The first “official” college event I attended was a weekend party. While eagerly walking through the hundreds of tables set up to attract nervous freshmen to their clubs, an older student grabbed my attention; “Hey, you should come to our party this Friday! It’ll be a great way to see if our spirit group is a good fit for you. There’s no cover fee and it’s super low-key–just for fun!” It sounded good enough to me.
These were the kinds of things I was supposed to do as a newly established college kid, right?
So, no earlier than 10 p.m. the other timid freshmen, who’d quickly become my best friends at orientation, gathered at my dorm. Each of us had been just desperate enough to latch onto the first people we’d liked well enough within the first five minutes of chatting, so, naturally, these were the select few invited to the party with me. We put on our sluttiest clothes and clambered out of the already all-too familiarly over-packed dorm room. I was nervous, stifling a yawn as I locked the door but equally excited. I finally felt like a true adult.
Surprisingly enough, the media had prepared me well.
The party was exactly as I expected; 70 kids stumbling around in a dark, sweaty apartment designed to fit only 30 people. The floor was sticky with alcohol, and we all quickly helped ourselves to a red solo cup of the so-called “punch”—four parts Everclear, one part juice. I kind of danced—not quite drunk enough to be fearless, but tipsy enough to go for it. Coached by the same girl who’d invited me, I shot-gunned my first beer and spilled half of it on my favorite pair of shoes, my Birkenstocks. The drunker my “friends” got, the more I was ready to go home (or I guess, it’d be more accurate to say back to the room where I was now expected to live). Eventually, we found our way back and I climbed, exhausted and nauseous, into bed.
Throughout that first semester, I went to numerous repetitions of that very same party.
But, surprisingly, I never grew to like the clogged atmosphere, the black-out strangers grinding on you, or the waking up at half-past two the next afternoon feeling as though you wasted absolutely everything about that day. Everyone I met did though, oddly enough. Classmates and friends would come up to me, books in hand, eager to begin their much-awaited weekend and ask, “So, what do you have planned for this weekend? 6th street? FIJI’s party?”
I would ashamedly brush off the question, changing the subject because (yes, I’ll say it), I don’t love the weekends. That’s crazy, you’d say—at least if you’re anything like my mom. Do I like anything at all? Do I even have fun? I thought about that a lot this past year. What did I like? Was I too abnormal? Of course not. Of course I have fun. I’m still basically a kid after all.
I just have a different kind of fun than what’s expected—I love the weekdays.
I love class, and I love orgs, and I love intramural sports. I, a true nerd, go to class, not for the attendance grade, but because I like it (wow, who would’ve thought?). Do I tell anyone this? Sadly, no. I’m not there yet. Right now, it’s enough for me to admit it to myself. Plus, I realize I might be overreacting a tiny bit. Is it really that big of a deal to prefer class over partying? No. It’s not. But as a college freshman, new to the scene, the differences between you and the next person over seem like mountains of division when you’re still trying to find where you belong.