I get to hang out with friends. It's almost as if everyone thinks your life isn't of value if it isn't spent being around others, and I do agree with this — to an extent.

Before leaving for Alabama, the number one piece of advice I heard over and over was, "say yes to everything!" I was then usually told to make friends with as many people as I could, maybe even say hi to strangers once in a while! Anyone who had been on exchange previously recommended that I immerse myself in every experience that presented itself to me. After all, their favorite memories involved making new, unexpected friends.

I still strongly stand by this idea — I wouldn't have had half the experiences I've had so far if it weren't for this Yes Man mentality. However, I am now past halfway, and all I can say is I'm absolutely knackered. I'm all socialized-out! After being in the company of at least one other person every… single… minute… (I have a roommate) for the last 11 weeks, I can confidently say I've had enough. If I carry on this way, forcing myself to attend any and all outings, I quite possibly could implode… or at least want to crawl under a rock and never talk to anyone again (nearly at this stage already).

One thing I didn't realize until recently is just how much downtime I have to myself at home. Sure, I work or go to Uni most days, and I see my friends as much as possible. I also have my scheduled 6 p.m. family dinner followed by one-hour gossip session with mum each night. But at the end of each day, I would snuggle up in my big queen bed that I had all to myself (I'm single, thanks for reminding me) and finally feel relaxed. That was my designated time to myself that I could look forward to each day. Some nights I just put music on and lay down for hours doing absolutely nothing. That was the point though, I didn't have to do anything, and I didn't have anyone else to worry about.

Now, I might be lucky to get 10 minutes alone each day while I take a shower. Even then, my roommate occasionally drops in to go to the bathroom, and the thin shower curtain is the only thing standing between myself and a mental breakdown. Sometimes I want to hide behind that curtain all day. My happy place is now the small square corner of my bathroom, how sad is that?

I think the notion of spending time alone is severely underrated. Why have we created an idea that it's not OK to want to be alone every now and then? Why do we have to constantly be pushing ourselves to reach out to others and put ourselves out there? I absolutely love meeting new people and making new friends! But you know what else I love? Sitting on the couch with a hot Milo, binge-watching David Dobrik vlogs. So sue me! I think finding time to think about yourself only is just as essential for mental stability as surrounding yourself with friends and family.

After this experience, I know I will never feel ashamed to admit that I am going to miss out on doing something with my friends in order to be alone. It's literally the only thing that keeps me sane! (Can you tell I'm already going a little insane?)

I can now finally understand why mum used to be so happy when the school holidays were over. It's not that she didn't love us, she just valued her personal space! What a smart little lady!

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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How To Throw A Sick Rager, Bro

Last weekend my friends threw me a party for my birthday. It was epic. Here's what I learned.

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We're college students. Most of us have all gone out at some point. Besides that, most of us have probably also thrown our own party. It can be stressful. Do you have enough for everyone to eat? Do you have enough drinks? Do you have enough room for everyone? Is there good music? The list never ends. Here are things to keep in mind when you want to "throw a sick rager."

1. The location doesn't matter. You just need four walls.

I was originally stressed about the size of the tiny apartment my friends chose as the venue.

2. Music is essential.

A rager without music is just a tea party. The louder the music, the better. You want it to be so loud that people nearby come to the party just to see what's going on. We had three huge speakers and a DJ. You could hear it a block away. It was enough.

3. Alcohol is the fuel a rager burns on. 

Accept ample quantities only. Everyone needs to be intoxicated. This is not a drill. Quantity over quality. Kegs of beer and bottles of cheap vodka will do. The moment you run out is the moment your rager dies. It is crucial to have more than enough alcohol.

4. Props. 

This is often overlooked. Stupid glasses, water guns, beer bongs, banners for people to take pictures with, ice sculptures, a pool: all of these provide entertainment away from music and alcohol that partygoers can interact with. The most memorable parts of the party will come from interaction with the props.

5. Lights ... or the lack of 

There are many other, smaller things that can add to the party experience. Lighting is one such thing. The less light the better, but no light is bad. If you can get black lights, those are ideal.

6. Designated potty areas

You also need at least one bathroom. The more bathrooms the better, as mid-party everyone's small bladders will hit them at once and the bathrooms will get crowded.

7. Fill to capacity 

Invite everyone you want and tell them to invite everyone too. Send out the address as if its one of those forwarded texts from middle school. Send out the address like it holds the cure for cancer. Facebook pages are effective for spreading the word.

8. Party peak 

When will the most people be there? When will it be craziest? Then, set the time of arrival 90 minutes before. If you expect it to really get going at 11:30, tell people the party starts at 10.

9. Make friends

Say hi to everyone you see. You need to make friends with everyone. These people need to feel comfortable getting loose at your party, and those good vibes will spread. Compliment everyone, introduce people to each other, and dance hard. Others will see you have an amazing time and will feel encouraged to do the same.

10. Relax.

If you've done the work of putting it together, there's really not a whole lot you have to do the night of except enjoy it. Focus on making sure others are comfortable and having a good time.

11. Designate someone to take pictures.

You'll notice how hard it is to remember to take pictures when you're so busy having a good time

In the end, you'll notice that no one cares about how small the venue is. Everyone will end up having fun and you'll have worried about every small thing for no reason.

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