Rachel Charlene Lewis
March 30, 2016 1:44 pm
Universal Pictures

Looking back, I wish I’d partied more in college. At the time, I felt like I wasn’t the right kind of girl — I wasn’t skinny enough, pretty enough, or cool enough. The cool party girls definitely had a specific look, and I didn’t share it. Now that I’m older and more confident in my appearance, I regret not going out more.

It isn’t that I wish I’d spent more time drinking (or nursing a hardcore hangover the next day), and it isn’t about the hookups or the attention. It’s the late nights, the specific kind of college fun that I crave and feel like I’ll never be so close to again. It makes me sad to think of all the fun times I missed out on because of my own insecurities.

When I picture these nights, I don’t picture myself surrounded by sweaty boys and drenched in sweat and cheap beer. I imagine laughter, and secrets whispered in the bar bathroom. I imagine the incredible feeling of youthful invincibility that I got a glimpse of on the nights that I did venture out of the safe, hidden space of my bedroom, leaving the dull security of Netflix and solitude. I loved the ridiculousness of it all, the immediate closeness, fake as it tended to be, the loud music, flashing lights, and selfies. I loved embracing my own youth. But there always came a point where I felt like I just didn’t fit. My hair wasn’t right, my clothes weren’t right, my body was too big, and I just couldn’t shake that insecurity.

And it’s silly, because my friends borrowed my clothes to go out. They asked me to do their makeup. They asked me for advice and if I wanted to join them for pre-games. I wasn’t left out, or forgotten. I had everything I needed except the confidence to put myself out there.

The more confident I get in my appearance, the more I realize I held back in college because I didn’t think I was pretty enough to put myself out into the party scene. The worst part is knowing that I did it to myself. But with that knowledge comes the wisdom that I don’t have to do it to myself any longer, and you can bet that when I want to go to something these days, I’m there.

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