Rebecca Caraway is a journalism junior and Mustang News opinion columnist. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.
College is physically and mentally exhausting.
We spend the weekdays running to and from classes and trying to turn in assignments by 11:59 p.m. We work in between so we can actually afford to take said classes, eat and get gas for our car to get to that job and school.
At the end of the week, I’m exhausted. Sometimes it’s nice to go out on the weekends and blow off steam, but sometimes I have to say no.
It’s not easy to say no. Your friends are all getting ready to go out but you just want to make dinner, do laundry and go to bed early. You need a mental break, but you also can’t help but feel like you’re going to miss something by not going out. You worry about missing new memories, inside jokes and a night that will go down in infamy.
You’re experiencing FOMO, otherwise known as “the fear of missing out.” As much as you don’t want to miss out, the last thing you want to do is leave your house, put on tight clothes and do your makeup.
It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to stay in on a Saturday night when all your friends are going out. There is nothing wrong with wanting to put yourself first.
If you do go out, you might have a good time. It might be worth it to get dressed up and go out. But it also might be better to catch up on sleep, homework or just let yourself be alone for a few hours. It’s okay if your friends have a good time without you and that doesn’t mean that you missed out.
When I was debating going out a few weeks ago I called one of my best friends from back home. I told her that even though I just wanted to stay home, I had a fear that this night would become “iconic” and I would miss out. What if it became one of those nights that you are constantly referencing and talking about how great it was?
It’s not that I was so afraid of missing a great night –– I was afraid of missing the references and jokes of a great night.
My friend told me that it wouldn’t be one of those great nights — because I wasn’t going. While that idea is nice, it’s not true. Great nights will happen with or without me. That’s okay.
This one night won’t be the last great night. You don’t have to be there for every amazing night out. There will be plenty more that you will be a part of.
So many people tell us to take advantage of our youth, to enjoy going out while you still can. Yes, we should take advantage of all life has to offer, but the experience of taking care of yourself is just as important as going out and creating memories with your friends.
A night of Netflix won’t be as memorable as a night in a bar, but you don’t have to live for the memories of your future self. Live for who you are, right now, at this moment. If you just want to stay home and catch up on sleep, then do that. Time spent taking care of yourself is never wasted time.
Who cares if the next day you’ll regret not going out? This version of you, right now, wants to stay home. Listen to that.
Don’t discount those feelings the next day either. Trust that you made the best decision that you could at the time. You did what you needed to do.
College is a great time to make friends and memories. It’s also a time of stress and heavy work loads. It’s okay to take a break from all the social excitement and spend some time recharging. You aren’t going to miss some life-changing night and even if you do, that’s okay. You’ll be there for future great nights. Don’t beat yourself up for staying in and taking care of yourself.