Do you have social life concerns? Worries about classes? Existential crises you need help with? The following is the first installment of The Argus’ new advice column, featuring real questions dropped into our advice box in Usdan by anonymous students. Every week, our writers will answer your questions to the best of their abilities.
What are the benefits of asking a newspaper column for advice?
This question is legitimate. Who are we to give advice? What are our credentials? You should know that although this column is published by The Argus, it began as a fanciful idea one September afternoon on the Usdan patio with two friends looking to make their mark on the Wesleyan community. (Our names are Annie and Nick, in case you hadn’t noticed the byline.) Truthfully, we’re just a couple of people who like listening and want to try to help out. Also, it’s so much easier to reflect on strangers’ objective problems than to deal with our own (le sigh). We’re not just a couple of shmos, however; we’ve been told we’re pretty good at giving advice, and we take a lot of enjoyment out of such a task (just ask our friends).
We hope that people will feel as though they can ask questions anonymously that perhaps they are embarrassed to ask otherwise. We’re hoping that publishing these questions will make all the people who didn’t ask them but were wondering the same things feel a little better. Our answers are based on our own experiences at Wesleyan and supplemented by informal interviews and polls from students around campus. Much of the time, answers take into consideration the opinions of a number of your peers who have wondered about or dealt with the issues presented in questions you’ve asked.
Why is there such a strong hookup culture here? Why does no one want to date me?
—Single & Sad
Have you ever heard the song, “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill? If you haven’t, shame on you, but either way, open that up on your browser and take a deep breath. Some people are only about “that thing, that thing, that thiiiing.” Hooking up is the new dating, didn’t you hear? Just kidding. S&S, hookup culture is real, but it’s real everywhere, not just here. Most of us on this campus are hormonal, stressed, intense, sexy, interesting 20-somethings. Know your friend who’s an econ/philosophy double major who also plays the didgeridoo and hangs out with old people on the weekends? Perhaps ze approaches dating in the same way: in need of constant stimulation and easily bored. Or perhaps that same person is so committed everywhere else in life that ze just wants some fun and freedom in the dating department.
That said, a lot of people do want relationships—those students just seem less visible. Most people don’t say, “I’m going to go out, get drunk, and find myself a long-term cuddle buddy who’s okay with morning breath.” After all, drunken weekend nights are most conducive to this hookup culture of which you speak.
In regards to the latter half of your question, here’s some tough love: stop feeling sorry for yourself by assuming that there is something inherently wrong with you. Being single does not denote defectiveness. We’re both single, too, as are many of our friends. What you should be asking is: What’s motivating your desire to have a significant other? Have you actually met someone/many ones whom you have a genuine desire to date?
If so, timing is everything. Relationships do not just happen because you want someone around; they happen because you meet the right person (or people) and both (or all) of you are emotionally/physically available. Keep in mind that freshmen and seniors are probably the least likely to settle down: most 2017ers are looking for fun and exploring what they want, and 2014ers are on their way out and busy as hell, although obviously those are not hard and fast rules.
Where are you looking for someone to date? You’ll have a lot more luck finding them in your classes, extracurricular activities, or through friends than you would if you were, say, looking for that one special person on the dance floor of Beta. Enjoy your life, S&S! Go out, have fun, and be open to all the wonderful people you encounter. In other words, do the things that make you happy, and the right person will meet you on your chosen path. Some people will catch your eye and others will not, but by worrying about why you’re not with someone, you will undoubtedly miss all the fun of getting to that certain someone.
Which way is north from Usdan (facing in)?
—A Lost Soul
LS, if you’re facing Usdan from Andrus Field looking toward Jackson Field and the Center for Film Studies, you’re looking north. Also, have you ever heard of Google Maps?
Medusa head on me like I’m ’luminati.