October: Since You Asked...

Do you have a question in mind but are too shy to ask? Do you need an outside perspective on a topic or situation? This semester, Her Campus at Concordia is introducing a new feature: an advice column. The advice column is a non-judgmental space where our contributors will answer, to the best of their ability, readers’s questions about different topics. You can submit a question to [email protected]


Q: I’m finding it hard to de-stress throughout the school year. Between classes, work and extracurricular activities, I feel like I don’t have any time. What can I do to help myself? 


Answered by: Ashley Cohen


Being enrolled in school and having a hectic life is something a lot of students are dealing with, so, you should first take comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone. While there are many articles out there that can give longer tips on how to relax, they don’t tend to consider people who may not have time to just sit and have a cup of tea or take a long bath. The best advice I can give you is to try to find small moments in your busy day to listen to music or a guided meditation, on your commute to school or work for example. Also, try having a social-media-free hour. That way, you will avoid added stress from outside influences. 


When you are feeling overwhelmed, sometimes a good way to release tension is to write down what you are stressing about. This might help you take a step back and metaphorically let it go on a piece of paper or in your phone notes. If you don’t feel comfortable writing, I'm sure a friend wouldn’t mind a short venting session. Multiple times this semester, I have called a friend on Facetime and screamed for a while -- usually about something mundane. These calls can be helpful because sometimes we are not looking for advice or guidance we just need to let go of a load of stress, providing that we have friends who are nice enough to just sit and listen. 


Q: My friends hate my boyfriend. They don’t understand what I see in him and are not friendly towards him. I really like him, but I trust my friend's instincts. What should I do? 


Answered by: Ashley Cohen


I think an important point to consider is whether you have asked your friends why they don’t like your boyfriend. If their reasons for disliking him are trivial -- they don’t like the way he looks or they don’t have the same taste in music, for example -- I would take their opinion with a grain of salt. This could mean these friends are unable to see past the superficial things and cannot really see the person he is. 


On the other hand, If their reasons for not being fans of him are more thought-out, I think you should take the time to hear them out. Sometimes people notice things that you are unable to see because you are involved so closely in the relationship. For example, if a friend complains that your boyfriend takes up all your time, are they saying it because you simply aren’t available when they want to hang out with you, or is it because your boyfriend is attached to your hip and only wants to be alone with you all the time? Your friends know you and, most of the time, want what is best for you, so listen to them if they are noticing broader issues. 


If, however, you haven’t asked them why they don’t like your boyfriend, then start by doing so. Maybe the problem can be fixed by simply organizing a sit down with everyone so they can get to know each other. No one wants to have to choose between their friends and the person they love, so why not try to fix the problem?