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Clubbing, drinking, and partying until the early hours of the next day. These are just some of the things that are commonly associated with life as a college student. Of course, weekend shenanigans vary by person, and some people simply prefer the comfort of their home over the flashing lights and upbeat music found at Roppongi. I happen to fall under the “stay-at-home” category. Staying out past nine o’clock sounds exhausting, and I would much rather watch Netflix until whatever ungodly hour I decide to sleep at than roam around the streets of Tokyo, waiting for the first train to start running. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my preferences, and likewise I have absolutely nothing against peers who choose to spend their free time in social settings. However, my parents occasionally express their concern over my supposed lack of a social life -- “Are you sure you have friends?” and “Are you really doing okay?” are questions I get asked on a regular basis. Though I understand where they are coming from, their worry sometimes comes across as more of an attack than genuine interest. Perhaps it is because of how homebodies are portrayed in the media, but the notion that people who enjoy staying at home (as opposed to going out with friends) are unsociable, hard-to-approach individuals bothers me quite a bit for numerous reasons.

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I think that one of biggest misunderstandings regarding homebodies is that they stay home because they have no one to meet or socialize with. This might be true for some people, but it definitely doesn’t apply to everyone. I like staying at home because it means that I don’t have to deal with overwhelming crowds, and everything I want is where I need it. While traveling and exploring new places is great, being somewhere you’re familiar with is obviously comforting. My cautious side may have contributed to this inclination, but the main idea is that a good amount of homebodies choose to stay home because they want to, not because they have no other choice. Another strange thing people believe about homebodies is that they’re incapable of maintaining friendships. Again, this could be applicable to a select number, but they’re only a minority and aren’t an accurate representation. When did being a homebody become associated with having no friends? A homebody whose friend is a frequent partygoer will likely face some obstacles when setting up plans, but otherwise, I don’t see how being at home has any relation to being friendless. If anything, doesn’t staying at home make it easier to keep in contact with others?

I’m often told that your twenties are when you should try new things and live your life to the fullest. Some things are meant to be subjectively interpreted, and social life is, in my opinion, one of them. There are different ways to have a good time, and whether or not that involves a couple of shots should be completely up to you. Let yourself have fun in whatever way you want, because your college years only come by once! 

Third culture kid at Waseda who loves disposable cameras, movies, hanami season, and collecting postcards.
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