We all have that friend. Maybe you are that friend. Maybe you’re only that friend sometimes. But we all know how it goes down. You know, the girl who is tons of fun, super sweet, takes good notes and plans your birthday dinner, but when it comes to going out, she’s nowhere to be found. Maybe she’s always busy studying, or maybe she’s tired, or honestly, she’s an introvert and would prefer staying in. Maybe you are that friend and you feel like you’re the only one out there who would rather put on her PJs and have movie marathons than hit the frat houses. Here’s to you, girl. You’re not alone.
It starts out either in the group chat, sitting around at the house for Chicken Finger Friday, in that one class you all have together; one person brings up wanting to go out Saturday night. It’s been a long week, and different people handle long weeks in different ways. Some people wanna stay in and binge-watch Stranger Things on Netflix so they can finally understand everyone’s jokes on Facebook and Twitter. Some people wanna hit the bars, or the frat houses, or do something crazy that takes so much energy. If you’re reading this, odds are you’re the first type. You sit in silence while everyone makes plans, hoping someone else feels the way you do; you can’t be the one to suggest movie night…again.
Unfortunately, no one does. And you can either experience extreme FOMO or you can go out with everyone. You sit and contemplate which is worse, not getting your well-deserved rest time (you work hard, after all) or having to sit and scroll through your squad’s cute Instagram posts and watch Snapchat stories that you could’ve been in. Life is full of hard choices. Your brain fills with possible excuses: I’m gonna be sick that day, I’m broke, my mom said no (that one used to always work). Ultimately, you decide to go. You cancelled on them last time, and you’re not old enough yet to fully embrace the grandma life. Plus, it might be a lot of fun.
Then Saturday night rolls around and you’re reminded about all the extra energy that goes into going out. You have to wash your hair and actually curl or straighten it, and put on makeup, and wear shoes that aren’t your beloved Birkenstocks or Chacos. I mean really, what even are heels? You ditch the sports bra, swap your favorite yoga pants for some cute jeans, and, the hardest part, put away your pocket tee with your sorority’s letters. And then you realize that at least half the energy in going out is in getting ready. You’re already low key exhausted.
But you power through the exhaustion. You’re determined to have a good time. Your squad is on fleek (even your slang is a little rusty) and you even borrowed a cute lipstick from a friend. Everyone is excited, especially because you’re finally going out with them, which you never do. You’re even excited; this isn’t so bad! You’re also really glad your squad knows what to do, because you haven’t even used the Uber app since you downloaded it last semester and you were secretly worried about who was gonna drive. Relax, you tell yourself. Your girls have got this.
When you show up to the party, you’re actually a little overwhelmed. You don’t know anyone here except that guy standing in front of a speaker who you’re pretty sure is in your microbiology class. Should you wave? Should you say hi? Should you ask if he’s done the reading? You ask a friend and she laughs, because she thinks you’re joking. Yeah… totally joking. It’s really loud, and you think you know the song playing but it’s been remixed so many times you’re not sure if it’s a remix of the original or if it’s already so old that it’s being sampled in a new song.
Before you know it, you’re actually having a lot of fun and you don’t even miss your flannel pajama pants all that much. You haven’t thought about faking sick to go home and watch Netflix. Your pile of homework assignments isn’t even at the back of your mind and you don’t even think about how awkward of a dancer you are, because your friends love you anyway and they love you enough to take you out.
Eventually your squad decides it’s time to go because someone’s ex boyfriend is here or someone got hungry, you’re not really sure, but you end up at Waffle House at 2 a.m. (because going to Waffle House before midnight is a little unheard of). Is it really a night out if there’s no breakfast food at an extremely late/extremely early hour? Definitely not. And you realize, hey, this isn’t so bad; why don’t I do this more often?
Until you stand up in those heels that your roommate loaned you and all of a sudden you feel like you’re currently in the middle of the biggest mistake of your life. Nothing sounds better than a blanket, makeup remover wipes, a ponytail holder, a huge t-shirt, and your coziest sweatpants. You all pile into an Uber back to your friend’s apartment and you’ve never wanted to be home more in your life. It doesn’t even matter that you’re not going to your own bed, just that you’re going to a bed.
But then, as you’re all laying around, you scroll through everyone’s Snapchat stories, you get tagged in cute Instagram pics, and you’re really glad you went. Not only did you have tons of fun, you also can afford to stay home next weekend. After all, you just went out. You thank your girls for getting you out of the house and fall asleep in your bestie’s bed, saying prayers that next weekend will be spent with Chinese takeout and one of those Harry Potter marathons that are literally always on.