Taking Care...

<p>I'm just curious, why is it so much harder (in your opinion) to take good care of yourself when you're alone without the significant other or without the old friends that moved away?</p>

<p>When i was on an airplane going home, i saw an old high school guy who was a freshman in college... except I didn't recognize him. He had gained so much weight (beer gut), wasn't clean-shaven, etc. After talking a bit with him, he was obivously one who was having trouble making friends, or at least as good a group of friends like he had in High school. I just thought he was kinda down...</p>

<p>Now, I'm in college, not having great luck meeting people like the guys back in High school (i'm not a partier/drinker, and when you go to #3 party school, it hurts). I do my best to maintain the miles and hit the gym and keep a diet, but it's so much harder. It's much harder shaving in the morning, etc. Now I still definitely do, but it's harder and I can understand how being on your own without many people you care about can get the best of somebody.</p>

<p>Aside from college, I've seen people such as my uncle, who had beer gut and at times a drinking problem after getting divorced from somebody he didn't really care much about.... and when somebody significant came into his life, the alcohol somehow dwindled..</p>

<p>Why do you guys think this is so? Do we just find no point in taking care when there's nobody to give ourselves up to?</p>

<p>Dear Justplayin,</p>

<p>Man is a social animal. It is tough to feel disconnected from folks who care, who have the same concerns, values, likes and dislikes. It is also true that the social structures of college are so much freer than those of high school days, and many take liberties which cause them harm. I think college can prove to be the hardest adjustment for a young person because so many pressures come to bear at once, and for the first time, you have to find your niche with none of the familiar supports. Most college freshmen make the transition more easily if they join organizations whose values and goals are similar, if not exactly the same as their own. I have often noted that campuses which provide easy access to interesting groups help their students make the adjustment best, whether that be "the old movie club" the specific fraternity, the community outreach group, or whatever. I hope you are able to find a group or two like that where you are. Some schools encourage students starting organizations of their own!</p>

<p>I have also found that when down, if I do something with someone else in mind, I tend to reconnect and find myself feeling better about life. This is one of the best things about community outreach: in doing something for someone else, you end up helping yourself. Just a thought from a Mom.</p>

<p>I admire your efforts at self-care. Still if you find yourself getting really down, be sure to talk to someone about it, whether your RA, the teacher you like most, or your advisor. A lot of times we think we are alone, and there are people around ready to help.</p>

<p>Best wishes, and stay in touch.</p>

<p>Making good friends isn't easy is it? It might be harder on the student who had 100 good friends in high school. It's a shock to get to college and find that another 100 amazing friends aren't at your beck and call.</p>

<p>Making friends is your responsibility. Consider it your job. The more effort you put into it, the more friends you will have. Here are some helpful hints:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Play intramural sports. Basketball, touch football, ultimate--anything with a group. Besides keeping fit, you'll have lots of laughs.</p></li>
<li><p>Keep going to parties unitl you find a group that you find entertaining. they are out there but you won't find them by sitting in your room. Drink O'Doulls or a lite beer. No one cares.</p></li>
<li><p>Remember, the friends you meet in freshman year might not be your closest friends in senior year. Freshman year is all about meeting lots of different kinds of students. You don't have to love them all.</p></li>
<li><p>Extend yourself to someone who seems very shy. Ask them to lunch.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>What goes around, comes around. Good luck!!</p>

<p>If you're not a partier, you are not likely to meet people at parties whom you want to be friends with. Instead, join extracurriculars that have to do with things that do interest you. That's where you're likely to meet people who share things in common with you and who will become your friends. It's also likely that what they do for fun will be things that you, too, will enjoy.</p>

<p>You also might want to start conversations with people in your dorm and your classes. You don't know if a particular person is a possible friend until you've started talking with them. There are books which give you tips as to how to start conversations and keep them going, if that's an issue.</p>