c/o Sophie Griffin, Features Editor

c/o Sophie Griffin, Arts & Culture Editor

Welcome to Ask The Argus, a column brought to you by the magnificent Features section! Each week, we bring you the hottest advice from your wonderful, trusty, and seasoned editors. Having trouble making friends? Is your relationship falling apart? Struggling with time management? Wondering how many squirrels are secretly living in your wall? Don’t fret: We’ve been there, and we are here to help. 

What should I do over winter break? I’m not used to having so much free time and I’m worried that I’ll lose all sense of structure. My parents work all day and  I’ll be spending a lot of time alone since all my home friends have winter terms at their colleges. 

There’s no doubt about it; winter break is a long stretch! It can be difficult to decide how to structure your time without classes, but it’s also one of the nicer aspects of college. When else in your life are you going to have so much time to yourself? So, before you assume that break will be lonely and boring, take some time to appreciate the gift of time to relax, reflect, and prepare for next semester. Enjoy all the things that college can’t provide you: showers without shower shoes, delicious home-cooked food, etc. 

If you’re a person who likes to have a packed schedule, consider getting a job to fill your time. You’ll make some money, feel productive, and meet new people. If not, you can develop a passion project! Have you always wanted to learn how to knit, cook, speak basic French, or drive a stick? Use this time to do that! Read books. Watch all of the “Matrix” movies. Sort and donate the clothes that you don’t want anymore. Walk around the city or town that you live in and find new places to eat. 

Consider creating a written plan for each day. Even writing things as simple as “eat breakfast” will give your day a semblance of direction.

Have a great break! 

I overheard my friends talking about me the other day. They didn’t say anything especially terrible, but they called me “annoying” and “a lot to handle sometimes.” It really hurt. Should I confront them or just let it go? 

This is a tough situation! It sucks to hear your friends talk about you in a negative light, but remember that everyone talks about other people. It doesn’t mean that they hate you or think that you’re a bad friend. Think about all the negative things you may have voiced about them. Maybe you meant the things you said, but you still love and appreciate them and wouldn’t want to lose them as a friend. Is your friendship generally healthy and positive? If so, you shouldn’t worry too much about it. 

If your friendship has been on the rocks, though, it might be time for a conversation. Saying something like, “I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I did hear you talking about me. The things you said hurt and I just wanted to let you know” is an easy and pleasant way to start the conversation and won’t make them feel attacked. Saying something politely may also provide a space to voice your concerns. If they’re good friends, chances are they’ll apologize and explain the situation. 

This could also be an opportunity for some self-reflection. Sometimes it can be hard to say something to people that you care about. If you feel supported in this situation, vocalizing your concerns can improve your well-being and add a degree of clarity.

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