For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Oct 02 2016
by Lauren Wigren

Partying is a Personal Choice, So Respect It

By Lauren Wigren - Oct 02 2016
When it comes to college — or life in general — you’ll often be advised to make the best decisions for you. Not a morning person? Try to avoid 8 A.M. classes. Tired of playing soccer? Try to find a sport or activity that interests you. Not satisfied with your course load? Talk to your advisor and consider switching majors. Chances are, everyone has faced a similar situation or at least knows someone who has. Changing a major or quitting a sport does not usually warrant harsh judgment, so what makes the decision to attend (or not attend) a party any different?

The word party evokes two very distinct reactions which are associated with two very distinct groups of people. The first being the “party girls” and the stereotypical "frat boys" who view partying as the epitome of the college experience will immediately break out the speakers, beer and tight-fitting clothes. The second being the "introverted bookworms" and perfectly-behaved "goodie-two-shoes" who will turn up their nose and unwaveringly defend their decision to stay in and read a book or watch Game of Thrones on Netflix.

At least that’s what we think. Those on both sides will try and convince you that their choice, however indicative of their lifestyle it may really be, is better by painting these portraits. In reality, however, the college-aged population is not this black-and-white: most people are somewhere in between. You can be studious and responsible and still decide to go to a party with your friends every now and then. You can choose not to go to parties and still be a social butterfly. The decisions you make regarding your social life, just like those regarding school and your career, should make you feel content and comfortable.

No matter the motives or evidence of those trying to pressure you, the choice is ultimately a personal one that has no effect or bearing on anyone else. As a generation that prides itself in being more progressive and less judgmental, it astonishes me that the subject of partying can still be so divisive. Whatever your personal stance on partying is, you should be accepting and respectful of those who decide differently than you.

As a feminist, I feel that words like “slut” and “prude” exist only to label women who have upset men in some way and to turn women against each other. Labeling someone based on whether or not they like going to parties is dangerous in that it contributes to slut-shaming and stereotyping. Nobody should feel guilty for wanting to go out and have fun or embarrassed for wanting to stay in and unwind.

Of course, you should always be sure to engage in activities safely and healthfully. If you do intend to go to parties, be mindful of who you’re with, where you are and how much you are drinking if you are drinking. If you’d rather stay in that’s awesome too — just be sure to make time for your friends every now and then to avoid isolating yourself and putting your mental health at risk.

Instead of drilling each other about the pros and cons of partying, not partying, etc., we should focus instead on not judging our peers’ decisions. What’s right for you may not necessarily be what’s right for your roommate or your lab partner. In the adult world we must all coexist with each other and that means being respectful of others’ personal choices, so long as they don’t affect you. If you want to go to that party than go, just remember to stay safe. If you want to stay in and read, that’s absolutely fine too, just make plans to grab lunch with your friends this weekend. You live your life and I’ll live mine, and at the end of the day we’ll all be fine.

Lead Image Credit: Universal Pictures

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Lauren Wigren - Simmons College

Simmons College 2020! Majoring in Elementary Education and History. Loves writing, acting, singing, working with kids, and my dog.

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