One of my favorite games is “Never Have I Ever.” As a person who enjoys meeting and learning about new people, this game is a fun way to be open and vulnerable. Of course, it only works if everyone is willing to commit to being honest, and if everyone agrees to make it a judgment free zone. Otherwise, why would anyone want to share with others the questionable, odd, dirty or explicit things they have done?
When I first came to Colgate, I easily won nearly every game of Never Have I Ever that I played; that is, I always had the most fingers left by the time most people had gotten out. I was an innocent child. That, or spending 20 hours per week at gymnastics doesn’t really give one time or impetus to engage in certain behaviors which may commonly come up during the game. I never felt any shame due to my lack of experiences traveling, dating, ordering delivery (still have never done it), et cetera. Flash forward to now, the fall of my senior year. I cannot say I am as likely to win the game at this point. Once again, I cannot say that I am ashamed.
The fact of the matter is, everyone has different levels of comfort with what they are willing to engage in, and these levels can change over time. Everyone matures at different times in their lives. While some people really enjoyed parties in high school, others found no desire to attend them. While some have had wanderlust all their lives, for others just the thought of leaving their home state to come to college was scary. While some people dated multiple partners throughout middle and high school (can we all agree that middle school relationships don’t really count?), some were simply not ready for an intimate relationship.
I urge people to look less at what others are doing or have done, and instead look to oneself. If you, like me, don’t want to order delivery because you don’t want to pay the charge, don’t. If you want to hook up with someone in Case Library, get to it! We often compare ourselves to others; we want to appear normal, and we want to feel accepted and wanted. But it is more important to be comfortable with yourself. What good does it do you to have sex before you’re emotionally or mentally ready just so people will think you’re “cool,” or just so your significant other will stop calling you a prude? Answer: None. In reality, your relationships with others, platonic, romantic and otherwise pale in comparison to the importance of a healthy relationship with yourself.
Whether you’re the first one out or the last one to stay in the game, own it. Own your experiences, or lack thereof. That is what has helped shaped you into the person you are right now, and that likely means you are an intelligent, talented, passionate and hardworking individual. I mean, you do go to Colgate, after all.
Contact Kira Palmer at [email protected]