Advice Column: Part Two

When we asked students for questions for our advice column, we got so many questions we had to break it up into two parts, which is AWESOME! And if people like this column, maybe we'll keep it going. Who knows! Maybe we should ask the editors... they seem to know things. Without further ado, here is part two of the advice column!

 

Q: How do you ignore the sexism that is prevalent in frats? Anonymous

A: Don’t ignore the sexism in frats! It is never okay: private or public, men or women, old or young. It’s 2018! Stand up for yourself! Educate! Although there are a lot of ways that women may feel uncomfortable in frats, I think that physical touching can really affect women. I hate when the boys press their hand against the small of your back, sometimes skimming your butt as they push you in a particular direction (usually happens to my friends and me as we are leaving or entering a party). It is an assertion of dominance and control, as if they are entitled to touch whatever they want. I usually just turn around and politely say “no touching, please!” and smile. Go ahead and make them feel awkward… maybe a little embarrassed in front of their friends?  This may not change the world by tomorrow, but it may cause the boys to hesitate the next time, even if they just want to avoid that awkward moment. Anonymous

*Disclaimer: of course not all frat boys are sexist, and it is wrong to assume that all of them are. But, this is for those weird, uncomfortable and sexist experiences that women deal with, especially in the chaos of a frat party.

Q: The boys in IV are afraid to commit and only want to be f*&% buddies. I really like my current f&^% buddy, but I don’t think he wants to date me because we literally only talk through Snapchat or see each other when one of us wants to f%*&. What can I do to change the situation? Or, how can I find a guy out there willing to commit?  Anonymous

A: One of the things you could start with is simply communicating that you may want more out of the relationship with your partner and figure out his take on it. If it turns out that he does not want to take the relationship farther then there are honestly only two options; either you take that as it is and continue the relationship you currently have, or you break it off with him completely. Finding a guy willing to commit is at this age is pretty tricky but not impossible. I think that it’s best to have an open mind without exactly “looking” for a guy to become your boyfriend. Just talk to people, get to know them, establish a friend relationship first and if you decide you may be interested in something more, communicate this early on to avoid hurt feelings and disappointment later on. Ashley Fadairo

Q: How does a person become "successful" in college? Anonymous

A: Being “successful” in college is about establishing your own definition of “successful” and really sticking with it. While it can be easy to get caught up in what “success” is to other people in college, remember the most important success you can have is being content with where you are and what you’re doing. This is going to be different for different people. It’s not always easy to personally define what success means to you as it can be a long process and takes a lot of soul searching. So remember to be patient and compassionate with yourself. As Vincent van Gogh said, “If I am worth anything later, I am worth something now. For wheat is wheat, even if people think it is a grass in the beginning.” Sabrina Bui

Q: How can we manage mental health and all of the stress from school at the same time? Stephanie G.

A: This one is a little bit difficult, because the formula for balance varies from person to person. I’d say that the first most important step to take is to recognize and accept the fact that your mental health should be a top priority. From there, think about the things you enjoy to do in your downtime. What’s the first thing you usually do after you finish taking an exam? Do you lay in bed and listen to music? Watch an episode of Friends on Netflix? Cook yourself something yummy to eat? Take a long warm shower? Think about the kinds of activities that are your go-to after completing a stressful task, and pick one. Then, carve out some time during your daily schedule to do that thing. It doesn’t have to be something time consuming (a single episode of Friends is only about 22 minutes), but if you begin to allow yourself to do something that’s just for you at the end of each day, you may find yourself more willing to prioritize your own well-being and mental health in the future. Bianca Garcia

Q: I have taken on too heavy of a workload this quarter with work, an internship, 2 orgs, four upper division classes. It’s already halfway into the quarter so it’s too late to take a break from anything, but at this point I can barely have a social life. I don’t know what to do. Any advice? Anonymous

