David Jagneaux is a professional communicator and freelance writer. He graduated from the University of North Texas with Bachelor degrees in both Professional Technical Communication and Political Science. He currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and works as a Writer for a Silicon Valley tech startup company, as well as a freelance writer primarily in the video game and tech industries on the side.
Making the transition from high school to college is intimidating for most people. In a lot of cases, you’re leaving the support network that you grew up with, possibly moving away from home, and finally living out on your own for the first time in your life. That can be extremely scary, but also incredibly exciting at the same time. You’ll be surrounded by new peers, new potential friendships, and plenty of new opportunities. However, there is a common misconception that enjoying college life requires the adoption of the “party lifestyle” – but that’s definitely not the case.
As someone that grew up as a stereotypical nerd, I love video games, I enjoy learning, and am generally more interested in the next edition of my favorite book series than I am in trying out new types of beer. This isn’t to say that going to parties is a bad thing – it just wasn’t my thing. And as such, it doesn’t have to be your thing either.
You can get through college without ever getting drunk at all, whatsoever. I know, because I did it. You don’t have to succumb to peer pressure from your friends and neighbors. Just because the group of people down the hall in your dorm are heading out to a big party doesn’t mean you have to feel required to go as well. If you don’t want to do something, then don’t do it. It’s as simple as that!
I wasn’t exactly the stereotypical example of the introverted student either, though. I skipped class from time-to-time to hang out with friends. I worked through all of my years at college at various part-time and full-time jobs. I had lots of friends and acquaintances that I spent time with. I lived with lots of different people. Overall, I gained a lot of life experiences that I cherish and value immensely.
The great thing about the culture at most universities is that there is likely a group of people that fall in line with your interests somewhere on campus. There may not be a formal club or group for you to join, but you an surely find people to spend time with. Once you identify what you’re passionate about and what you enjoy spending your time doing, my advice is to stop wasting your energy on endeavors that aren’t enjoyable for you. During my freshman year of college, I went to my first and only college party and just didn’t have a good time. So, as a result, I chose not to pursue that stuff.
And you know what? The people that enjoyed partying that I knew back then? They all have full-time jobs in their desired fields, just like myself and the rest of my non-party going friends. The activities and people that you hang out with in your teens and early twenties don’t define you as a person. The type of life that you lead and the pleasures you pursue in life are entirely up to you. College life does not have to mean party life if you don’t want it to.