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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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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I Asked 20 Women To Give Advice To Their 13-Year-Old Selves And Their Responses Were Beautiful

Confidence goes a long way...and I wish I learned that sooner.

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Do you remember what it was like to be 13-years-old? More likely than not, it probably wasn't the best year of your life. I'm sure you wish you had someone to feed you all the advice that you've learned as you grew older

I asked 20 beautiful, brave, resilient and intelligent women what advice would they give their 13-year-old selves. This is their advice.

1.

"You are broken but incredibly beloved, and Jesus is so faithful and so worth following!"

2.

"You can't stop the clock. You won't be 13 forever. Start now to make choices that future you would be proud of."

3.

"You will lose friends and it will hurt you, but you will be okay and God will still be good"

4.

"Don't worry about pleasing others. Do what makes you happy. Love yourself first."

5.

"Life definitely gets better, everything happens for a reason, and don't take everything so seriously. The best things are yet to come."

6.

"Listen more, speak less. God has a very unique and perfect plan for you. And you will never be able to predict- so don't even try."

7.

When you forget your worth don't compromise yourself for fleeting affirmation. Be it in a friendship or in a dating relationship."

8.

"Own the things you love and know there is worth in the words you say and the thoughts you have."

9.

"You're not lesser of a kid because you don't own brand name clothes. It's not about what you own or the cool stuff that you have that defines your value. Being weird will soon become your best quality, it's your corky fun, "I could careless what you think of me" personality that will soon draw people towards you."

10.

"Life is precious, so approach each day with confidence, grace and strength. Also, love yourself passionately, never forgetting the beauty God created you to possess."

11.

"Participate in activities at school! Audition for the play, and don't let your fear of failure hold you back! "

12.

"You are worth so much more. God Loves you and you are good enough for Him. Don't forget that."

13.

"Do not worry about your weight! It's just a number and shouldn't be your main focus! As you grow your weight shift, it changes throughout the day which is totally normal, and it shouldn't be the biggest stressor in your life at 13 years old."

14.

"Be proud of your physical features that make you unique because everyone is different and self expression shouldn't be suppressed due to insecurities"

15.

"Try and be confident in yourself. Confidence goes a long way."

16.

"The grace of God is so much bigger than you can ever imagine."

17.

"Your worth does not lie in the opinions and words of your friends. Find someone who is older and wiser to speak truth into your life."

18.

"The woman you're becoming will cost you people, relationships, spaces and material things. Choose her over everything."

19.

"Always be open to learning and growing. Be kind. Smile more."

20.

"It's okay to listen to all your friend's moms that you hang around with, who are always teaching you and sharing with you and giving you good advice. It's okay not to do the things the older girls get into. It's okay to be brave and walk away and not worry about what the 15 and 16-year-old girls think of you. It is good that you love hanging around your mom and dad and that you respect them too. Lastly, it is okay to be who God made you to be. It's okay to be you."

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