A: You sound like the kind of girl who wants to do it all, and I totally 100% relate to that. Okay, so there are two things to keep in mind here: 1. In taking on so many responsibilities, it’s practically a given that you’re either not going to have the time for a social life, or you’re not going to have the energy for it. 2. Almost ironically, being so involved helps you meet a lot of new people and expand your social circle. Being that it’s too late to call it quits on anything for the remainder of the quarter, I suggest you take it as an experiment. If you feel too stressed, miss your friends all the time, and find yourself dreading most days, those are clear signs that you should drop one or two of those things in future quarters. Hang in there! Bianca Garcia

Q: What are your thoughts on makeup and feminism? Anonymous

A: I think that apparel and makeup don’t always have to be about looking attractive—it’s also about portraying your own style and identity! Some might say that makeup is sexist and contributes to unattainable beauty standards, but I see it as just another way of expressing yourself. When it comes to makeup, do whatever you want because it’s about you, and feeling set in your own skin. No matter to what degree you apply your makeup (or any at all), if your motive is for you, then you are empowering yourself, and that is a feminist value, am I right? I know many feminists who apply a lot of makeup everyday because it is routine. I think they see it as a relaxing way to start their day—even an artistic outlet, in some cases! Olivia Montiano

Q: I have been dating my boyfriend for several months, and we have really fallen for each other, but we’re both about to graduate and I’m going to study abroad. When I return, I’m not sure which city I’d like to get a job, but I don’t want to move to his city because there are few opportunities. Is this relationship worth salvaging? If so, how do we get through this? Anonymous

A: Great question! First and foremost, only you can decide whether you want to keep trying or not. I noticed you used the word “salvaging.” If you have a feeling that he isn’t the one, then don’t waste any more of your time! If you think he is too good to lose, then give long distance a shot while you are abroad! It’ll be difficult, but if you can endure long distance, you definitely have something stronger that stands the test of time. As for your job situation, it is important to decide what balance you need in life. Are you super driven to find the perfect career path, even at the expense of your love life? If so, snatch any big opportunities you can find, even if that means more long distance… Because if you can be in a whole other country than bae, you can definitely handle seeing him on weekends. Best of luck! And don’t let him affect your decisions unless you think he might be the one. Olivia Montiano

Q: How do you balance work, school and self-love at college? Anonymous

A: This is so real! All of us go through this. My best advice is to try different things in order to discover your balance. Some are able to study/work constantly and still be happy—others need time to decompress or have fun in order to stay sane (I know I’m definitely the latter)! My first year of college, I took a lot of classes and was very social, but found myself getting bored of just studying, so my grades suffered. My sophomore year, I took the same course load and had a part time job, never had time to socialize, and my grades still suffered. Finally my junior year came and I figured out my balance: fewer classes, work kept me on my toes, put aside time for my friends, and voilá! My grades were better than ever. Everyone is different, but if you are stressed and unhappy, try finding your own blend of the three! Be sure to give each attempt enough time to see how it works for you. Good luck! Olivia Montiano

Q: How long should I wait to text a guy after he gives me his number? Anonymous

A: It doesn’t hurt to wait a day or two if that’s what you want to do, but ultimately wait until you think of something clever to say. Playing games is pointless and silly. If a guy likes you, he won’t mind if you text “too soon”. If he actually cares, and he’s annoyed by something so petty as the length of time you waited to respond, is he really somebody you want to be with? Lauren MacDonald

Q: How do I break things off with my boyfriend of 4 years, who lives with me (our lease is up at the end of June)? I am no longer in love with him, and I’m interested in another guy who likes me back. Anonymous

A: If you’re not happy, you’re not happy; however, living with the boyfriend makes things tricky. If I were in your shoes, I would hold off on starting anything new with the other guy. If he’s really worth it, he’ll wait for you to get through this transition period. In the meantime, you should slowly start breaking away from your current relationship. Make sure to communicate, explain that you don’t feel the way you used to. If things are really bad, break it off now and stay with a friend or family until your lease is officially up. If things are decent, you should slowly make it clear you are no longer in love. Stop having sex, kissing, sleeping in the same bed, etc. because you don’t want to blindside him. Lauren MacDonald

Author Cred: The Her Campus UCSB Editorial Team

All images via Giphy.com