I absolutely love receiving all your emails! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and trusting your concerns with me. If I didn’t answer your letter this week, keep checking back because I will try to get to as many as possible.
I just started college in August and have found myself having a hard time making friends. Granted, it is only the first semester and I still have quite a while for making friends. The biggest issue I have run into is how much partying people do around here, and by partying, I mean drinking. I choose not to drink because my family has a long line of substance abuse. This puts me at a higher risk of addiction, and I have no desire to test those waters. I don’t particularly mind if other people party, but that just isn’t something I want to participate in… unfortunately that means I miss out on a lot of opportunities to connect with other people.
My friends understand and support my decision to not drink, but I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out on some rite of passage. Is there any advice you might offer to me and other students like me? Is there a way for me to connect with my peers that doesn’t involve drinking?
First of all, I respect you so much for not only recognizing what doesn’t work for you but also for refusing to conform to what works for others. That takes a very strong and special person! I know what it’s like to miss out on things. Often I have to keep a very strict regimen when it comes to eating and drinking clean, plus going to sleep extra early in order to keep up with work demands. Doing what’s best for me sometimes means I’m not able to join my friends in whatever they’re doing. Like you, it used to bum me out because who wants to miss out on a good time? I quickly learned there are many other social activities that allow me to connect with others in ways that promote a healthier lifestyle. My advice for you is to be proactive and organize these alternative activities. Reach out to friends or friends of friends and invite them to join you. It may seem like all anyone wants to do is party but you’ll be surprised how many of your peers will appreciate a break from beer pong.
Some of my favorites:
• bowling is a blast whether you’re a beginner or pro
• host a pot-luck dinner party (themes are good!)
• movie night: have everyone come in pjs, bring a pillow and a blanket. You supply the film, hot cocoa, candy and popcorn (a must).
• volunteer: find an organization that hands out hot meals to homeless or collects toys for kids
Readers – if you have any other ideas for Cassidy, please leave them in the comments!
Good luck, Cassidy! Keep being you!
So I’m 18 years old, well… I’ll be 19 tomorrow, but that’s beside the point. I’ve never had a boyfriend. I just started college and everyone seems to have had multiple partners or at least one, and here I am, single. That’s been the status of my relationship my whole life. Everyone seems to think I’m strange because I’ve never dated anyone, and honestly I get mocked and teased about it quite often. I’m just not sure what I should do or how to respond to people in this situation.
Personally, I think it’s pretty cool you’ve waited for someone extra special to come along to start dating. As far as getting mocked and teased, you have two options. You can either choose not to let their words get to you, or tell your friends they’re hurting your feelings and you wish they’d stop. If you’re not ready to date, don’t date. Life is full of other experiences to be had! Whatever is meant to happen will happen when it’s supposed to. When you are ready, I suggest making a list of qualities you’re looking for in a potential partner (some of mine include: honest and trustworthy, nice to strangers, loves their family, loves DOGS! etc.). Let that list guide you through the dating world, helping you decide who is right for you. This list is going to change and grow over time, trust me!
My name’s Bella and I’m going through a tough time with one of my friends. We used to be best friends — inseparable — but we’ve grown apart. I want to fix our friendship but it feels like she’s replaced me and doesn’t care that we’re not close anymore. The whole situation makes me very sad and I don’t know what to do :(.
I’m sorry you are feeling so sad. Friendships sometimes do come and go in waves as we grow and go in different directions. I have had this happen to me many times over and over so I understand how you feel. Have you told your friend about your feelings? If you’ve tried communicating this to her and she’s not being responsive, maybe it’s time to focus on the friends who are being present. Make plans with them and keep yourself busy with people who appreciate what an awesome girl you are! Chances are she’ll come back around and when she does, you can talk about what happened and possibly reconnect. Hope that helps!
Sending you big hugs.
I first have to say how big of a fan I am. I was so excited when you posted this for advice! I’ve been dancing since I was two and just graduated college with a degree in math adolescent education and a minor in dance. I wondered how realistic it is for a plus size dancer to make it in the dance world? I have training in tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern, musical theater and ballroom. I choreograph for most of the schools and community theatre groups where I live, and teach at three different studios. Dance is truly my passion but one thing has always set me back is my weight; I’m currently a size 16. I would love to get tips on your thoughts of sizes and possible weight loss help.
You are trained, you choreograph, and you teach… Sounds to me like you are a dancer making it in the dance world! Your weight will only set you back if you allow it to. Not everyone has the same standard when it comes to dance. Continue to let your talent, passion and your heart lead you exactly where you want and deserve to be.
Have a question for me? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to help!
photo credit: anyaberkut