Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

I am a freshman here at St. John’s. However, I am also not from around here (about 5 hour drive away), so I do not know many people at all. Basically I am only acquainted with my roommates. It has only been a few days into the school year and I just feel terribly lonely.

Unfortunately, I am a shy person in general and for some reason I find it difficult to start new friendly relationships no matter who it is.

I need some help at meeting new people and I do not know how to go about it. Sometimes I will even be in the elevator and want to say “hello” or something to the people in the elevator with me, but I just don’t. Please help me become more sociable and meet some new friends.

Thanks in advance,

Lonely Luke

Dear Luke,

It can be overwhelming coming to a new place all by yourself, especially if you are a shy person. There are some good things about the situation you are in though. Nobody knows you, so you get a fresh start. You can be whoever you want to be. You can reinvent yourself.

I am not saying that you should dramatically change who you are. On the contrary, I am saying that you should be yourself, only a more comfortable and confident version of yourself.

Be comfortable with who you are and be confident when you are around other people. That’s the only way you are going to make new friends.

Talk to your roommates. Talk to your classmates. Talk to people in the elevator. Get to know people.

It will probably take time and you might make a fool of yourself sometimes, but it doesn’t matter.

As long as you are comfortable and confident, you will be fine. Getting to know people and building relationships is a skill and just like any skill, it takes lots of practice to perfect.

Ask people in your class to study together. Go to parties and socialize. Join an intramural sports team. You need to get yourself out there and do things.

The worst thing that could happen is that you say something dumb. The best thing that could happen is that you make a life long friend. That’s a risk you should be willing
to take.


Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

So, I had a great summer. Actually, it might have been the best summer of my life. I made a lot of great friends, had some fun with a girl, and just had a really amazing time.

The only problem is now I miss it. I can’t seem to let go of all the good times I had over the summer and I can’t concentrate on what’s to come.

I know there is a lot of work to do ahead of me this semester as well as a lot of fun to be had. I want to be excited about what’s to come, but all I can think about is the summer.

I just want to let it go and get on with the good times to come
Summer-Loving Sam

Dear Sam,

Before you do anything, just realize that you are lucky to be in this situation. You had the time of your life this summer. Not many people can say that. Even less can say that the good times are going to continue. So, consider yourself a very fortunate person.

Now that that is out of the way, I must say that I think you have the wrong attitude about your situation. You shouldn’t want to let go of your memories of the summer.

You should embrace them. Just make sure not to dwell on the past. It’s tough to do and sometimes it just takes time, but there are definitely a few things you should avoid doing along the way.

Definitely do not sit in your room playing video games and eating chips all day. I know it’s tempting and those Lays chips taste so good with French onion dip, but you can’t do it. You need to stimulate your mind and meet new people. Join a yoga class or something. Don’t just sit there.

Also, make sure you don’t let your feelings surface through bad habits. Don’t start eating too much and don’t drown your sorrows in a pint of beer. In fact, it is much better to release your feelings in positive ways. Go to the gym and work out. Learn to play guitar. Write in a journal.


Devil’s Advocate