My roommates and I are entertainers. We love having people over at our house, for get-togethers big and small, and meeting new people both when we stay in or go out. Yet as much as I love it, hosting isn’t my favorite way to spend my Friday nights.
My dream Friday night isn’t full of loud, generic dubstep that no one likes and gives me a headache. It doesn’t involve the desperate, sweaty search for an address to a house party that will be rolled half an hour after I get there. It doesn’t require awkward averted glances when the time comes to designate a driver.
All I want for my perfect Friday night is to be snug on the couch dressed in comfy clothes, with a glass of wine and some popcorn, watching some of my favorite movies. Is that so much to ask?
Sometimes, in the collegiate environment, it feels like it is.
I know what you’re thinking. “What a #firstworldproblem, Kevin gets too many opportunities to go out.” The truth is that I’m hardly the king of parties at LMU (not being in Greek Life will do that to you), but I’m lucky to have a fairly healthy social life with good friends who love getting out and trying new things – especially since turning 21 and being able to enjoy going out to bars. But with all of that comes a discomfort about wasting any time – as if by not going out, I’m losing the opportunities to make all of my best college memories.
Yet what I’m quickly learning is that not taking time for yourself can be hazardous to your health. College doesn’t make relaxing easy, after all. While it may have been simple in high school to stay in with the family on a Friday night, being surrounded by friends who seemingly never stop working hard or playing hard creates real peer pressure.
Plus, even if you get through the gauntlet of guilt often met when suggesting you’d rather stay in, you get drawn into a hangover of ‘didn’t go out’ regret when you see the social media outflow the next morning.
Facebook: “OMG, look at all these pics from last night’s house party!”
Twitter: “OMG last night #actuallystillgoing #wecantstop #wewontstop”
Instagram: “OMG look at this pic of our drinks #nofilter #LA #latergram #youngandbeautiful”
OMG, it can make anyone hate the very idea of staying in. Why am I not partying right now? Oh, right, because “Clueless” just came from Netflix and I have a bottle of Malbec calling my name. Going out? As if!
Ideally, it’s not even a new movie I watch – I’d much prefer one of the favorites, like “The Devil Wears Prada” or “I Love You, Man.” Something fun and funny that will give you the laughs and warm comfort you need after a rough week. You can find plenty of perfect choices in a Redbox or on Netflix Instant – and never forget that TBS shows “Mean Girls” a million times a weekend. It’ll recharge you and give you the energy to go out Saturday. See? You can have it all!
Despite my love for the Friday night in, don’t take any of this to mean I hate parties. I don’t. I am, of course, going to go out again – probably this upcoming weekend, even. I’m just finally realizing the importance of taking a little time for myself, even if it’s just the rare Friday night.
You should try it out, too, if you’re feeling too overwhelmed to breathe. Maybe even this Friday. “Mean Girls” is probably on TBS again, after all.
This is the opinion of Kevin O’Keeffe, a senior screenwriting major from Austin, Texas. Please send comments to email@example.com.