Friday, 29 October 2010
Is it socially acceptable to be "boring" at University?
If you know me, even just a little bit, you will probably have heard me describe myself as "boring" at least once or twice. It's not something I do as a self-deprecating Brit, or to fish for "no-you're-not" compliments. It is just simple fact.
I am not really much of a party animal. Don't get me wrong, I do like to go out. I like to get dressed up, have a few drinks and have a sing and a dance. But usually I get tired by about 2am and want to go to bed.
It's not that I don't like to have fun, or that I'm not fun, I just enjoy different kinds of fun.
There are a few of reasons behind this. One of them is that I'm a morning person. Your standard early bird. My perfect day will be getting up at 7am and going to bed at 10pm. I like to get up early, be productive and have an early night. The reason I'm usually tired on a night out is because I've often been up since 8. Even when I work at my bar job until 4.30am, I've usually been up since before 9.
Another reason is that I am an only child. I like my alone time. I am a very, very sociable person. I love to talk and have fun with people and sometimes I hate to be lonely. But I do enjoy my own company. Sometimes I like being selfish and like having the freedom to do what I want without asking someone else about it.
The other reason is well, I get tired easily. And when I'm tired, I get grumpy. And then I am even less fun. I have often made the excuse for not coming out that "I would be no fun." This is because when I'm tired, I'm miserable. I am also not much of a drinker. Not really. I could live without it. I've become one of those people who enjoys a white wine spritzer with a pub lunch and that's about it. The only other time I drink is if I'm going out- I drink to get drunk, effectively. Classy, I know. But even so, I don't even enjoy being drunk that much.
But I'm starting to worry if that's okay at University. My friends at uni never have a problem with it. We enjoy nights in with cups of tea, and girly nights with films and talking. But I feel like drinking here in the US is still kinda a big deal. But for me, my parents were never strict with alcohol. They would drop me off at the pub when I was 16 and promise to pick me up if I couldn't get home. Alcohol was never taboo so I never abused it. I've been drinking since I was 16, 17 so it's nothing new for me. But with the much higher drinker age here I feel like people still find alcohol new and exciting, something I haven't felt for years. Since turning twenty I am shocked to find myself asked for ID when buying a bottle of wine or spirits. I've been legal for two years now, do I really still look 17?
Tonight I chose not to go out. I was tired, I wasn't in the mood and I knew I had a lot of homework to do this weekend and a lot of reading and knew I'd benefit from a night in. But I feel like I am completely letting everyone down, and fear that if I don't join in with drinking I'll struggle to make friends here. I have fun with sleepovers and DVD nights and girly time. I like to go out but it's not my favourite way to have fun. But I'm scared my being boring, my want for early nights and early mornings, is going to hinder my friendship with people. I am notoriously bad at making friends and already I'm scared that I don't have many friends here, and what that means. I don't have to try with my friends at home any more, my friends at uni. It's all so natural. We've been friends for so long it's easy. But I don't have that over here and sometimes it can make me feel very lonely.
Sometimes I hate myself for my tiredness, my love of safety and security and my boringness. I'm scared that soon people are going to stop asking me out to do things and I'll find myself alone. I know I need to let myself go a little more, but it rarely leads to me being any happier. I'm hoping things will change when I'm actually 21 and I can really go out. I miss clubbing, but I don't think Duluth is the clubbing capital of the world. I'm worried that by not going out and drinking I'm missing out on opportunities to bond with people.
I just wish that people could bond with me without a drink in their hands.
For now, I'm hiding behind the fact that I'm not old enough to go out. It's quite convenient. But I'm worried that people already think I'm uptight and boring and that they don't think anything will change by the time I'm 21. I don't want to feel like I'm missing out on anything, and right now I don't. I just hope I can find people who like to have fun the way I do; laughing, talking, watching films and getting to know each other.
Alcohol or no alcohol.