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Reggie Responds #19

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 happy to be back on campus for in person classes, but I don’t even know how to socialise properly because it’s been a long time since I’ve met new people.

Alex: Socialising is one of those things everyone is expected to enjoy, but I think the time of the pandemic has really shed light on the fact that it can also be hard (and often fruitless) work. I suppose the question you might ask yourself is: Why is it so important to socialise? Why do you feel like it is a requirement? Is it about building deep human connections, or just ticking another ‘student life’ item off the university bucket list? 

We all desire connection in some shape or form, but we all need it in different forms and doses – and some of us struggle with it more than others, which is perfectly okay – so it’s best to drop any elusive ideas of what supposedly constitutes a successful social life and find out what works for you. Maybe you could try to look at the past year, examine what brought you a sense of purpose, and use that as a starting point to meet new people? If you’re passionate about your degree, can you build a connection with others through it? Is it something you can find a society for? If so, you can actually do things you enjoy, just for yourself, and meeting new people would be a by-product of that. You will not always end up making long and lasting friendships, but unfortunately long and lasting friendships is not something you can meticulously plan for (believe me, I’ve tried).

Last but not least – sometimes all we need is to be a little bit dead to the world, so I think giving yourself the option of shutting off completely every once in a while could help you feel more connected in the long run.

Nikita: In a slightly different vein from Alex’s reply – the number of times we’ve been asked this question really is telling of how many people are finding (re)socialising to be a challenge this year. I wish I could say I have life-changing, never-told-before advice for you, but to be very honest, I don’t. The best advice I could give you would be to put yourself out there, to attend more society events (lots of people will be attending these, I promise!) and to make the most out of in-person classes. In fact, just last week I went to the Oktoberfest event held by the German society (and had fun!) so I definitely recommend attending society events, even if you’re not a part of said societies!

Remember, it’s been a long year for everyone, we really are all in the same boat — so, if at any point you happen to feel like you’re being “awkward,” just remember: other people don’t think as deeply about your actions as you do. Once you internalise this, it’s smooth sailing from there.

Q: There’s this guy that I’ve been talking to and we have pretty good chemistry. I don’t see him as more than a friend, but he’s been dropping hints that he’d like to date and all. How do I reject him or make it clear that I only want us to stay friends?

Matthew: It’s clear that you respect this guy, and value the chemistry and friendship you’ve developed. I have been the guy in this situation before, and the only reasonable method is to be clear. If you are clear that you A) are interested in other guys, and B) see him as a friend (use the word ‘friend’), there shouldn’t be any room for confusion. It’s just when the lines become blurred, and questionable flirting occurs, that it can turn toxic. And don’t forget – there’s no need for a hard-hitting ‘rejection’ unless he outright asks you out, so don’t let it get to that point by dropping hints from your end now!

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

Matthew Seaman
Nikita Dahiya

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