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.
Oh my goodness, I swear the is the exact same as how I feel!! I can imagine it must be really annoying having people who are only just getting used to having alcohol, because it's always been the same for me, I've been allowed to drink when I want but never gone crazy about it. And I get so tired, and bored as well, at about 2am when I go out, but being in Newcastle, everyone's always going out, it makes me feel so old! I also find it really silly that you pay so much for it (living on a student budget!!) just to forget everything and feel awful the next day!ReplyDelete
Sorry this is a massive rant, but this sort of thing really gets to me too =)
I don't think your missing out on anything except a shitty time. As you've found out, drinking in the U.S. is a lot different than it is in the U.K., or most of Europe for that matter. In Europe, people drink to have a good time: their first priority is spending time with friends, bonding, as you said. Here, people drink to get drunk, and maybe to get laid if they're lucky.ReplyDelete
"I just wish that people could bond with me without a drink in their hands."
And if they can't, it's not your fault. Do you really want to be friends with those people anyway? I've found that most heavy drinkers (so...most people in college...) are quite fickle anyway. The friends I've had the longest are the ones who don't drink, or don't go out and get drunk every night. I mean, really, if I can't be friends with Person X because I can't go out to the bars with them and they give me no other opportunity to get to know them...who cares?
I grew up here, with parents super uptight about alcohol, and I still don't want to go out and get drunk and party. I too am an early bird and I like to be in bed by midnight-1 am. And I definitely also wonder if I actually have any friends at university. I don't think there's anything wrong with it at all.ReplyDelete
I completely agree with you. I am a homebody and would much rather spend time chatting with friends then out getting completely smashed. I was born and raised in the US and alcohol has always been such a taboo subject. Thankfully my parents were never strict about it. I couldn't go to bars or anything, but when I was at home they would let me have sips of the wine, cocktails, beer, etc and as I got older I could have my own drinks on occasion. So many of my university friends get completely out of control because their parents wouldn't even let them see alcohol. Its so silly and not something I want to be a part of.ReplyDelete
I also sit at home some Friday and Saturday nights and think "Am I boring??" But I think I would rather be "boring" then be out with people making horrible decisions and then spending the rest of the night throwing up. I just keep in mind that there are good, fun people out there who don't need to get completely drunk to have a good time. Maybe they aren't part of me life right now, but one day they will be. I think need to head to the UK. Seems like you guys have it all figured out there!
On another note, I am from Minnesota and vacation in and around Duluth every year. I don't think its you that is boring, I think it is Duluth!
Don't worry, I'm exactly the same. I had to go through about a month when I first got here of going out and drinking because those were the first people I met and I was scared to lose them. But I've managed to find people who don't go out. They drink, but in a civilised manner, and while watching good dvds and talking. I'm in love with them all, I don't even have it this good at home. Keep an eye out, I'm sure there are people like you on campus. And don't be scared to just sit down beside them at lunch. That's what I did. It was terrifying! And as the others have said, if all they can find to do with their time is drink and go out, then they're not what you're looking for anyway. **ReplyDelete
Getting completely drunk and smashed and not remembering anything is outrageously stupid. And also you have two completely different points at this post. First you sau you drink to get drunk and then you say you dont like to be drunk. Maybe you should make up your mindReplyDelete