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The joys of emo skate night

| Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Emma Kirner

Venturing outside the comforts of my bed after a long week was not exactly my top priority last Saturday night. However, not even I could resist the tempting Emo Skate Night, Student Activities Office’s (SAO) latest use for the Stepan Center. Did I know how to skate? No. Had I ever gone through an emo phase? Also no, but better late than never! Besides, college is all about trying new things. So, I dragged myself out of hibernation, donned a pitch-black sweater — admittedly, and perhaps somewhat embarrassingly, the most emo clothing I own — and enlisted a couple of friends to help with this highly dangerous endeavor. 

The most cursed building on campus was transformed into a highly elaborate roller rink courtesy of a square-shaped mat and a large screen playing emo music videos (though the validity of some songs as emo, such as “All Star” by Smash Mouth, was a hot topic of discussion throughout the night). Even though I spent half the night falling all over the place with My Chemical Romance blaring in the background, I was glad to have tried something new. Surprisingly, I found screaming every five seconds, clinging desperately to my friends and becoming well-acquainted with the ground to be very freeing. 

Emo Skate Night helped show me the value of breaking routine and trying things that are out of my comfort zone, particularly with a couple of friends. I, unexpectedly, had a blast face-planting in the Stepan Center of all places with Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” music video as my epic backdrop. Having a Mario Kart-style race around the roller skating mat and subsequently slamming into at least five other people proved to be a fun experience after all, despite my own doubts about it. I was particularly impressed with my friends’ creativity in developing an alternative use for the glowsticks as lightsabers — something I truly felt highlighted their innovation as engineering majors. 

Most importantly, I was reassured that there are plenty of ways to have fun on a Saturday night besides going to a party with lots of friends. I knew adjusting to college would be no easy task, but I didn’t expect finding friends and going out on the weekends to feel more like work than fun. Overcrowded parties in stuffy dorm rooms have been unpleasant experiences for me, and I used to envy the large friend groups I saw, wondering how people found so many close friends so fast. While I joke that my struggles with partying and the small size of my two-person social circle is because I forgot how to talk to people over quarantine, I’ve been slowly realizing that I feel most comfortable not going to parties and having only a couple of close friends. Partying hard every weekend like in the movies isn’t for everyone, and having a large friend group only a few months after being thrust into a new environment is a lofty expectation. 

I’ve talked to a few others who have been feeling this way, and if you’re one of them, just know that it’s OK. It’s completely normal to not suddenly have a large group of friends who you feel deeply connected to. It’s completely normal to stay in on the weekends. Do what makes you feel happiest and most comfortable. If that’s having a lightsaber duel with the glowsticks at Emo Skate Night, then go for it. If that’s going to parties each weekend, then go for it. One person’s idea of fun may not be yours, and that’s totally fine. 

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