I think that I am having a premature mid-life crisis, if there is such a thing, that is. I am eighteen years old and I am just beginning my second semester of college. So far, this semester has been extremely difficult, and I have yet to “get in the groove” of things despite the fact that this is about the sixth or seventh week. I am usually working three + days a week, and if I’m not working I’m goofing off all day and then pulling all-nighters. As a result of this, I am irritable, and on top of that, I feel extremely dissatisfied with life.
I’ve been spending more time with my classmates who live on campus. I feel like a stick-in-the mud compared to them. They’ve both had sex before, have “hooked up” with some guys on campus, smoke, drink, party, meet guys, and seem to be having the typical college experience (whatever that is). I’m not sure why I’m so envious of them seeing as I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and I have no intentions of losing my virginity anytime soon. I mean, my idea of having a good time is going out to dinner and a movie and staying out until 12:30 AM. My friends have invited me to hang out with them, but I’m not sure if it’s such a good idea. I’m worried that I will do something crazy. I guess what I would like to know is, how do I add excitement to my life without losing myself in the process?
It’s great — and important — that you want to hold on to your identity. So many people compromise who they are just to fit in, and it’s awesome that you know exactly what kind of gURL you are.
College can be really frustrating and yes, even crisis-inducing. From a young age, we’re told that it’s a fun time to discover yourself, meet new people, and have the time of your life, but a lot of students find that it’s overwhelming and actually really hard to be social. On top of that, we’re supposed to know what we want to do with our lives all while dealing with more adult issues like money and stuff. You’re not alone. I promise.
I say you should go ahead and hang out with your friends one weekend. Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to meeting cool new people, or at the very least, get you out of your funk. It sounds like you know who you are (not a drinker, smoker, or gURL who hooks up), so you don’t have to be worried about doing something crazy or stupid as long as you’re true to yourself. And trust me, if you’re hanging out with people who are drunk or high, you definitely won’t be the dumbest-acting person in the room.
That said, you should certainly get your homework done before you head out for the weekend. Procrastination leads to all that awful frustration and stress. You’ve heard it a million times, but by managing your time better, you’ll have more energy to focus on figuring out what makes you happy.
And speaking of what makes you happy, I suggest you think about joining a club or intramural sport at school, even if you aren’t the type of person who usually participates in extracurriculars. Most colleges have really diverse clubs that are filled with gURLs (and guys!) looking to make friends with people who share their interests and idea of fun. By meeting people who get to know you for you (while sober, no less), you’ll have your own brand of excitement. I think that’s way better than going through the motions of the “typical college experience,” that so many people only pretend to really enjoy.
WDYT, gURLs? How can she spice up her social life? I’d love to hear your advice!
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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