As I look back on my time in high school, I realize that I did not go out as much as I had thought. Los Angeles is known for its notorious party scenes in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Most of the time, I would either venture into the city to find some parties or sneak into a club or two, and at other times my friends and I would drive to the University of Southern California or University of California, Los Angeles to go to a fraternity party.
But this was not a regular schedule for us — most weekends, we wouldn’t even get dressed up to go out, we would simply hang out at a friend’s house. Frat parties were saved for special nights, and going out to the city was an even bigger occasion. Unlike us, there were many other teenagers who would go out to clubs and parties every weekend, but with the amount of studying and homework I had to do for school, I couldn’t afford to go all out every Friday and Saturday night.
In Boston, I’ve been hit with a very different party scene. Every weekend I can find something to do, since there’s always some party to go to. If I can’t find somewhere to go at Boston University, there are dozens of surrounding schools to pick from. If I wanted to, I could go out every day of the week, and I could always find a group of people to go with. And here, I wouldn’t have to drive to the party, since I could walk or take the T.
The party scene in Boston is different from the scene in L.A. in many extreme ways. Going out in L.A. takes quite a bit of preparation, from choosing the perfect outfit to wear, to deciding who was going to drive the group and finally to choosing which club we could get into (and if it weren’t 18 plus, we would have to find another way of getting inside). And once we were inside one of the clubs or parties, it was difficult to deter from all of the insane activities going on around us. Drugs are very common on the streets of L.A., and it was nearly impossible to go out without encountering someone who was on drugs or trying to give you something. It was common to hear of high school or middle school students being sent to rehab for a drug addiction. It’s a big temptation on the weekends, one that I find is not so common in Boston because, thankfully, it’s not as available here. At home, I would have to worry about one of my friends taking something she shouldn’t have and having to decide how to get her to a safe environment. It’s comforting that most, if not all, of the people that I am friends with here do not easily succumb to such pressures and that those pressures aren’t so easily available for everyone. This aspect is one that I was very happy to escape.
However, I now feel pressured to go out more often because going out seems like a much better option than being stuck in my dorm room all day. In L.A., if I didn’t feel like going out, I could stay at home and be in my room or in my living room. I could drive to a friend’s house or go out to eat with my dad or just sit around and watch a movie on my computer. In Boston, I don’t have a home anymore, I simply have my dorm room. Often, I feel so cooped up in my room that I go stir crazy. Most of the time I feel like I have to go out, and if a group of my friends are going out to a party on a Saturday night, that always feels like the best option. College students would much rather go to a frat party than go to the movie theater for a few hours.
I also don’t want to feel like I am missing out on any fun activities. Back home, the people that I am friends with have been around with me for years, some since kindergarten. At BU, the people I know have been around for a little more than two months. Most freshmen feel pressured to secure friendships with people, and most of time that requires being around them for the majority of the day. Although the party scene is overwhelming, I can’t say that I don’t appreciate it. In order to relieve the stress of the week, it’s always great to go out on the weekend and have a little fun.
Rachel Chistyakov is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences and a fall 2012 columnist for The Daily Free Press. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.