‘Girls Night In’ forms community

There was an exclusive party thrown which started early in the evening and ran until midnight. Individuals listened to music, painted, played Wii Sports, ate popcorn and watched “The Princess Diaries 2.”

There was only one catch: the attendees had to be girls.

The Fannin Center has been home to different campus ministry events and the occasional potluck, but on Friday night, it opened its doors for the first ever “Girls Night In.”

This event was open to all female students no matter their involvement, affiliation or beliefs.

“I wanted other girls that we don’t see in ministry and that we don’t see in chapel,” program coordinate Adrienne Eason said. “It’s between the start of the semester and spring break, and I figured people are going to be stressed. I wanted girls across campus who had never stepped foot into Fannin come in and just hang out.”

Since October, she had been organizing all the activities, perfecting the smallest details.

“I was just talking about how I was having one with my friends that night to a couple of students,” Eason said. “When they thought we should have one, I figured why not. I love [girls nights], they’re great.”

Eason said she finds herself having one every few weeks. They take away her stress of everyday life, and according to her, sometimes she just needs her “girl time.”

One attendee, Mara Lameyer, is a biology major and she said her workload causes her to seek out her friends to calm her down.

“It just makes me feel better when I’m around them,” Lameyer said. “I feel my stress level lower immediately, and it shifts my focus from what is happening in my own little world to what’s going on in other people’s lives.”

Lameyer and Eason are not the only females who go to their friends to vent or relieve stress.

One UCLA study by Laura Klein and Shelley Taylor shows that women react to stress by releasing a large portion of oxytocin. Due to this, women seek out support from friends to counteract it.

This reaction is vastly different than men, who release a low amount of oxytocin. The average reaction of stress for males is to escape the situation and bottle up their emotion.

The result showed that a tight group of friends allowed an individual to conquer the tragedies much better than someone without that.

“Whenever I walk the lake, I always invite a friend,” Eason said. “For the first 20 minutes we’ll just vent to each other about life. It helps me. I don’t keep it in very well at all.”

This was, partially, a result of the event.

“You could see that there were no cliques at this event, there wasn’t an outsider,” Lameyer said.

Eason noted several times that there weren’t girls who were sitting by themselves. Someone came up and asked them to join them.

For Girls Night In being an “exclusive event,” it was anything but, for Eason felt inclusivity was the ultimate goal.

“All Florida Southern females were invited to go for a night of hanging out,” attendee Monika Mielecki said. “It did not matter the individual’s religious beliefs, political affiliation, how popular she was or how involved she was on campus. It was just a group of girls who hung out for the night.”

Eason said Girls Night In was a successful event, and she can foresee it becoming an annual or even a semi-annual event. The party showed that individuals do not have to come from the same background to come together and have fun.

 

*This story was produced for COM 4300 News Media Projects. Any comments regarding this story can be directed to the course instructor, Beth Bradford (mbradford@flsouthern.edu).

Related:

Relationships and Health

Support from Friends

Female Relationships

13 Ideas for Girls Night In

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