Since joining university I have to say I’m somewhat disappointed. No, that doesn’t sound right. University has been amazing, I’ve begun new experiences, partied nights away and met people from all around the world. And yet, I feel as though I should be enjoying every single minute of it. I’m paying enough, right?
But that’s not the point. You can’t force happiness, it’s something that comes naturally. The more you try and search for it the less real it will be. Take for example my New Year’s Eve. The whole night was set, the best house was chosen and my friends and I came en mass to celebrate the chiming of the annual clock. The alcohol was there, the good company too, and yet something didn’t quite click for me. Yes we went through the motions, drinking games, music, singing, dancing, but it just wasn’t the same as the excitement of last year. This was supposed to be the biggest, wildest party time of the year, but I saw through the countdown quite sober and seated. For a time I felt aggravated that I’d wasted such a night, with tales of debauchery and wild acts flowing in from my other friends. Perhaps I had. But this is my point, it’s almost as though you’re expected to have fun. You have to drink copious amounts of alcohol, go wild and do things you’ll come to regret in the morning. Anything less and your night was ‘tame’ and you didn’t have enough fun as you could have. But this isn’t how it should be. Indeed, upon comparing our nights a week after at University, I discovered much to my surprise one friend hadn’t drunk at all. The news shocked me, she’s likely the wildest of us all for a night out, especially at home with her friends, and yet she told me she’d just had a quiet night in with her friends, ordering takeaway, reminiscing and generally enjoying each other’s company. One thing she said though really stuck with me. She hadn’t ‘expected’ anything.
It’s true, social networking, T.V, the media; they’ve all conditioned us youths to feel that we need to be drunk and doing something wild to have a good time. We expect nights to reflect what we see on the likes of Sun, sex and suspicious parents; dancing, kissing girls, throwing up, and trying our hand at some vague attempts of parkour. But this shouldn’t be so. You shouldn’t have to conform to the stereotypes laid down by society. Happiness should be what you make it, not what is expected of you. It’s as though with the all-consuming social web induced by the likes of Facebook and Twitter people feel the need to show off to others that they’re not boring but young, wild and free. If there is anything to take away from this short read it’s that you should do what makes you happy, regardless of what others think of you. Perhaps if I hadn’t turned up on New Year’s Eve expecting the drink induced carnage I’d experienced the previous year than I might have had a great night catching up with old friends and seeing out midnight genuinely happy, rather than regretful of a potentially wild night lost. So next time you’re worried someone else is having more fun than you, forget about them, and start doing the things that interest you. I hate to use it in writing but you are only this age once, so why waste it worrying if you’re the happiest you could be. If there’s a smile on your face and you’re not bored than it’s working, whatever it is. So get out there and do the things you know you enjoy, and live your life happy!