College had been a very memorable experience for me. It was where I met friends that I actually believe I could keep for the rest of my life. I became a big fan of collegiate basketball and volleyball. I had my first time to compete in a group quiz bee. I did the things I’m passionate about by joining music and creative writing organizations. I was able to sing in front of a large crowd. I was taught by some of the country’s best engineers. I was able to go to different places and learn a lot of new things by going outside my comfort zone.
And also, college is where I first experienced to party.
I was in my junior year. There was a big college event and some of the popular kids in school were coming. You cannot come without invites or reservations. My friends, on the otherhand, were able to get invites. And unfortunately, I did too.
I’m a sheltered introvert that belong in an all-extrovert group of friends. Unlike them, I’ve never went to party before because I know well enough that it wasn’t my crowd.
I was determined to ditch my friends until they attacked my weakness by saying that my crush was going. He was a basketball varsity player in our school. Considering that he played for one of the Top 4 universities in the Philippines and basketball is very popular in our country, he was treated as a celebrity.
I guess deep inside, I didn’t want to miss out. I want to be a part of the things my friends are interested in. I wanted to know what it’s like to be in a crowd that shares the same moment in every beat of the music. And for someone like me, it was something to tick off the bucket list.
I came there wearing a skater skirt, loose shirt covered by a blazer, and purple doll shoes. At first I thought I was sure to be a head turner for looking so attractive. But when I entered the bar, girls were in tight party dresses or short tight skirts or tight pants or short shorts. They were wearing pumped-up heels, and of course, make up. I didn’t put make up on. Compared to them, I look like I was going to church.
It was so loud. Darkness was shyly flashed with strode lights. The place crowded by people I don’t even recognize from school. The beats from the stereos demanding everyone to dance. It was everything I hated. The only comfort I had were my friends and our reserved table.
So the basketball varsity players’ table was just 3 tables aways from ours. We had pictures taken with them, including my crush. And that was it. It wasn’t like in the shit in movies where this hot guy would suddenly be interested in a geeky girl. But I was satisfied.
I planned on spending the rest of the night keeping our couch warm while drinking alone but my friends insisted to hit the dance floor. I was like a stump trying to take my roots off the concrete. I was so conscious of my moves yet my friend didn’t take me seriously when I asked, “Am I doing this right?”
True friends that they are, they wanted to make sure I was having a good time as much as they were. So they literally carried me to the stage and expected me to dance in front of the whole crowd. But after seeing a woman twerk earlier flaunting her butt crack, I was intimidated and hurriedly went off the stage.
Everytime a guy wanted to dance with me, I would awkwardly dance away to hide behind my friends and pretend I was talking to them. And there was this dude who wanted to know me. I got so uncomfortable because he was showering my ears as he shouted. My friend told me days after that that dude was trying to hit on me. Sorry, I had no idea that was happening.
The party was over at 3:00am. Time to go home. We went outside and my hearing had a hard time to adjust and talking still required shouting. But that night was a moment I’ll remember forever. It was a night I learned to enjoy with people I love despite the guards that I put up to myself.
Then everything was normal again.