Advice Column 2/4/2021

There’s a super cute guy in my zoom class and I really want to ask him out but have nooooo idea how. Normally I would just go up to him after class but it’s all on zoom 🙁 help! – Anon
Dear Anon,
Online classes definitely put a toll on the amount of people you would normally interact with on a daily basis, so this submission is one I’m certain many can relate to. 
The first step I would take is to make yourself known in the class. If it’s participatory, speak out when asked questions! Answer the professor until they know your name by heart from the amount of times you’ve responded to them. Not only will it get you noticed, but you’ll end up participating in class as well!
Next, if you have the opportunity to be placed in a breakout room, this is the perfect time to shoot your shot. Ask others in the group for contact information in order to communicate after class, even if it means gathering a few Instagram followers. Even better, if your crush happens to be in that breakout group, you’ve got the information you need to start contacting them after class! In the event of not being placed in the same breakout room no matter what, there’s always the option of asking around for the contacts of everyone at a time, until you eventually end up with the numbers you need.
Simply gaining the snapchat of a crush can go the longest way, and I wish you the best of luck in your perusal.
Take Care,
The Blue Banner
I hate my major but I’m halfway into my junior year. What do I do? -Anon
Dear Anon,
This is a great question, as it can pertain to multiple others in your situation who are unsure of how to find a major, or those who wish to change it despite nearing graduation. Based on studies conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics, about one third of students in Bachelor’s programs changed their majors, which means you are not alone! Fear not, there is still a bright light at the end of the road for you.
I contacted the Academic Center and reached out to Azure Samuels, a Student Success Specialist. She suggested first re-evaluating your interests, and taking a long look at the list of majors UNCA can provide for you. If you’re still unsure as to what major you wish to switch to, don’t worry! The Career Center is the perfect place to make an appointment. There, they can gather what your interests are and gain an understanding of what jobs would be best suited for you personally, as well as what to prepare for. 
After deciding on a major, Samuels suggested running it through the What-if GradPlan on Oneport, giving you the opportunity to see if you have already taken a few of the classes necessary for graduating with that specific major. If so, you’re already on the road for success!
Don’t spend too much time focusing on the timeframe, because it’s never too late to switch majors and go for what you genuinely want to do. It’s better to know now, rather than regret not switching it in the future.
Figuring out your major is a stressful and difficult process, but there are resources out there that are made with the intent of helping in any way they can. Reaching out is the first step in solving this issue, and the Career Center is a great start.
Best of luck,
The Blue Banner
“Hey, I’ve recently started attending college and I feel lost. I know it is supposed to be a fresh start, but if anything, it puts more pressure for this experience to turn out as good as it sounds when you hear “fresh start”.  I’m caught in between being too nervous to meet new people and wanting to go home when I am, and I was wondering if you had advice for people in similar positions? Thank you!” -Anon
Dear Anon,
As difficult as it is to admit it, this is something nearly every college student faces when first arriving on campus. It’s a new environment, with new people, new classes, and a new way to go about living on an everyday basis. The people around you may seem as if they know exactly what they’re doing, but rest assured, new students are just as lost and scared.  
When considering college as a “Fresh Start,” you may be led to believe that this is a completely positive thing, however, college is filled with its ups and downs. Your experiences lead you to gain the knowledge necessary for continuing on in your years of studies, and this can sometimes mean falling down a rabbit hole with nothing to do or no friends to hang out with. Rest assured, you are not alone, and the pressure you feel is something that even juniors and seniors struggle with.
Personally, my freshman year was filled with struggles of every kind. I didn’t know how to take the shuttle, my dorm was too far away from anything, and I often felt out of the loop that others my age seemed to fit in perfectly with. In a way, I went through everything you felt, and yet with a little courage from the people I met through every interaction, I got through it. I came to realize that if I was scared, that meant at least a few others around me were feeling just the same, and having that knowledge allowed me to introduce myself to new strangers.
