Embrace your inner “old lady” – Trinitonian

Anxiety, FOMO and the college experience

Anxiety, FOMO and the college experience
I was on Accutane at the start of the school year. Since Accutane is hard on your liver, you are not supposed to consume anything else like alcohol which will put extra strain on your liver. Accutane alone put my liver in a state of caution, so I didn’t even try to push it with alcohol. This is how puzzle nights began. Instead of going out, my friends and I would turn on a trashy reality show, chat, and do a puzzle.
One night, however, my friend’s mother called her. My friend told her what we were doing and her mom replied, “Please don’t waste your college years being an old lady.” I laughed, but it was also indicative of the social expectations of being in college.
There is a culture perpetuated by students, parents and the media that tells students that these will be the best years of our lives, so we need to make the most of them. Movies like “Project X,” “Neighbors,” and “Superbad” give school and college a black-and-white portrayal. Either you do your homework or you party. If you don’t do either, you’re wasting your time.
While staying on Accutane, I faced a lot of FOMO (fear of missing something). I was afraid that I wouldn’t have so many friends because I didn’t go to parties or the club. Those few months went on forever, and my Friday night puzzle group started to dwindle in size. I started to feel isolated and my anxiety increased as my circle narrowed. It was as if I had royally wasted the rest of my college years and would never be able to set foot in the door of social life.
However, now that I’ve joined the college social life, I see that I wasn’t missing much. I met a few friends, but no one I wouldn’t have met otherwise. There are still many nights I stay in for a puzzle and a movie, as opposed to a hot, sweaty, crowded room. While it’s fun to hang out, I also enjoy the quality time I spend with my remaining friends. The bond created by these nights is more than could have been achieved by going out.
I still think about what my friend’s mother said, that we were wasting our college experience by being “old ladies,” and honestly, I think that’s stupid. “Old lady” activities like piecing together puzzles, knitting, crocheting, or playing card games with friends can be far more rewarding than going out and partying. It gives you time to pause and reflect, a time few students have. Taking a break from the college madness allows time to build intimate and meaningful relationships with yourself and others, bringing positive emotional depth to the college experience.
There’s no right way to spend your time in college. University is getting to know yourself and others, surpassing yourself and having fun. In each of these aspects there is no right or wrong answer, just what is most fruitful for you, and if that means sticking around and being an old lady, so be it.

About Sally Dominguez

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