Q: All my friends are going abroad except for me, which means that I’m getting all new roommates and that I’ll have no one I can depend on. I’m really scared about what next semester will be like – I really don’t want to start over, but what else can I do? -Miserable
CHICK: Because there’s really nothing you can do about all your friends leaving (other than locking them in a closet, something which I don’t recommend if you’d like to keep them as friends), you’ll just have to face the inevitable. As difficult and corny as this sounds, try to look on the bright side of things and see next semester as a time to start over – clean slate – and make new friends. People all too often seem to forget that there are other people outside of their group and because you are not the only one who is not going abroad, use this time to branch out. Either your new roommates will be in similar circumstances and you can bond together over that misery-loves-company or you can meet and bond with their friends. Assuming that you’re a junior, once senior year roles around and most people are back, you’ll be thankful that you now know twice as many faces as before. So while you are allowed to sulk for awhile, don’t let your loneliness prevent you from having fun even without your old friends.
DICK: Sucks to be you, you should have more than four friends to begin with, and then you wouldn’t have this problem. As I see it, there is only one option, and that is to start partying like it is your job right now. Then by the time your friends leave, at least you will have met some people who are fun to hang out with. A semester is not that long and maybe this will give you a chance to get your GPA up since you won’t have anyone to distract you from your work. Having no friends might end up helping to get you into that graduate school. Another option is to find a significant other, because then you can spend all your time with them, and your friends won’t be around to complain that you are whipped.
Q. Two of my close friends are dating. Recently, I caught “John” hooking up with some girl when “Liz” was at home feeling sick. I feel so torn, because I’m equally close to both of them, but I have to do something about this. Who do I confront? Do I go to John, or do I speak to Liz and tell her what I saw? -Confused
CHICK: What an icky situation! Even though you might feel that it is your responsibility to report immediately to Liz, I don’t recommend it for several reasons. A) Liz won’t believe you and might claim that you’re jealous and your friendship may end or B) Liz will listen to you, she’ll confront John (who might or might not deny it) and things will then still be awkward because you will have been the bearer of bad news. Try approaching John first. If he’s really a close friend, he will be honest with you, as long as you don’t attack him with accusations. Make sure you two are alone and then explain what you saw. Maybe he was drunk and the temptation was too much and he’s terribly sorry for what he did. Maybe he does not regret it and he has realized it is time to break up with Liz. Whatever his answer, listen and then ask him what he plans on doing next. If he wants to stay with Liz, tell him that you hope he will tell her because you don’t plan on telling her. Yes, that’s right, because even though you’re equally close to the two of them, this really is not your business. If John respects you and Liz enough, he will tell her or quietly break up with her. Either way, it’s his decision, and you really can’t get too much more involved without hurting your friendship with one of them.
DICK: Clearly you want Liz to know. It is a bad idea if you go to John and he says don’t say anything and you still go to Liz, but it’s also a mean move to skip over John completely. I say don’t hate the player, hate the game. It may not be your place to stick your nose into it. Maybe butt out, and let them work this out for themselves. Who is to say Liz wants to know, and I will wager my left arm John does not want Liz to know, otherwise he would have said something. Is Liz happy now? Do you want to be the one to make her unhappy? As she knows it, her life is good. Do you really want to throw it out of whack? Are you doing this for you or her? Sometimes inaction is the best form of action, especially for John who can’t keep it in his pants.