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Hey, besties! Welcome back to this week’s edition of Paige’s Page, and the final edition of the semester! But, don’t worry everyone. I will be back and better than ever in the spring! This week, we are discussing friends and how to deal with people you don’t want to be friends with. This topic is a really popular one on campus right now. I think that a full return to campus made the campus feel smaller instead of bigger, but we are learning how to deal with this! PLEASE don’t forget about me over your winter break and continue to submit questions! Let’s get started! 

Hi Paige, Muhlenberg is so tiny and it is really hard to avoid people that you may not want to see. I have a lot of friends in common with a person who I am not on good terms with and I don’t want this situation to affect my other relationships. What do I do? 

Hey, bestie. Muhlenberg is so small and it is basically impossible to avoid seeing anyone ever (especially in the dining hall, that place is basically a meet and greet with everyone you don’t want to see every single day)! Ultimately, it’s not fun but you have to get used to seeing their face around because unless they’re leaving, it’s not going away anytime soon. I think the easiest way to cope with this however, is to pretend they aren’t there. Some may say that’s rude, but I think they’re wrong. Do what you have to do for you. Some people just can’t be friends or even civil and that’s okay! I know there are people around that may not want to see me, I don’t want to see them and in some kind of non-communicative yet intuitive way, we don’t associate with each other. Know your boundaries, if you don’t even want to wave to this person, don’t. When it comes to your friends, you and all of them may have to learn how to compartmentalize your relationships. Obviously this could start off a bit awkward, but if you care about the relationship and they do too, they will do what they can to make it work. Go to each other’s suites or dorms; if one of you has a car, get coffee off campus; try to do things with them where this person will not be around. The hardest part of this is to know that they are still friends with the person you don’t like and while it’s much easier said than done, you have to not take that personally. It can be so hard but you can do it! 

I’m in a friend group with someone who is not a good person for me to be friends with but I don’t know how to stop seeing them when they are in the group. HELP!

Hi, bestie. I’m really sorry you’re in this situation. I think the only way to go about this is by figuring out how to have a conversation with them because you are likely on the same page about where you stand in your relationship. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone in your friend group. If you are existing as a whole group, they will be there but you don’t have to pretend that you want to spend all of your time with them. That is what your other friends are for! If you can still coexist, that’s great but don’t compromise yourself and your relationships with your other friends because you don’t want to be around this person at all. Like I said before, not everyone is going to be friends with everyone, and that is something that I have had to grapple with for a long time. Keep your friends close to you and don’t let one person that you have differences with end all of your—what I can only assume—really amazing and loving friendships. 

Hey, Paige, I feel like everyone is having a hard time on campus right now! However, I feel like I’m not allowed to be struggling because my needs are not seen as important as those around me. What is your advice for living with this and taking care of myself? 

Hi, bestie! This time of the year is always really tough because we are all stressed with finals, it’s getting darker earlier, and we have been on campus—trapped in the Muhlenbubble—for a really long time. While I’m sure you love your friends, it can sometimes be really hard to keep it together when they are the ones that are making you feel anxious or frustrated. I would like to emphasize something that you definitely need to hear right now: YOUR NEEDS AND FEELINGS MATTER! Arguably, they matter the most because the only person who can truly take care of them is you. It is really great that you can be a good support system to your friends because in times like this that is really what everyone needs, but you need to find that person for you and I’m really sorry you are struggling with that. I personally have been dealing with this by having regular biweekly sessions at the counselling center because having a person to validate my feelings and needs to me has been really really really helpful this semester. I also struggle to take care of myself when I am in this headspace, and so it is super hard for me to give you advice on how to do that. I love to shop so I have been doing some retail therapy so that I can experience the thrill of an email from the Muhlenberg mailroom. If you like to sing, grab a practice room in the CA. If you like to sit in silence alone—do that. Ask your roommate to leave for a bit, I’m sure they get it too. Take care of yourself, eat, sleep, relax, it’s almost over!

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