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Staying In Is In

Everyone tells you college is “the craziest four years of your life.” Party for four years straight until the reality of the real world sets in. Freshman year, I took this advice to heart. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I dragged myself to “go out” – whatever that even means. Friendships were formed, stories were told, memories were made, and then promptly forgotten while no one was in the right state of mind. I felt obligated to drink every single night in pursuit of the “college experience,” despite having no desire to do so a majority of the time.

On August 24, I moved into Walsh Hall as a sophomore in an 8-woman. Despite living in the “party dorm,” something in my perspective shifted—I had no desire to “party” anymore. With a growing schedule and growing to-do list, I found myself wanting to spend my free time doing what made me happy—partying no longer filled that void. I found myself loving taking nights to myself—waking up early on Saturdays and Sundays, no longer lying in bed all day with a pounding headache, instead filling my day with activities that made me genuinely excited to be alive. 

I saw myself taking an increasing number of nights in—saying “no”' to my friends, not because I did not want to hang out with them but because I simply had no desire to go party. In the beginning, I always had FOMO. My friends would come back with what felt like endless stories from the night before and new jokes that I had to pretend to understand. It wasn’t until I recognized that I did not have FOMO from the drinking, but rather from the time that I missed with people I cared about. I started finding other fun ways to spend quality time with my friendscentered around activities that we enjoyed doing and would actually remember. 

More and more nights became self-care nights: facemasks with friends, getting take-out and watching a movie, or getting some studying done. I used to have such anxiety about going outhow I would look, the endless to-do list waiting for me the next day, the money spentand now I hardly have to stress. Going out on the weekends is supposed to be fun, not a source of stress. 

Not only have I been forming a better relationship with myself, but I have grown to be a better friend to others. Rather than spending my time with a big group of people I consider to be acquaintances, I have a newfound appreciation for the authenticity that comes with spending moments with those whom I love and appreciate. We find activities that my friends and I have a shared love for: exploring Boston and finding cute spots to study at, watching a movie we’ve been dying to see for weeks, or attempting to cook a fun meal in a kitchenette. And don’t get me wrong – I still enjoy a night out, but I have come to appreciate the value of a night in just as much, if not more.

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