As the first weekend of the school year approaches, it can be easy to get wrapped up in what you think you "should" be doing on a Friday night. Television shows and movies often portray weekends as one long non-stop party as soon as classes are out for the weekend.
As students, sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to be doing what everyone else is doing. Especially for incoming students, you may feel like you need to be doing something stereotypically "college" with your weekend or else you are wasting your time.
But this is a reminder that during college you get to spend your time the way you want to spend it, and you shouldn't spend it doing things just because you think you should be. You should spend your time focusing on yourself and what makes you happy, not what others are up to.
If going to parties and staying out late is your idea of a perfect weekend, then plan your weekend full of social activities. But if it isn't, don't feel guilty if all you want to do is have a date with your favorite Netflix show and your cat. Don't feel pressured to change your lifestyle based on what you see others doing on Snapchat or Instagram.
For incoming students who have this set idea of what their college experience is going to be like, I encourage you to be flexible with yourself. Don't say no to experiences just because they aren't in your "plan" that you have in your head. Especially if you are a freshman, you are not going to have everything figured out right away, and that's part of the fun of the college experience.
It's way more worth it in the long run to focus on what you want to be doing rather than what you think is "expected" of you. You truly aren't "expected" to do anything. In other words, don't let expectations ruin your reality.
One of my favorite quotes is "comparison is the thief of joy." I remember that when I start worrying about what others are doing and how I compare.
So as long as you are doing what makes you happy, try not to think so much about what others are doing. Focusing on what is best for you will help keep joy in your life, and it will help reality surpass your expectations.