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Dear Donna: Advice on friendships, love, more

Renee Josse de Lisle/The Cougar

Renee Josse de Lisle/The Cougar

This week’s anonymous advice column brushes on friendships, love and more.

To submit your question for future issues, click the “Dear Donna” button on our home page.

How do you make friends? I’m really shy and UH is so big. I’m worried people won’t like me

Hello! Thank you for sending a question and I really admire you wanting to push yourself beyond your comfort zone and make new friends. That itself is something to be proud of, especially for someone who identifies as shy.

I know meeting new people at a big school can be overwhelming when thinking about how many students actually go here. I really recommend taking a step back and realizing that you don’t have to interact with a ton of people, but you can start small and just talk to someone new.

Try to join a smaller organization and start interacting with the few people there. While it can be scary, the smaller environment can be a lot more comforting and help you connect with someone with similar interests.

I’m a freshman and am worried that I’m not doing enough. How can I make the most of my college experience?

Before starting, I want to take a second to congratulate you on almost completing your first semester. College by nature is hard, and making it this far itself is a huge accomplishment.

I’m here to tell you that even thinking about “doing enough” means that you are doing enough. I understand not wanting to feel like you’re falling behind or getting intimidated by your peers who seem to be really busy, but honestly freshman year is about getting adjusted and comfortable in the university setting, and there’s no need to get down on yourself.

As far as making the most during your time at UH, follow things that spark joy. Whether it be professional opportunities that excite you or having game nights with your friends, let yourself enjoy the day to day.

It’s a lot to think about the big picture college experience, but if you find happiness in daily life, I’m sure you’ll be content in your overall experience.

How do I find love during a pandemic? Srsly.

To start, I want to say what you’re feeling is valid and I think a common theme among people these days. Whether it be the cold cuffing season weather or how long the pandemic has lasted, you’re definitely not alone when it comes this topic.

That being said, I’m sure there are people who feel the same way who would love to get to know you a little better. And while love is a difficult concept to chase, I think it’s important to set your intentions out there.

If you truly are pursuing something serious, let that be known through dating apps, in-person interactions or however you’re getting to know people.

Remember that you can’t change a person and shouldn’t waste time on someone who wants to casually date if you are pursuing something more than that. You are worthy of love and should surround yourself with people with similar intentions.

What are good ways to spend alone time?

As someone who loves spending quality time with others and always strives to be around people, I really value this question and admire your active effort to have alone time.

I think it’s really helpful to start off by treating yourself the same way you treat others. Hopefully, you’re kind and respectful to others, and that same treatment should translate to yourself. Feed yourself positive affirmations and make healthy decisions for your well being.

Other than that, do things that you genuinely enjoy. One bright side to alone time is that you don’t have to compromise on anything and you should absolutely do whatever you desire. Play music however loud you want. Eat whatever you want. Try to exist in your purest form.

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