Welcome to Reggie Responds, Roar’s advice column! Our columnists are here to provide you helpful, or maybe not so helpful, advice. Tune in on Fridays to see what they have to say about your problems. 

Q: I’m a first-year student, and being naturally shy, I’ve yet to express my feelings to the cute guy down the hallway in my apartment. How should I go about this?

Matthew: This is a sweet one to start with! There is no right way, of course, but my suggestion would be to just go for it. Act through the shyness, fake the confidence all the way, because first impressions pave the way for what’s to come. It’s easy to look back on difficult past situations, and brand ourselves as ‘shy,’ but ultimately, this guy doesn’t know who you are, so think about it… you can be anyone you want to be!

When one has a ‘crush,’ it’s often easy to put the person on a pedestal and imagine the worst possible outcomes. In reality, this guy is probably as shy as you, if not more so. He won’t be expecting your feelings, neither will he dismiss them. And smile, us guys love that. We also love quirkiness and uniqueness, so make him stop in his tracks, notice you, and never forget you. No matter what, he’ll appreciate your bravery, and let’s be realistic – if all else fails – you’ll gain a new friend. At best, you might be instigating something very special, and it would be a shame to miss out on that because you didn’t go for it!

Q: I haven’t been able to see my favourite musical.

Matthew: Neither have I! It’s a real shame. This dark period in the West End has affected so many. I try to remind myself that it’s those who actually work in the industry, the performers, the freelancers, who are really suffering. My heart goes out to them. By the sound of it, you’re a regular theatre-goer, and so I would definitely point you in the direction of Instagram. Definitely follow new theatre-related accounts, news sources, actors, fan pages, get involved with competitions and buy tickets to virtual/digital events. Social media has a surprising amount to offer for us theatre fans. I’m organising a virtual Jamie Musical quiz on YouTube next week, and I know that similar things are happening for other shows. So it isn’t too hard to stay in touch with the theatre-world, even if the productions themselves are closed for now. Do all of this in the knowledge that it will be back soon, this isn’t permanent, and there are a number of producers who are working so hard to safely bring theatre back to us.

Q: I’m so stressed out right now – I’ve just spent the last 5 days doing the equivalent of 400 pages of reading, and I’m practically doused in caffeine. How can I get my work-life balance back in order?

Nikita: As someone who regularly alternates between days of caffeine-induced productivity and a (relatively) healthy lifestyle, I feel a deep-seated connection to this exact sentiment while simultaneously feeling obligated to worry about your health.

It’s vital to remember that detoxing after days of intense studying is super important and cathartic. Given the pandemic, I’d recommend against the usual relaxing with friends — instead (if the weather permits), why don’t you go for a long walk in the morning? As overused a piece of advice as it is, fresh air does wonders for you, and staying cooped up inside and cramming 400 pages of reading is sure to deprive you of it. Spend time with your family/flatmates and try to cut back on the coffee if you can. (I know it’s hard, but it doesn’t hurt to try!)

Essentially, try to break out of your current routine – so, take a long walk, cook a new dish, listen to some new music or get a new plant! And maybe, the next time you’re doing your readings, keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t finish them all – most lecturers are pretty understanding of these extremely unprecedented times we’re going through. So, take regular breaks while studying, go get some fresh air and try cutting back on the caffeine a little (please?).

Due to the large number of questions we receive, we won’t be able to respond to every single one of them, but we hope you’ll still manage to find the answers you’re looking for, or at the very least to have a good read!

If you want to submit a question, you can do so here.

Matthew Seaman

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