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Ask a Collegiette: Can I Attend a Party School Without Partying?

Are you a smart and savvy pre-collegiette looking for answers to some of your most personal questions about college? You know, the ones about boys, classes, roommates and parties that your school’s guidance office can’t help you with? Jen is here to answer those questions! Whatever your concern, she’ll do her best to help you so you can make sure you don’t just survive college, but rock it!

The college I’m planning on attending is a huge party school, but I’ve never been to a party in my life. I just don’t know if that’s me, especially because I’m shy and awkward. How can I resolve this without making me end up in a bunch of nerves? -Marissa


College parties are known for their wild sides, as everyone has seen in movies about college life like The House Bunny and 22 Jump Street. In the timeline of a movie college party, there always seems to be a surplus of alcohol, crazy flashing lights, slow-motion dance sequences and loud music. Whether or not parties at your campus will be like that isn’t a guarantee, but you can bet that they will probably be similar based on what you said in your question – your school clearly already has a rep for it.

Once you arrive on campus, you may find that you want to go to one party just to have the experience. This will be a good way for you to “test the waters” in a sense, and you can bring your friends along so that you have them by your side for support.

From your first experience, you can judge how you might feel about parties in the future and whether or not it’s your scene. If you quickly find that you don’t want to be part of the party scene, leave as soon as you’re able to and go on with your life as usual. Don’t let others pressure you to do what you don’t want to do just because it’s the “cool” thing to do. You have to do what’s right for you, and if that means cuddling up with a good book or some Netflix instead of getting turnt, do that! You’ll eventually find people who enjoy the same activities as you do!

Your time in college is all about new experiences and continuing on the journey of finding yourself, so the biggest point I want to remind you of is to stay true to who you are. If you’re concerned about the party culture on your campus and you’re worried that you won’t fit in, pull a Taylor Swift and “shake it off,” as I’m sure you’ll find friends who don’t want to party either. Plus, the freshman party craze eventually dies down after a while once the homework and the side effects of no sleep set in!

In the end, people will respect you more when you do what you like to do and stick with that, instead of doing what everyone else does just for the heck of it. So, experiment with parties if you wish, or just hang out more low-key with some non-partying friends. Remember, you don’t need blasting pop music or a beer to have a great time during the weekend. Best of luck!

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Jen is a 2016 graduate of Messiah College, where she majored in journalism and minored in gender studies. She's a proud Bostonian who is obsessed with tattoos, puppies, magazines and Sephora. She's been reading Her Campus since high school and was thrilled to join the HC team as a National Contributing Writer in September 2013. She became an HC Beauty Blogger in February 2014 and continued to write on-trend beauty posts until July 2016. A few highlights from her time writing for HC included attending and writing about two BeautyCon events and Cosmopolitan's Fun Fearless Life in 2015. You can follow her on Twitter @JenFlanagan14 and on Instagram @jenlea14.
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