When you first enter college you are more than inclined to believe that ahead awaits one of the most exciting times of your life. I was one of those people. I was an extrovert in high school and loved interacting with people every single day. I had built up a solid group of friends so I was expecting to enter college with people swarming my way and telling me how wonderful I am. I was convinced I would be best friends with my roommate, too. So you can understand my devastation when my roommate decided to sleep in a hotel with her mom for the entire first week and leave me by myself in the room (Not because I am a monster or crazy but because she’s an international student and wouldn’t see her mom until Christmas). So, I did the next best thing. I went scouting into my neighbor’s room. The door was open and there were four girls in there who were as sweet as can be. Three of them were my actual neighbors and the other was just visiting. They were all super sweet and sitting on the floor they were deliberating going out to a club that night. They invited me along and (of course) I said I’d go! Here was the perfect opportunity to make my college expectations come to fruition. Most of the girls were under 18 however so they quickly decided against the club scene and we all went to hang out at another floor. I was there physically but I hardly contributed to the conversation since when Im in a room full of big personalities I tend to close up and let myself disappear. Months went by and these girls went their separate ways. In fact, two of those who were my neighbors and didn’t move out ended up not even being courteous enough to say hello whenever we crossed paths.
My roomate who was supposed to be my best friend ended up having a completely different personality than mine. She hardly ever returned to the room and was always on the move doing thing with her friends. So, when I stayed in on Thursday or Friday nights I’d feel like quite literally the biggest loser. There was an entire world of adventures out in this college world and I was home watching movies with my boyfriend. Granted, by the end of freshman year I began to realize I prioritize different things and maybe I don’t need to go out, socialize and drink to feel happy.
I feel appalled and even disappointed that the same girl who loved spending so much time around her friends would much rather stay in the dorm and type this instead of trying to find anyone who is available to hang out. But you know what? I’m exhausted. After a day in class and then work I’m usually all “people”-d out and I just want to lay in my bed like a loser instead of putting forth the effort to dress up and go out. I don’t want to feel guilty for wasting away my youth because really wouldn’t my youth be more wasted if I was constantly doing things that didnt expand my mind? I thought so.
So, every time I see adults posting about how college was the greatest, wildest time of their life I want to tell them to stop. Stop building this illusion that college is this non-stop party because it’s not. It comes with stress, responsibility and yes, sometimes loneliness. So next time you want to ask a kid if college is a blast do so cautiously because it’s not for all of us. For some of us it’s still primarily about school. And not because I’m a big loser who can’t find anyone to take me to a party but because I’ve chosen to prioritize other things. And I refuse to feel guilty about it anymore.