I’ve peaked too early.
There’s no other way to really describe it. I’m in college and parties are raging every weekend (maybe not here at UCSD, but we do live in San Diego), but all I feel like doing on a Saturday night is sitting at home with some friends.
I know that this concept must be foreign to many UCSD students who have been starved of parties throughout their high school careers (and probably throughout college as well), but trust me, you’ll all get there someday.
Many of you are probably sitting there right now and speculating about my past. You might be guessing that I’m a fifth-year senior who has seen his share of parties, or perhaps an SDSU transfer student. Well, I’m neither. In fact, I’m a second-year Warren student who could probably count the number of parties he’s gone to here at UCSD on his two hands.
Now that I’ve thoroughly confused the hell out of all of you, let me explain.
I went to high school in a small Northern California town. It was hell for an adventurous youth like me. Weekend activities were narrowed to bowling, miniature golf, roller skating, laser tag or the mall. While these activities were enough to keep me busy in my younger days, I soon grew bored of them when I entered high school, as did the rest of the kids in town.
We quickly learned that the various fields and orchards that filled our quiet little town were great for concealing parties. It wasn’t long before we were drinking almost every weekend. Occasionally, somebody’s parents would go out of town and we would have a house party, but we remained content in the orchards for the most part.
As we got older, the parties intensified and grew. The weekends melded together into a single memory of friends, women and free-flowing alcohol. We were thoroughly enjoying our high school years.
When we became juniors in high school, we made one of the greatest discoveries of our young lives. We found the Greek system.
Situated in our small town was California State University, Stanislaus. This wonderful college had been home to many a football or basketball game in our youth, but it had never crossed our minds that it was also home to some of the greatest parties known to man.
Since it was a college that was basically in the middle of nowhere, there was nothing for those poor students to do on the weekends other than party, and party they did.
We would have probably remained oblivious to these parties had we not been friends with (and partied constantly with) older people who graduated from high school and went on to “”study”” at CSUS (it was very common for students from our high school to stay in town and go to college there).
As they filtered into the college, they embraced the Greek system as something to keep them sane during the long hours of boredom that the town had to offer. The result was our first connections to college parties.
At first we were a bit cautious as we entered the new plateau of parties. We were used to hiding in orchards while we drank on weekends. Now we were in houses filled with people, loud music and, most importantly, alcohol.
The first few fraternity parties that we went to were very awkward. We were the youngest ones there and only knew a few people.
We spent the first few hours of the first party just sitting on the couch and sipping our beers. People would occasionally come and talk to us, but we remained shell-shocked and speechless for the most part.
The proverbial ice finally broke during the second party when my friend asked me to mix some drinks for a few of the guys (this was a talent that I had aquired at a young age). After I whipped up some of the best drinks that these guys had ever tasted, we were accepted by pretty much all of the guys (and a lot of the girls as well, but that’s a different story.
We soon grew comfortable and were likewise embraced by the college party scene (it helps to hit the beer bong a few times and gain credibility early on).
Our popularity around the high school inevitably skyrocketed, and we were soon the kings of the school. We began hosting our own parties at various locations, drawing large crowds on a regular basis.
With our popularity came added cockiness. We would start to take stupid risks with our illegal activities. We once tried to sneak alcohol into a movie theater on the night that it opened. It might have worked if we weren’t wearing huge jackets in 90 degree weather. Needless to say, we were busted and had to run from the cops to escape prosecution.
Toward the end of my senior year, my house became party central. Even after I left for college, I would be bothered by people to throw a party every time I came back to visit. It was almost expected.
As one can imagine (or maybe you can’t), this grew tiresome. The constant barrage of friends, women and alcohol was growing too much for me to handle.
Some of my close friends felt my pain. We were getting burned out on the whole party scene. We would sometimes take weekends off and just drink and watch movies at a person’s house. “”Goldeneye”” became a great pastime and an escape from the party scene.
That brings me to where I am now, sitting at home on weekends and just enjoying the company of my friends. I’m not saying that I don’t drink or wouldn’t go out to a party if I heard about a good one, but I’m no longer desperately seeking one out every weekend.
This attitude has crept into the rest of my life as well.
Contrary to popular belief, I am not a player. Back in the day, that title may have fit (but it would have been a stretch). Granted, I can be very flirtatious, but that does not make me a player.
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m not just looking for a girl to fool around with for a one-night stand (not any more). I guess I’m just looking for something more substantial. I realize that right about now, there are probably a lot of guys out there calling me a “”pansy.”” To that, I can just say “”whatever.””
In years past, being called names and challenging my ego like that would have probably made me go out and find the nearest good-looking girl for a quick score, but I’m over that now, along with the whole party scene.
I’m not saying that I’m ready to settle down and become a grandfather tomorrow — I’m sure I have a few parties left in me — but I am ready to calm down.
It is unavoidable that we will all hit this point at some time in our lives. For some it will be in a few years. For some it will be in a few decades.
For me, it’s now.