-advice from the feature section

Q: My problem is the fact that everyone is so paranoid over the war. I think that we have always been under the threat of attack, but that there is just a raised level of awareness because of 9-11. Maybe you can explain to me the reason behind the paranoia.

-War?

Dear War,

You have just answered your own question. People do have a sharpened sense of awareness because of Sept. 11. However, I believe that “awareness” runs deeper than that.

Granted, I am not the most politically informed person on campus, but I must say that I do not believe that it is the war itself that has everyone upset, but rather the mystery surrounding the infamous question “What if?”

Of course, war is bad – there is no question of that. But there are so many other things that can happen as a result of war, which is what I think has everyone up in arms. War affects everyone and everything ranging from the global scale to what happens in one’s backyard. What if my relative is called to go to war? What if I can’t find a job after the war? What if a war causes the economy to suffer even more? What if our country isn’t as strong as I think?

I never underestimate the power of uncertainty. No one can predict the future (I am even skeptical of Ms. Cleo), and that is a very scary thing. For many people, not knowing what is going to happen tomorrow is worse than knowing that something terrible is about to go down

So, I would not call the nation’s “raised level of awareness” paranoia, but rather human nature, for man fears what he does not know. Although this country has survived numerous wars in the past 300 years, one cannot predict how this war may turn. It could be another World War, a Vietnam, or something altogether different -unimaginable to even the most learned historian.

Q: Why are people who are so different always drawn to each other? I share an apartment with three other girls a few miles from school, and we’re kinda having problems. They’re [the problems] not big or anything, but they are really starting to bug me. The thing is that we don’t talk to each other. It’s like we share an apartment and that’s it. We have totally separate lives from each other. When I moved away from home, I pictured sharing a house with other girls who would be my best friends and that’s not happening at all. What am I supposed to do?

-With 3 Other People and Still Alone

Dear Alone,

I know that it is very disheartening for you to read this, but real life is not like those stupid TV shows like “Friends,” “Sorority Life” or “The Real World.” Not all roommates behave like long-lost siblings and everyone does not always hang out 24/7. People lead their own lives; that’s the whole point of growing up and becoming an adult.

However, if it is really important to you to build lasting relationships with your roomies, try finding out what it is they like to do and invite them to partake in that activity with you. You may end up having fun and even learn something new. This girl I once knew had the same problem with her roommates. She knew that one of the girls liked to salsa dance, so she invited her roommates to go out dancing one night. Although she had no idea how to dance the salsa, she figured it would be a nice little “icebreaker.” And she was right. Now, she is a better dancer, and she and her roommates actually talk and hang out. Who knows? That same tactic could work for you too.