Why You Don't Have To Party

Why You Don't Have To Party

It’s a ritual done every weekend across college campuses, but that doesn't mean you have to participate.
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It’s Friday night and the dorms are buzzing. Girls crowd at the bathroom mirror tangled between the cords of their curling irons as they apply the perfect shade of lip gloss and ask each other which top looks better with their skirt. Guys lounge in each others' rooms pouring shots in-between video games. In an hour, the halls will be quiet as everyone scatters down the road listening for the house with music so loud that the bass pounds against their footsteps. It’s a ritual done every weekend across college campuses, but that doesn't mean you have to participate.

After spending two years at community college, I had never been to a college party until I enrolled at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). I spent the first couple of months staying in while my friends went out to parties. Despite their protests, I never saw the appeal due to being so introverted, and because I pretty much have anxiety running through my veins at this point. But week after week of seeing their group pictures on Instagram and hearing about the friends they made in the midst of their drunken stupor, a part of me felt like I was missing out on something that could be a lot of fun. After all, how could I know that I didn’t like parties if I had never been to one?

So, I ventured out to my first party. It took a lot of liquid courage for me to feel comfortable going, but I ended up having a decent time (thanks to the alcohol). I felt free of the anxiety that was holding me back and didn’t feel strange talking to new people. It helped me realize that we were all in the same boat: drunk and trying to have fun. I found myself going to more parties throughout the next couple of months until I started to find myself losing interest. To me, the party scene seemed a bit repetitive. Downing shot after shot in order to feel confident enough in myself wasn’t helping me in the long run, especially as my tolerance improved, and I ended up feeling too sober and out of place as I watched my friends play beer pong with suspicious looking tap water or run into their other friends while I quietly watched, trying and failing to get a word in.

It took me awhile, but I learned that parties weren’t for me and that there wasn’t anything wrong with that. If I couldn’t feel comfortable at parties without being significantly drunk, then I shouldn’t be going at all. It took me quite a few months and several bad hangovers for me to learn my lesson, but I did nonetheless.

It’s okay to not to go to parties, and it’s okay to go to parties too. Don’t let your friends or what you think college is all about influence you to do something you know you won’t enjoy. If anything, try it once and if you feel the same way, then be comfortable with the fact that you’re just simply not a party person. It may seem like everyone else is going out, but I guarantee you about half of the school, if not more, is curled up in bed and having just as much fun. I’ve learned the hard way that I’m much happier spending my weekend nights watching Netflix or doing something low-key with my friends, but I think a part of me knew that about myself all along.

Cover Image Credit: Non Sibi Journal

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.

Aasayed
Aasayed
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Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!

Aasayed
Aasayed

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