For many of you, this is just the beginning of an amazing four years of college. It’s the first time you’re away from the watchful eyes of overprotective parents and neighbors who tell on you when you have a party. It’s the first time you’re not surrounded by people who you’ve known since grade school. It’s a year of firsts, and that’s so incredibly exciting. For me, and every other senior, it’s the beginning of the end. I’m entering into my final year of college, and all I can think is, “I did it all wrong.”
On paper, you could say my college career is damn near perfect. I joined a sorority, became involved in clubs, landed a few internships, got good grades, and even made it to twenty-one without getting so much as a parking ticket.
But it’s the things you can’t put on paper – the experiences, the mistakes that turn into epic stories, the blackouts, the drunk fights, the drunk hookups, even the embarrassing walks of shame – that I feel like I missed out on.
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely went to parties and drank, but I guess you could say that I “partied responsibly.” I had a few cups of punch and then, miraculously, stopped when I felt like I was tipsy enough to have a good time. I blacked out once or twice and felt so terrible about making my friends take care of me that it never happened again.
I wasn’t a wet blanket, but I wasn’t the life of the party either, and I was always secretly jealous of the girls who were.
The girls who partied (and I mean “get blackout once a week, dance on tables, #noragrets” PARTIED) were fun. They were carefree, fearless, the farthest thing from flawless, and I envied them. They didn’t care if their makeup smeared while shotgunning a beer or what anyone thought of them when they took a shot off of another girls’ belly or made out with two different guys in the same night.
In any other world, those girls would be wild and crazy outcasts. But in college world, those girls stand out in the best way. In college world, those girls thrive. They survive on the party punch and come alive to the sound of a techno beat. They drink as much as they possibly can, party as hard as they can, and fuck as many people as they want. And they enjoy, and more importantly, make the most of every second they have in college.
Contrary to what society might have you believe, those girls are smart. They know they can’t keep doing this forever. They know they will eventually have to grow up, join the real world, get a job, get married, and have babies just like everyone else. When they do eventually settle down, they’ll really settle down because they already did the crazy stuff. They sowed their wild oats, kissed who they wanted to kiss, did what they wanted to do. So when the time comes to put it all behind them, they can do it without any lingering feelings that they missed out on anything.
You don’t want to leave college and wonder if you missed your opportunity to be that girl.
Your parents, teachers, and everyone else lied to you. College isn’t about making good grades. Well, technically it is. But more than that, it’s about the experiences you can’t get anywhere else at any different time. You have a very short window in your life to do stupid things, and it ends when you cross that stage at graduation.
When you look back at the memories you made in college, I guarantee you won’t remember that night you stayed in to study. You’ll remember that casual night drinking with friends that turned into a party with everyone on your floor, or the night you walked a mile home holding onto your best friend.
If I have one piece of advice for college freshman, it wouldn’t be to go to office hours or study the footnotes. It would be to party. Hard. Rage your fucking face off. Get drunk and do stupid things. This is literally the only time in your life where you can blackout on a regular basis without being considered an alcoholic. Drink a lot of booze and kiss a lot of boys because when it’s over, it’s over. You can’t do those things anymore, because you’ll have a life with actual responsibilities that you can’t ignore and hope gets dropped before final grades are posted. This is it.
You only have four years. Make the most of it..