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Feeling Blue? Ask The Blue Banner

Dana Stewart

News Writer

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Q: There’s this guy who I hook up with, the whole friends with benefits scenario, but recently we’ve been hanging out without hooking up, like just cuddling and talking and watching shows, so the lines are kind of blurring. I’m a bit confused about the whole thing, like is it now something more? Is this a conversation he and I need to have?

A: Your relationship does seem confusing, and the lines being crossed are something that need to be addressed. If both of you are not on the same terms, things will only get more confusing as the relationship progresses. It’s crucial to keep each other updated, and communicating with each other is the key to making you both comfortable with where you are headed. It seems as though this is something important to you, which is all the more reason to sit down and have a serious conversation with him.

“The communication should be face to face (rather than through text).  You should be prepared to share your thoughts directly and be ready to listen to his perspectives without making your own assumptions about what he is saying.  The conversation should happen when the time and place are appropriate and not during or after a hook-up,” the director of the Health and Counseling Center at UNC Asheville, Jay Cutspec said.

Planning out exactly what you need to say is crucial in discussing your feelings, so as to be better prepared for explaining why you are confused. If you feel as if he isn’t taking your words seriously, that presents the type of person he will be in the future.

Don’t just protect your heart, know the worth of it. Remember you are worthy of being listened to and taken seriously, because in a relationship such as this one, it’s easy to forget what needs to be done to get a result that will make the both of you happy.

Q: I’ve recently been feeling super homesick and don’t really know how to cope with it, especially because college is the time to get away from home. How can I get over it without actually going back home?

A: Transitioning into college and being away is guaranteed to affect your mental health and being homesick is one way university students are affected. It’s normal to feel this way, especially when classes and extracurricular activities are added to your daily routine. Thankfully, there are steps you can take in order to relieve the pressure you’re feeling right now.

Jay Cutspec, the director of the Health and Counseling Center at UNCA, had a few options to help you feel a little less stressed with your predicament.

“Bring special items from home that remind you of the comfort found there. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, think about what you are gaining (new experiences, friends),” Cutspec said.

Even something as simple as a stuffed animal resembling your favorite pet can be more helpful than having nothing to remember them with.

“Know that you are not alone and reach out to others.  Keep in touch with those who are most important to you at home. Get involved in a club, study group or job to be around new people and have new experiences, and invite friends and family to visit you.  The more you integrate and feel comfortable with your new surroundings, the less homesickness you may feel,” Cutspec said.

Studies have shown that more than  69 percent of first year college students experience extreme or severe homesickness, which means you are not alone in feeling the stress of missing where you are from. Having people you can reach out to when uncomfortable can be everything, even if it’s just a club leader or a new friend. While homesickness is affecting the way your college experience is going right now, it’s not forever, and integrating into activities with friends and keeping in touch with family is a sure way to find that UNCA can be a brand new home for you.

Q: Hello, I’m having problems with my roommate… they’re pretty loud and keep me up at night. I’ve asked them to quiet down after a certain time but it didn’t make a difference. They also keep sneaking from my snack stash?? I don’t want to change rooms because I’m already all settled in. What should I do?

A: While this is a hard topic to bring up to a roommate, it’s great to hear that you have already taken the first step in trying to solve your situation. However hard things may seem, communication is a great first step in the right direction.

That being said, it seems as though they haven’t been listening to your problems or taken them seriously. Because of this, there are a few more extra steps you can take to resolve the stress you’re feeling.

“It is appropriate to speak with your RA about these problems.  This is a common experience in the residence halls and the RAs are equipped to deal with these problems,” Jay Cutspec said.

“If this is not a good option for you, then contact the area director assigned to your building.  These are full-time professional staff who will sit down and problem solve with you the best options for dealing effectively with these issues,” Cutspec said.

Having a backup to talk to in case your RA doesn’t seem equipped to solve the problem is a great solution and may help soothe your anxiety when discussing what to do next.

“We always recommend making very specific stipulations in your roommate contracts at the beginning of the semester so you can use those to discuss the problems you might have later,”said Emily Phillips, a resident assistant at Governors Hall said. “Also, as far as the snacks go, student to student, find a new spot.”

Your eagerness to find a solution is great, it’s now just a matter of figuring out which resources you need in order to best go about doing so in a polite and respectful manner. I wish you the best of luck and hope you figure out a way to get the silence you deserve in your dorm.

Q: My friends don’t like my partner. Occasionally, our relationship will hit a road bump or two, but that’s normal for relationships, right! I’ll confide in my friends and these little things will cause my friends not to like my partner anymore. What do I do? ):

A: You’re exactly right all relationships have bumps every now and then. This relationship seems as though it is incredibly important to you, and you wish to share some of the special moments with your friends, which is completely understandable.

In my experience, the friends that don’t like or don’t understand your partner will typically have a reason. Whether it is justifiable or not is up to you, but the only way to know is to sit down with them and have a proper conversation about them and your feelings. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of talking it out, and learning why they don’t trust your partner the same as you do. In the event that it’s something as simple as balancing time between friends and your relationship, that can be an easy fix, as long as you make it known that both sides have valid reasons.

That being said, it may also be a great idea to bring this up to your partner. Simply letting things resolve on their own may lead to arguments and more bumps in the future, especially if they aren’t in on the loop of what you’re going through. Relationships can be exciting times, and wishing to share those with friends is not at all a bad thing, as long as you keep both your friends and your partner on equal footing and try not to let either side feel left out.

Best of luck in finding a common ground for all to get along.

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