Image from The Utopian Life

WOOOOOOO COLLEGE PARTIES. Alcohol! Boys! Girls! Red Solo Cups! Music! Sticky floors! Unidentifiable goop in your hair!

It’s great. Parties in college are disgustingly charming. They are loud and gross and a lot of fun. In moderation. During the first semester of college, the darkly lit rooms full of writhing bodies and hazy memories are going to be irresistible (or at least they were for me- more power to you if you were immune to the magnetic pull). But at some point, they are probably going to get seriously boring, but when that has been your “going out” routine for months it can be seriously hard to justify or figure out how to start doing new things. But fear not, you can reclaim your right to wear open toe shoes on Friday nights without worrying about losing your toenails.

Recognizing your change of heart

A staggering portion of your classmates will probably never get tired of peeling their shoes off of glue-like frat house floors. The extra effort helps burn all the alcohol calories, right? When everyone around you is still totally content with the same old same old, it’s definitely tough to embrace the fact that you are more or less done with this scene. It’s easy to get caught up with the rush of blasting some Nicki and changing your outfit five hundred times, but when these getting ready sessions consistently end with you lying on the floor in your underwear, listening to Cat Power or Belle and Sebastian, or something equally melancholy, it might be time to change up your routine.

Expanding your circle of friends

Dude, don’t try to change your friends. If they are totally content partying it up a couple times a week, let them do that (if you are concerned about how often the consequences of their partying is interfering with their success in other aspects of life, then have a loving cup of coffee with them and explain that, but otherwise, leave them be). Have meals with them, study with them, whatever, but also find some other pals who want to go to the movie theatre on Friday night, or have wine Wednesdays in the dorms, or go to the multicultural dinner. Invite your party-hopping friends without pressuring them to change their ways and they will likely extend to you the same courtesy.

So when you are craving a sticky dance party, you can spend the night with them, and when they are in need of a different night, they can hang with you and your other pals. It’s a win-win expansion of friendship.

Embrace being alone

Parties are crowded and full different faces. It’s basically impossible to be alone. This is can be comforting when you are feeling alone and unsure, especially as a fresh-faced freshman. But the feeling can also evolve into loneliness. It can feel impersonal and fake. It’s the bad kind of being alone. When this starts happening, it is the perfect time to learn how to be own your own in the good way.

It’s rad to find friends who want to do non-party things with you, however, sometimes it’s cooler to hang out with yourself and be content with that. Going to the movies or a concert (or literally anything) by yourself doesn’t make you a loser. Having fun without a group of pals around you is one of the most difficult and important things to master. It’s especially hard to do this when every single picture you scroll past on Instagram is someone you know surrounded by a laughing posse, but if you can figure it out earlier, then you’ll be privy to all the perks of aloneness before everyone else. The pictures you take on that solo-hike will get just as many likes as the picture from last night’s party.

Dealing with the FOMO

FOMO is dumb. If you are consciously making the choice to not do something, then you aren’t missing out on anything. You are making your own choices and doing what you need to do to feel comfortable in your life. Do your own thing. Don’t let stupid photos on social media make you second guess yourself. You know what you want to do. Choose how to spend your time like you would your money (especially if the things you choose to do with your time cost money). Be selective. Go for quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter how appealing it looks on social media. If it fills your personal bucket of happiness, then it’s worth it.

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the author

Kathleen is a Northern California native and incoming freshman at Washington & Lee University. She spends much of her free time obsessing over the future (not in a crystal ball way) and making plans to visit as many countries as humanly possible throughout her four years of college. She loves her dog Morton, Grey's Anatomy, and money. One day she hopes to become the perfect mix of Cristina Yang, Mindy Kaling, April Kepner, and Amy Poehler. Until then you can find her crying over how exciting life is and retaking the Myer's Briggs Test to make sure she really is ENTJ.

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