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An Open Letter to the College Women Who Are Ready to Settle Down

Why are we made to feel guilty for saying “No” every time we are asked to go to the bars? Why do people find it so difficult to have a conversation with us that doesn’t revolve around alcohol? Why is getting wasted every weekend and hooking up with strangers “so much cooler” than staying in with our girlfriends to watch movies?

I have never been one to party. I went to a couple of parties in high school, but only because my best friends were going and I had major FOMO in my senior year for some reason. In reality, I am a total introvert in big crowds and, while I had this expectation that I would get to university and all of a sudden become this outgoing party girl (yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking either), I soon realized that that is just something I will never be, and I’m learning to be okay with that.

At first, I found this realization really difficult to accept. In the first few months of school, I found it extremely challenging to make real friends, and I attributed a lot of that to the fact that I was not the type of person that enjoyed going to clubs and frat parties every night. It seemed like that was where everyone was making their friends and, while I did go to a couple parties in the first few weeks, I found that I felt more awkward and out of place than anything.

As the weeks went on, through different floors in my building and clubs on campus, I gradually started to make friends who shared my beliefs and interests, and I think I value these friendships that much more because they didn’t come easily and I did have to work to find them.

As I made these friends, and realized that I wasn’t the only one on campus that didn’t think a good Friday night consisted of staying out until 3am getting wasted, I learned (and learned to accept) a lot about myself as well.

I don’t think I should be ashamed to admit that I am eighteen years old and would be perfectly happy to find a significant other and settle down right now. I don’t think I should be embarrassed to say that I love getting into bed at 8pm to read or watch Netflix on a Saturday night. I don’t think that I should feel uncomfortable saying that I would rather get together with a few friends to just talk and watch movies for hours than go out to get drunk and dance with random creeps. I don’t think that I should have to feel self-conscious about the fact that I do have very different interests from most people my age, and I have never been the type of person to pretend to like something just because everyone else does.

It seems as though society has this weird idea that all people from the ages of fifteen to twenty-five should want to “lose control” and “go wild” and “get it out of their systems” before entering the real world. But what about the people who think that “losing control” is just about the least desirable activity out there? What about the people who think that “going wild” is road tripping with their best friends or dancing in the kitchen with their boyfriends? What about the people who never possessed the desire to get blackout drunk every weekend in the first place and, thus, cannot “get it out of their systems”?

So, to the twenty-somethings who would rather binge-watch Netflix or read or do any number of things to improve your relationship with yourself and your closest friends instead of going to parties every weekend, just to get so drunk that you don’t even remember what you did, I want to tell you a few things that I wish someone had told me: you don’t have to be someone you’re not in order to find your people. Your feelings are valid. Your personal preferences are valid. You are valid, and you are most certainly not alone.

 

I am a freshmen at the University of Western Ontario in the Arts and Humanities program. I think I am going to major in English Literature, and after I complete my undergrad, I am hoping to go to Law School. Books have always been my safe place, my escape from the real world - I have always been more of a reader, but with this new phase of my life starting, I decided to try my hand at writing. I guess we're about to find out how that goes.
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