You ever find yourself surrounded by people you don't actually enjoy? At a party when you'd really rather be home reading or watching a movie? Always asking a friend to come over and hangout? Hooking up with a guy or girl when, in fact, you don't actually have any real feelings for them? Is it because you like being social, even if the social activity does nothing for you, your growth, your soul, and your wellbeing? Or is it because you're scared to be alone?
I can't even tell you how many parties I've attended where I wake up the next morning and the only thought I have about my night is, "I wasted about 800 calories on shitty beer & mixed drinks." Okay, I know that's a bit excessive, but I'm a health freak and this is honestly what goes through my mind. And for what? The sad thing is, for nothing. The amount of times I've actually gone out and had a decent conversation with a cool person, made a good decision, and actually felt, physically and mentally, good the next day is something like a handful of times. Don't get me wrong, to each his own. But partying, as much as I've participated in it, doesn't actually make me feel good. It's not a lifestyle that I actively enjoy. If you can't relate, that's totally okay, everyone enjoys different things. But the problem is that our fears of being lonely on top of the pressures we deal with in college can severely hold us back from doing the things and living the lifestyles we actually love. Furthermore, our fears and external pressures can make us fall into a pattern of doing the things that we don't actually enjoy, in place of the things that actually feed our soul.
I've realized it all comes down to one obstacle: feeling lonely. If you have a passion, that's amazing. But don't expect your passion to be the same as everyone else's, and vise versa. We tend to neglect our passions when we're the only ones passionate about them. For example, I constantly fall into a blogging slump because honestly, I don't know a single person in Boulder who blogs too. This can make it difficult for me to want to spend time taking photos and writing for a new blog post. But you know what's funny? Every time I do take photos, write for a new blog post, and ACTUALLY publish that shiz, I feel that rush of joy and creative energy flowing through my body. Every. Damn. Time. Exploring, writing, taking photos, and blogging feeds my soul. So, why don't I spend almost all of my free time doing it? The fear of being lonely is a powerful fear. Whatever your passion is or whatever you love doing; working out, reading, rock climbing, making music, drawing, acting, playing a sport, going to church, knitting, writing poetry, or even something quirky like juggling... literally ANYTHING-- whatever that thing is that gets your creative energy flowing and lifts your spirits, DO THAT SHIZ. Say no to the lifestyle you don't love, and do more of the thing you do love! It's not worth going to that party, hanging out with those people, partaking in drugs or drinking, not getting enough sleep, hooking up with that girl or dude that you don't actually like, and feeling hungover when you'd really rather be doing something else. Even if that means you're doing it alone.
I also think one of the hardest things to do in college is for people to be choosy with their friends. It's not that it's hard in an impossible way, but it's hard in an overcoming fear kind of way. Listen, if you aren't enjoying your time around certain people, but are still hanging out with them, it's time you realize your own company is also worth your time, and probably a lot more enjoyable too. Not everyone is going to be your best friend, not everyone is going to like you, you are not going to like everyone, and you are most certainly not going to connect with everyone on a "you feed my soul" kind of level. But that does NOT mean you should settle for what you're currently given to escape the feeling of loneliness. No. The right people, friends, and significant others will come into your life at some point. But those people aren't going to walk through your door if you're busy hanging out in another room. Close that door, and go back to your room!!! Don't hangout, hook up, or be friends with people just to feel a little less lonely. Learn to spend time with yourself and be your own best friend, I promise you will feel a lot more content than you would in a room full of people that just don't do it for ya.
Moral of my rant: don't settle for a lifestyle you don't love just to feel a little less lonely. I'll leave with some wise words my good friend Abby told me, "It's lonely at the top." If it means being lonely for a bit while you become your best self, isn't that worth it? Your vibe attracts your tribe, my friends. Be your best self and soon, you'll attract the tribe you long for.