College Student Can't Go Home For Holidays
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a college student and cannot afford to go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I didn't really think about it that much when school started because I was so happy to be going to campus. But now I'm pretty much alone. There's going to be a small gathering at school for Thanksgiving for the students who are stranded, so I'm going to that. But I am worried about having to do that twice -- also for Christmas. I wasn't really feeling poor before now, but it's only the poor kids who are having to stay on campus when everybody else is jetting off to be with their families. How can I adopt a better attitude about this? I am grateful to be at college, but I'm feeling down about spending the holidays here. -- Alone
DEAR ALONE: It's time to adopt an optimistic attitude. First, it's great that your school is hosting a Thanksgiving meal. Figure out what you can do to make that moment special. Speak to the organizers and see how you can help. Being of service is one sure way to help you to feel productive and take your mind off of your woes. Commit to paying attention to the students who are there and getting to know people who are new to you. Do not think of them as poor kids. You don't know their circumstances. Instead, think of them as students who happen to be on campus, just like you.
Among those gathered, find out who will likely be there again at Christmas. Talk to them about what you can do together to make that time more festive. Research holiday activities in the surrounding area. Perhaps you can organize outings with the other students to visit a tree-lighting ceremony, go to a holiday movie or sing carols at a retirement home. What else might be happening there? Take on a leadership role in making the holiday season special for students who are still on campus. Get the college leadership to support your efforts. Trust that if you adopt the attitude of serving those who are there with you, you will feel brighter -- and so will they!
DEAR HARRIETTE: My good friend just broke up with his girlfriend last week. Because the breakup is fresh, I was waiting to make it known that I like him. Next thing you know, another friend of mine has muscled her way in and is trying to claim that spot. Never mind that she knows I like this guy. Everything is awkward now. Should I tell the guy that I like him as more than a friend? Should I wait and see how things unfold? Should I just give up and stay friends? This is so uncomfortable. I just hate high school sometimes. What should I do? -- The Friend
DEAR THE FRIEND: Timing is everything in relationships. You were right not to come on to your friend when he was in a relationship. Now, you have a couple of options. If during your chats you can naturally suggest that the two of you go out some time, go for it. It's not a formal request to date, but it could be an overture that lets him know you are interested.
You can ask your other friend who muscled in what the heck she is doing, just so she knows you are checking her. You can also wait to see how things play out. When someone has just ended a relationship, typically the next couple of people they engage don't last. It may be possible for you to remain the friend for now and see if sparks fly over time.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)
COPYRIGHT 2021 HARRIETTE COLE
DISTRIBUTED BY ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION FOR UFS