The first step you can take is so simple, yet terrifying at the same time: Meeting new friends. It’s hard, especially during a Pandemic, but asking a classmate for their contact information is the easiest way to go about it. That, or joining a club or event in which you can meet others with similar interests, will allow you a world of new opportunities and someone to help you along the way. My friends were what made my Freshman year, as they were the ones I could turn to when I was struggling with the pressure of college.
In the event of wanting to go back home due to being lost or unsure, I think it may be a great idea to take a break and head back to a familiar area. This will allow you to assess the situations you’re struggling with, without the fear of being in an unknown environment. Even going back home for a day can clear your head, and allow you to talk to others that you know and hopefully trust.
Feeling pressured to do everything at once is a common college experience, but everybody needs a break sometimes, and some just need to be introduced to a new environment slowly. You are not alone in your endeavors, and I wish you the best of luck in feeling comfortable at UNCA’s environment.
Take Care,
The Blue Banner
“I don’t know if I should go back to school. I feel like it’s a waste of time and money if I don’t know my major. However my parents really want me to go back. What do I do??”-Anon
Dear Anon,
The situation, especially during a pandemic, is one that I’m sure many others can relate to. The issue of money and lack of motivation for attending college is something to seriously consider, because in the event that you do end up going back, you may fear you’ll come to regret it. 
The good news is that, for many others who are questioning their majors and financial opportunities, there are resources available. I’ve mentioned in another submission that the Career Center is a great place to weigh your options, as well as meeting with an advisor here at UNCA in order to figure out what major or career path best suits you. This may solve the major problem, but there is still the issue of time and money that can be difficult to solve.
Finding scholarships is the easiest way to gain financial aid and help with tuition. Even one scholarship can go the longest way, and I highly suggest you get started as soon as possible. That way, in the event that a scholarship is given to you, it may help make up your mind as to whether or not college is suitable for you. There are multiple options to choose from on the UNCA webpage alone, it’s just a matter of reaching out for your own benefit.
In regards to wasting your time by going to college, that is something only you can decide for yourself. You’ll find tons of financially stable individuals who dropped out of college, just the same as you’ll find tons of individuals who stayed in college and regretted their decision. One thing is for certain; college is an experience that can either be helpful or harmful depending on the person attending, and UNCA is no different. Something that may help the process is creating a list of pros and cons, and talking it through with a trusted individual or advisor on campus.
Ultimately, this decision is yours alone. There are so many opportunities out there for you, whether you decide to attend college or not, and figuring out what you want to do in the future is a great start. Don’t spend too much time focusing on what your parents want you to do; it’s your future, not theirs, and the pressure they put on you shouldn’t be the deciding factor. I hope you come to a decision that best suits you, and wish you luck in the future.
Take Care,
The Blue Banner
List of UNCA scholarships:
“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? ):” -Anon
Dear Anon,
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 both 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,
The Blue Banner
“How do I get women to look my way?”-Anon
Dear Anon,
You’ve most likely heard this before, and you’ll most likely hear it again, but confidence is key. Making yourself known amongst friend groups, classmates, and group members is a great start for women to start to notice what you have to offer, as long as you stay respectful of their boundaries and keep confident in the event you don’t get the results right away.
How do you go about this? First, I recommend making eye contact with others around you. It may seem simple, but it’s a perfect way and easy way for others to remember you. Once you’ve grabbed the attention of someone, it’s hard for them to forget the one that made them feel special enough to hold eye contact with. Even if just for a few seconds, and if you notice them becoming uncomfortable, move on.
Next, don’t downplay your achievements or talk negatively about yourself. This is a sure way for others to understand how you feel about yourself, and will turn them away or cause them to feel awkward about your lack of confidence. 
Lastly, dress the way you want to dress. Attire won’t be the thing that gets a woman’s attention; the attitude will, so it’s best to keep to your routine and not hide behind a pair of clothes that don’t match your personality. Keep your chin held high, your shoulders straight, and believe in the fact there are women out there that want what you have to offer. 
Stay confident, and I wish you the best of luck in finding your special someone,
The Blue Banner