Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,
Every summer I finish my exams and I am relieved, but then I go home and I get bored. I mean mind-numbingly, jaw-dropping bored. All I do is sit on the couch eating potato chips and watch television because there is nothing to do. I come from a rural area where there are mainly farmlands and cows for miles. The nearest mall is about 25 miles away and the “local” movie theater is 40 miles, which almost uses all of my gas just to see one movie. All of this really makes me miss school and all of the activity going on constantly. How can I survive the summer away from campus?
Sincerely,
Bored Bob

Dear Bob,
Going home can be pretty brutal, especially going from a huge metropolitan city full of opportunity on every corner, to a place where you cannot even see the summer blockbusters. Even though your hometown may not be the most exciting place in the world, it is still home. Since you are at school 90 percent of the time, take this time to spend with family and friends who you do not usually get to see in the summer. Hang out with your siblings, help your dad on the farm and visit your grandparents – they’re all people who will appreciate time with you, since they never get to see you, and plus, you’re a fresh face to them. Call your friends from high school and see what they’re up to. They are probably as bored as you are, so maybe you all could come up with ideas to break the boredom.

You could make a summer reading list. Not only will it pass the time, but you might learn something. You could also start an exercise program to get in shape. Maybe if you really get into a routine you could even keep it going come fall semester. Also, you could try to find a job or a place to volunteer your time. It might not be the most fun thing to do, but it will certainly pass the time and you might make some money, too. If you make enough money in the summer, you won’t have to work during the school year, which means less stress.

One word of advice, though: Don’t try to do too much. You should cherish your time off. You won’t get much of it. Pretty soon you are going to be back at class, doing homework, and doing all those extra-curricular activities. You will wish you were back on the couch eating potato chips. So, take it easy. If you really don’t want to go back to your hometown next summer, plan to stay in the city to intern, go to summer classes, or work.? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
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Dear Devil’s Advocate,
I have a problem. I have been really good friends with one of my girlfriends all year. We have gotten really close, especially over the last few months, but she is studying abroad in Rome next semester. She is really excited and I am really excited for her, but I am scared that when she gets back we won’t be as close. I am also scared for next semester because I don’t have too many girlfriends and I am losing my best one. What if she comes back and we aren’t friends anymore?
Sincerely,
Worried Wanda

Dear Wanda,
Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and your friend is a very lucky person because you understand that. I am going to address your second problem first. If she comes back from Europe and for some reason you guys aren’t friends anymore, then there is only one thing you can do: accept it and move on. There is no need to dwell on it. I am not saying you shouldn’t make an effort towards friendship, but if she doesn’t want to be friends anymore, then you can’t change her mind. Why would you want to be friends with someone who doesn’t want to be friends with you? But, don’t worry. That’s not going to happen.

As far as your first problem, you will not be as close as you once were. That’s a given. However, if you guys are good friends like you say you are, then it won’t be long until you are back in the swing of things and it will be like she never left. You two will be laughing and doing whatever it is you do together.

The toughest part will probably be while she is off in Europe and you are stuck back here in lousy, old America. You are going to be so jealous! You should probably come up with some really cool things to do that you can brag about. You know, like when she says she saw the Pope, you can tell her that you saw this homeless man in the subway who was juggling rubber chickens. Stuff like that.

Sincerely,
Devil’s Advocate