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In Defense of the S.W.U.G.

A little more than a year ago, an article surfaced on New York Magazine‘s website: “Meet the SWUGs of Yale”. The article depicted a new kind of collegiate woman, one who’s traded in crazy parties and stilettos for wine nights and sweatpants, dalliances with frat boys for nights in with girl friends. Though the actual definition of what makes a young woman a SWUG is unclear, one thing is certain: a SWUG is a girl who can’t be bothered with the complex nuances of college life.

IMG_2944Dear readers, the time has come to make a confession. I’ve found my calling. The SWUG life has chosen me, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

On the surface, the concept seems unpleasant. The acronym itself has a slovenly sound to it, and the idea of being washed up at 21 is admittedly pathetic. But for me, and for many other ladies of the class of 2015, there’s something liberating about the SWUG trend. After three years of Making An Effort, there’s a comfort in knowing that it’s acceptable—even normal—to just give up.

Not on everything, of course. In fact, just the opposite. Embracing SWUG culture means eliminating the stress of things that aren’t worth our time so we can focus on what truly matters. In the time it took for me to not brush my hair before class today, I was able to take some time to reflect on my thesis. Instead of rushing to Mary Ann’s for senior night tonight, I’ll be staying in with my roommates to bond over a couple bottles of wine. I plan on wearing leggings as pants for the rest of the day (and this year, and my life, if I can get away with it).

This isn’t to say that it’s wrong to make an effort or that there’s something inherently bad about wanting to go to the mods or MA’s or whatever typical senior hangout you prefer. What is wrong is wasting precious time on things that don’t make you happy or that you don’t care about.

FallMy greatest regret of the past three years is spending too much time worrying about what everyone else was doing or thinking. If I could do it all over again, or impart some advice to my former self, I’d prioritize myself and my goals and dreams. I don’t think this is a selfish thing to do. In fact, it’d be foolish after expending so much time and effort and money to get to BC to throw it all away.

I look at the SWUG’s antithesis—the eager freshmen prowling the mods in packs, dressed to the nines—and I can’t help but feel a little sad. I can’t tell these girls (and guys) what to do or what they should want. Unfortunately, that’s something that only time and self-reflection can bring about. I only hope that they realize the opportunities that are in front of them before they vanish into the void of upperclassman life.

The SWUG life isn’t about apathy; it’s about a change in perspective. It’s not about sweatpants and wine and girl friends; it’s about finding comfort and joy in this high-pressure last year. It’s founded in the understanding that there’s no time left to waste. Maybe we’re not washed up, but wised up.

Moral of the story? Life’s short, your BC career is even shorter, so SWUG it up while you still can.

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