Get It Together: how to cope with financial woes and loneliness
“Get It Together” is a weekly advice column published every Friday in which columnists Jalen and Grace weigh in their separate answers to readers’ questions.
Question: Dear Grace and Jalen, what’s good from SUNY Bing-a-ling! While my opening was HILARIOUS, I actually have a problem, I’m trying to ditch my old look (I called it bum chic, my friends called it disgusting) but clothes are expensive and I am poor. Got any advice for a medium height, stocky guy with very little in his closet but T-Shirts and sweats and no real money to buy anything new? P.S. I could sink a teensy bit of money into stuff, but we’re talking Bargain Bin prices.
Bad Binghamton Dresser
Jalen: Dear Binghamton Dresser: If you are able, you need to get a job and schedule it into your life, get on the search. Look around your town to see if anyone can hire part-time so you have the choice to look good. You also probably need to watch your money better. I know people who like to bring up that they don’t have money (and I’m not saying that’s what you are doing), but they are still always able to pay for alcohol, concert tickets and/or fraternity or sorority dues. If you are any of these people, take control of your finances and work it out. Helplessness is unattractive and unappealing, so it is up to you to do what you can. I would also look online for books and speeches by Dave Ramsey, who’s awesome at money management.
Grace: Dear Binghamton Dresser: This seems like an opportunity to bring out elementary school art class lessons and start getting creative! Bum chic is apparently in fashion right now as far as the hipster scene is concerned, so start hanging out around coffee shops – people are bound to compliment your style, or lack thereof. Follow some fashion blogs for good DIY ideas and ways to mix up your not-so-flashy wardrobe. Most importantly, work with what you have with confidence.
Q: Dear Grace and Jalen: Help, I’m super lonely! As a commuter student I knew my group of friends wasn’t going to be large, but I also didn’t think I wasn’t going to have any. I’ve tried to make plans with people from orientation and I always put myself out there in my classes, but no one reciprocates. I would join a club but I’m too busy with everything else. I’m not sure what else to do? I’m literally always alone.
All by myself
J: Dear All by Myself: You may still need more time to find your own “crew.” This varies from person to person, and you’re definitely in a particular situation being a commuter. You’re not going to be friends with everyone, so the people that don’t reciprocate just might not be the right people for you. I strongly suggest joining clubs because you will at least meet people that are interested in the same things as you. Maybe take a different route to and from classes, you may run into someone new or see a student group you would like to get involved with.
G: Dear All by Myself: Force yourself to become a social butterfly. It may be easier said than done, but sit next to someone you’ve never met before in a class you have, or someone sitting alone in TDR or the Tavern – yes, the cafeteria, aka the most pressing social environment known to college students. Get over the awkwardness of it all and pretend you’re super comfortable doing what you’re doing. With finals coming up, attend TA sessions for your classes, or offer to study with some of your classmates. Try to make time in your schedule next semester to join a fun club so that you can meet people with similar interests as you. Even just making small talk with someone standing behind you in the Dav could lead to a new friend.
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