Personally, I don’t partake in the partying scene much. I accept that others enjoy partying, but being around large groups of people I don’t really know well enough to call “friends”, often gives me anxiety. I find that many college kids do this to blow off steam after a weak of exhaustion, and I do get it if you’re an extremely social person and alcohol helps you forget the negativity of the week faster than anything else, but if it were for stress-relieving purposes in my case, I’d prefer spending my time with people I enjoy being around, maybe writing, painting, watching movies, or cooking together. That’s not to say that, on the occasion, I don’t enjoy a good party (or two), but I do prefer to spend my time in emotionally fulfilling ways. Fulfillment, on my weekends, comes in many forms, often in creative ways. When I am creating, whether it be through my words, videos, artworks, or all three, I am doing the same thing as those who are partying. I find that it relieves me of my stresses and worries. When I give myself to my creative outlets, I find happiness that cannot be provided by anything else in my life. I enjoy it more than partying, because instead of waking up with a hangover the next day, I wake up with a feeling of completion. Everyone has something that revives their happiness and equilibrium, and creating new works in my life gives me just that.
With this realization, I also realized that sober shaming became a thing, which amazed me, because weren’t we all “sober” at one point in our lives? When we were kids, didn’t we enjoy going to parties and spending time with friends without the addition of alcohol? When did it become “uncool” to explore your loves and outlets without being under the influence? I don’t generalize “sober shaming” to everyone who parties and has friends or peers that don’t prefer to do so, because I do know plenty of wonderful people that don’t find the need to ostracize those who don’t necessarily party every weekend, but the select few that initiate this kind of taunting surprise me in many ways. I think everyone should celebrate their differences rather than ostracize because of them. Just as I accept those who initiate in behaviors that I don’t necessarily do myself, they should be able to understand that others may not get the same joys from spending their weekends partying. It’s just silly. Respect should be something we all should practice often, and genuinely.