Written by: Emma Florez
Art By: Lily Tammik
Tl; dr- I came into college with expectations, even though I know in mindfulness you’re not supposed to have any, and they didn’t get fulfilled, so I’m going to bitch about it.
Expectation: I go out every weekend. I dress up in my sexy little black and red dress with shorts on underneath for the illusion of modesty. Before putting on way too much makeup, I turn on my vibes playlist to get hyped to party and to make me hopeful that I’ll find love. I go to a UVM party (because God knows we can’t do anything fun on our campus), get wasted or stoned (but not both), and. . . ????? I’m not sure what I want out of these parties, but I always assume it’s preceded by substances that will be legal for me in 19 months (yes, I’m counting).
Reality: Friday night is Anime Night for my friends. Anyone who doesn’t want to watch for three hours is “banimed” from the common room. I sit in my room being sad because my they aren’t paying attention to me. I stare at my wall. It’s too late to start on homework, but too early to go to bed. I end up watching Gossip Girl on Netflix, living vicariously through the characters as they go to parties, fall in love, and just have fun. As I fall asleep, I realize that’s what I’m missing: fun. I pour myself into my studies and my job, and I’m too exhausted to do things purely for fun.
Expectation: I’m scared. I worry about my safety when I’m surrounded by a bunch of drunk frat guys. I might be too drunk myself to get back to campus. The words of my Concepts of Self professor that people die on the walk from UVM to Champlain ring in my ears. Even in the place I thought I’d be having fun, I’m distracted by anxieties.
Reality: I’m safe and warm in my dorm. The occasional doubt that my friends don’t like me because I don’t share their avid love of anime crosses my mind, but I’m able to dampen them by remembering the many words of reassurance they’ve given me. Most of the time, it’s hard for me to trust the nice things people say to or about me, but I’m learning to trust them. It helps me sleep at night.
Expectation: My friends don’t care about me. All they ever want to do is party. They push my boundaries, and I don’t know how to say no. My studies, friendships, and mental health are suffering, but at least I go out every weekend, right?
Reality: My friends really care about me. They value my safety above all else. Even when I’m mad at them and storm out of the dorm, they text me to make sure I’m safe. I’m learning about myself and how to respect my own boundaries. Eventually, I will go out and party, but I know I don’t have to push myself to do that right now. I can have fun in my own ways until I’m ready to party.