Updated: Oct 28, 2018
Written and Art Created by Emma Killeen
If I’ve learned anything in college, it’s that it is okay to count yourself out. Don’t like the sound of getting blackout drunk on a Thursday night? Don’t. Don’t want to live in a house with 20 people? Don’t. Don’t think being in a swimsuit in a Vegas pool in front of all of your peers sounds like fun? Don’t go. It’s okay not to be doing what the crowd is doing and it’s okay to make the right decision for you.
I know I make it sound way easier than it actually is. It’s really hard to decide against a crowd of people, let alone decide against a crowd of your friends. I’ve heard “you’re being so lame” about a million times. I’ve questioned myself and my morals about a million times. And I have suffered from FOMO about a million times.
I will say, by being the “lame” friend, you will miss out on a lot of classic college experiences. No crazy drunken story from Thursday, no getting close with 20 new friends, no Vegas swimsuit party. But you know what? That is okay. Knowing who you are and making the right decision for you is extremely liberating. And I’m not saying that the people who do all of those things are making a wrong decision, they aren’t. They are making the right decision for them. But, their decision does not have to be your decision.
I totally see the charm of living it up in your infamous “college years”. I partake in it too, just in a different way. You can have just as much fun doing things you love with people you love that align with your interests more. If you feel stuck in situations that don’t allow you to socially thrive, there are still ways to interact with that while still having your own fun. College isn’t all about the parties you attend.
I spent my first half of college chasing the group, being spoken over, and making friends with people that never, and will never, remember my name. But know that if those things don’t appeal to you, don’t force them to. Not to make this a cliché abroad story, but I studied in London alone for an entire semester and did what I wanted, when I wanted, independently, at all times. Coming back to school, I’m not doing any differently and I shouldn’t have to.
Just because you get called “lame” doesn’t mean that you are. Just because you don’t want to follow the group doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. And just because you feel like you’re missing out doesn’t mean that you are. Find freedom in your personal decisions and know that every decision you make is the right one for you to make at that time. You cannot regret a decision if it feels right in the moment. I guess all I'm really trying to say is: YOU DO YOU, BOO!