There’s so much pressure to go out on the weekends. Either your friends are asking you to come with them, telling you how much fun the night is going to be, or even the FOMO you know you’ll experience if you don’t go can be enough to get you out the door. After all, you can always retake a class, but you can never relive a party. We feel young and indestructible. It doesn’t matter how bad the hangover will be, or what the consequences will be from a night out; what only matters is what is happening in the moment. We’re going to live fast, and none of us will die young.

The reality is that life is fragile. You get one body, and you get to choose what you do with it. It seems so harmless to party while you’re young, but what habits are you forming? How many years are you shaving off with each reckless choice? What are you giving up?

Leaving my party life wasn’t easy. At first I constantly felt left out and like I was missing out on the best nights with the best people. However I convinced myself to give it some time, to ride out the longing to be in the party scene again. I never expected it to be rewarding! Deciding to stop going out was something that I did with a heavy heart, and thought I would have to constantly fight the urge the whole way, but it was only hard in the beginning. Something wonderful happened after I hadn’t been going out for a while; I started forming the best relationships. When partying was my main form of socialization, I formed shallow and opportunistic friendships, but the friends I stay in with every weekend, those are the friends I know I’m going to have forever.

My whole life has changed. I don’t sacrifice sleep, school, or my health for the sake of having fun. I’m so much more focused and driven, I feel like I have a clearer head. The people I surround myself with push me to work hard and set goals, but also have the ability to have me on the floor laughing at a moment’s notice. They are people who know me inside and out and share my values. Values that I wasn’t living into when I was going out every night of every weekend. I know that was I was sacrificing with all those nights on the town was the intimate and important friendships I have now. I love the people I have found on this journey, and I love the person that I am now.