I do not dance. Well, I used to not dance. So naturally, when I first learned about ‘80s Dance during orientation, it put the fear of God in me. I was struggling with transitioning to college life from home life, and now, all of a sudden, the school wants me to dress in a ridiculous neon outfit and go dance with the entire student body? I was not okay with it, but then, all of a sudden, I was.
Two friends I had just met on my AESOP trip convinced me to go. We bought really absurd, really fun matching outfits, and for the first time in my life I was excited to go to a dance (if you can even call ‘80s a dance). And it worked, ‘80s Dance lived up to all the hype, and I had a lot of fun. However, I had fun for different reasons than what everyone kept saying.
I felt no pressure to “get wasted,” or to “hook up” with as many people as possible—two priorities I heard many freshmen say they had in the days before ‘80s. To be clear, I am not criticizing anyone who did either of those two things. I too, took part in the festivities. The point is I danced, I fully immersed myself in the experience, and I stopped caring about how others perceived me. I believe that there is a lesson to be learned from ‘80s that can be applied to our college experiences—especially to freshmen, but also to upperclassmen, as well.
I urge us all to approach college the way we did ‘80s: fearlessly and with high expectations. Fully engage all that college has to offer, both socially, academically, and your extracurricular activities. Be courageous about it. Lose your inhibitions when it comes to trying new things, regardless of your BAC levels.