Surely most adults have uttered the phrase, “I would give anything to go back to high school.” Me, not so much. I would give anything not to go back to high school. Almost anything. I would give half my liver, one whole kidney and two pints of blood.
If that statement doesn’t make it obvious enough, high school did not make the list of “Top 10 Most Enjoyable Moments of My Life.” This lack of “fun” did not occur because of anything traumatic or because I had no friends, not because my peers treated me as an outsider at school and not because I never received invites to anything. This lack of fun formed because of one thing—me.
College acted as my saving grace. First semester passed by in no time at all. With all the studying I had to do to keep up my grades, I didn’t have much time for any extracurricular activities or anything relatively fun and exciting. Second semester went a little differently.
I went to my first frat party, something I learned very quickly that I did not enjoy.
Whenever you see a frat party on TV or in a movie, all the kids seem to have the time of their lives chanting to the music and executing Dancing with the Stars worthy moves. In reality, frat parties occur in run down, smelly houses filled with hundreds of young, sweaty and even smellier kids complaining about the awful music selection. But no one dares to break the mold and muster up the strength to fight the streaming line of bodies and ask the DJ to change the song. So the kids just keep on dancing (more like swaying from side to side).
This particular frat party fit the mold perfectly. Kids piled into every nook and cranny of the frat house, bumping into each other in an attempt at dancing. Almost everyone was drunk out of their minds slurring all their words and making absolutely no sense. People who I had never met before would come up to me and act like my best friend. People who I did know would act like they had never seen me before. Everything just seemed wrong.
In a house full of so many college kids I couldn’t have felt more alone. People acted like something other than themselves, most likely due to the alcohol involved. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to forget who I was in order to have fun. Forgetting about myself in order to have fun didn’t seem right or something I should have to do. There had to be other ways to have fun.
After 11 solid minutes of getting elbowed in the face, getting toes stepped on by every passing kid and having to listen to blaring music that would possibly lead to hearing loss, I decided to leave and walk back to my dorm.
On my way home, I did a little thinking. I thought back to my original question, “How in the world could other people enjoy things like frat parties?” Then I thought, “Great, I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t like frat parties.” But then it hit me; frat parties are not for everyone.
The key to having fun lies within finding the right people, not in losing yourself. You should not have to pretend to be someone else in order to have fun. Just be you and one day you will find people who feel the exact same way—people who didn’t enjoy their first frat party experience either. Once you find those people, fun will come sprinting your way.
A few weeks after the frat party incident, I found my people. We went square dancing, had Disney princess movie marathons and went swimming in the school’s pond with pool floaties. Fun, I learned, includes much more than frat parties. Fun comes in all shapes and sizes, even if that fun results in a public safety officer questioning your sanity as you walk across campus with a five-foot flamingo pool floatie in hand.