Don’t feel the pressure to party

Gwen Henry | Cartoonist

By The Editorial Board

It’s 9:05 a.m. on a Monday. You take your seat in your first class and get ready for at least three surface-level class friends to ask how your weekend was. But while you hear others rattling off the frat parties they went to, you have nothing to talk about except a movie marathon, homework and more than one late-night trip to the Grease Pit — and that’s just fine.

While partying can be a fun and healthy college experience in moderation, it doesn’t have to be the norm. There are a lot of alternative ways to enjoy the weekend, such as trying out a new local restaurant or putting on your favorite TV show. So if you aren’t the going out type, don’t let the pressure to party in college make you feel obligated to do something you wouldn’t normally want to do. Finding your crowd can be hard, but seeking friends with the same habits and values is important for a healthy social life.

There are also several potential downsides to participating in the party scene. About 80% of college students drink to some degree, while 50% participate in binge drinking, which is consuming too much alcohol in too little time. There are serious problems that arise from drinking excessively. Such habits can harm not only your health but also your wallet. Try calculating your spending on the Alcohol Cost Calculator.

Additionally, even if you aren’t consistently making an appearance at parties on weeknights or noticing a decline in your coursework, about one in four college students reports experiencing academic difficulties due to alcohol use.

While those statistics bring to light that a majority of college students drink alcohol and most likely go out, there are plenty of people who don’t enjoy partying or have grown bored of partying, preferring to find alternative ways to spend their weekend. Although the fear of missing out is often a very real obstacle in this situation, the reality is that if you’re only going to a party to avoid FOMO, you probably won’t have a good time anyway.

A part of college is making friends and inevitably drifting from them because of priority differences, jobs or other commitments. This isn’t a bad thing, and nobody is in the wrong. However, the people who stick by your side will prioritize activities you’re both interested in.

Staying snuggled on the couch and watching a movie is definitely not the same type of fun as turning up with your friends at a party. However, chill weekend activities are just as enjoyable as crazy ones. Remember to put just as much value on rest and rejuvenation as you do on going out, and never feel pressured to join the party scene.