Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

I had a ton of fun this winter break. I got to see all of my friends and hang out with my family. The only problem? I didn’t work.

I have a job over the summer that pays fairly well, but they’re not open during the winter so I can’t go back over break. I don’t have the time for a job during the school year either. I’m beginning to regret all the times I went out over break and the money I wasted. I had a ton of fun, but was it really worth it?

Now I’m faced with an entire semester of weekends and only a few hundred dollars to my name. I still have to buy textbooks and pay for some of my class fees.

I don’t know what to do! How am I going to really enjoy this semester if I can’t pay for anything?

I don’t want to leech off my friends, but that’s starting to look like the only option I have left.

I want to have fun on the weekends, but I don’t know if I can do that without money.

Sincerly,

Poor Patrick

Dear Poor Patrick,

We all know how difficult it can be to manage our money. It’s easy to just throw down your credit card and pay for a night of fun in the city with your friends. But that’s where this all begins: you have to do everything in moderation.

Luckily for us, going to school in New York City gives us plenty of opportunities for fun that are also free.

Buy a MetroCard and spend the day with your friends exploring.

Get off at a subway stop downtown and just walk; you never know what you can find just walking up Broadway. Or check out Central Park or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

They’re both easy to get to and free.
If the city isn’t your thing, there’s no shame in spending the night in. Organize a movie night with your friends or watch an entire season of your favorite TV show on DVD.

Sometimes just being with your friends can be as much fun as anything else. Make some popcorn and you’ll be set!

Game night is also a fun, cheap pastime to do on a Friday night. Get a group of friends together, a bunch of board games and let the fun begin! It’s also a great way to get to know friends better, with games like Apples to Apples, Outburst, or Scattegories.

In the end, it’s not about where you are or what you’re doing, but who you’re with that’s the most important thing of all.

Signed,

Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

So classes are just starting and I’m really excited. I’m taking courses I like and, even better, I met a cute guy in one of them. He even asked me out!

I really think this could be great; the two of us really seem to click and we had a ton of fun when we went out. I’m a little nervous about the coming weeks though, especially Valentine’s Day.

It’s not like we’ve changed our relationship statuses on Facebook yet, so I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do.

What’s appropriate? Should I buy him a gift or not? I don’t even know if he’d like what I would get him. Should I ask him to do something that night?

I really like this guy and I don’t want to mess it up before it even starts to get good.

I don’t want to scare him away but I don’t want to miss my chance either. What should I do?

Sincerly,

Nervous Nora

Dear Nervous Nora,

It’s completely normal to be worried at the start of a relationship. It can be scary to leap into something completely new.

But you can’t let your anxiety get in the way of this. This can be exciting if you don’t stress out too much! If you over think this situation too much, you will stress yourself out, and not have fun.

Honestly, you shouldn’t even be thinking about Valentine’s Day right now. It is an overrated holiday created and jacked up by the media that makes single people feel miserable about themselves, and couples stress for weeks about what to get their significant others.

That day is weeks away and there’s absolutely no reason to stress about it now. There is plenty of time for your relationship to grow, or you may find he is an undercover jerk and want nothing to do with him. With love and relationships, it is a day-to-day thing. You never know what will come next.

If you’re still together then great. Even if this doesn’t pan out, don’t worry – there are plenty of other things to do. Go out with your friends or just relax.

Trust me, there are plenty of other things to freak out over. New relationships should be fun, not nerve-wracking. Enjoy it!

Signed,

Devil’s Advocate