By: Jillian Perkins-Marsh, alumni career counsellor 

For folks who are trying to figure out what an occupation is really like before taking the leap or for those trying to build their connections to help with their job search efforts, informational interviews can be extremely helpful. Really, what is better than one-on-one time with someone who can offer you career advice at minimum, and at the end of the spectrum, if all goes well, someone who may offer to pass along your resume to the right people and tell you about unadvertised jobs?

Informational interviews can be a highly effective way to build connections. If the meetings are done right, they can be an amazing way to make a positive first impression with a professional in your field of interest.

Be sure to be genuine in your interest in connecting and to follow up – and avoid the pitfall of ‘transactional networking’. The idea that networking is about focusing on the number of interactions, rather than the quality of the relationships. This is absolutely not what effective networking should involve. Life gets busy. But that is no excuse for not staying in touch and responding to others in a timely way…especially when you initiated the connection.

Try and think from the other person’s perspective. After you reach out to the person you were referred to in a timely manner, remember to circle back to your original contact to update them about your conversation and thank them again. Completing the networking circle will maintain relationships and not leave them wondering if you ever followed up with their suggestion.

These are the kind of recommendations that can help you turn a good strategy for building and using your network into a good and successful strategy for building and using your network, and that can make all the difference.

If you are looking to build your network and don’t know where to start, visit Firsthand, our online networking and mentorship platform. On Firsthand you will find McMaster alumni ready to have career conversations with you and give you advice on how to land a job in the industry of your dreams.

Visit mcmaster.firsthand.co to create your profile today, and potentially find your career match! It’s free, easy to use and right at your fingertips.  Any questions at all, email elnaien@mcmaster.ca.

Watch for upcoming employer – student networking event on March 14 – part of Career Month!

 

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

By: Daniella Porano and Hayley Regis

D: It’s official. Radio stations are playing Christmas music, malls are decked out in consumeristic holiday glee, and everyone is feeling anxious about their post-holiday bank accounts. In the coming month, holiday parties, family gatherings, and made-for-TV Christmas movies will dominate my social calendar, and with that, images of pencil skirts, colourful knits, and heels will dominate my mind (What exams? What final papers?).

H: I usually have a pair of holiday parties and New Year’s celebrations to attend, so that gives me plenty of occasions to look as fabulous as humanly possible.  Last year for Xmas one of two, I paired a patterned pencil skirt with a half-tucked vintage tee and a big glamorous necklace. My family is usually pretty casual so I planned for something that would make me feel like the coolest of cats but allow me to eat and drink as much as possible. Anything to soothe the burn of the term paper I have yet to write.

D: Last year I celebrated a handful of Christmases, which all came with their own set of dress codes. At a dinner celebration, I donned maroon-coated skinny denim, a black peplum sleeveless shirt with a collar, and a pair of riding boots. At my family’s casual Christmas lunch, I wore a plaid woven skirt, tights, a fitted cable-knit sweater, and scarf. This year my central style rule will revolve around pairing everything I can with heels. Their ability to instantly dress up a relatively simple outfit is ideal, especially when splurging on new holiday clothing isn’t an option. For cozy winter evenings at home, I plan on opting for slouchy sweaters with boyfriend jeans.

H: For last New Year's I went full glam. I stayed in, ordered food, and watched movies with my best friends. I wore a full-length dress that’s basically a blanket with some chunky earrings because I knew I would have to be in public(ish) to greet the delivery guy. This year, I’m looking forward to rocking anything with a high-waist with chunky and coordinated cropped knits. That or the pantsuit I just ordered. I’m pretty excited to have my hands on what is basically just a souped-up onesie that is somehow socially acceptable because it isn’t made of acrylic and fleece. For my evenings in I’m going to stick with my harem pants and half-tuck a basic white tee.

D: Last New Year's I opted for a cozy knit layered over a collared denim shirt, black skinny jeans, and boots, and paired with a chunky knit scarf and a beanie. I still froze - I mean that’s my fault because I thought it would be “cute” to go skating in minus twenty-five degree weather by Toronto’s Harbourfront. This year, it’s all about the glam. I can’t wait to put on my favourite black jumpsuit, a pair of snakeskin heels, and rock a red lip to whatever party I end up going to.

Hayley and Daniella's Holiday Style Rules:

1. Marry your shoes.

I don’t care if you need to make an elaborate vow to your five-inch stilettos before you attend a party. For the night, you and your shoes are betrothed, deeply connected, common law partners. Under no circumstance do you remove your shoes until you return home and/or go to sleep.

2. Dress for the weather.

I don’t care how cool you look in the club; if your skin is blistering as soon as you step outside, you are making a poor life choice. Layer up. This isn’t just for clubs, going to family gatherings where you know you’re going to be inside can make it tempting to just wear whatever but trust. Wouldn’t you rather be a layered parfait than a single scoop of vanilla in the case of emergency?

3. Regarding accessories.

Follow the eternally wise words of the ultimate Parisian Coco Chanel, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”

About five per cent of school children are diagnosed ADD/ADHD.  Though that number decreases as they reach adulthood, not all of us grow out of it.

If you're like me, you have trouble organizing your plans, your room, and anything else that you need to stay on top of. For me, navigating university with ADD/ADHD is kind of like being in a room full of people who all want your attention. I become so overwhelmed that I just turn around, walk out, and get some frozen yogurt in solitude. Without tactics in place to minimize disorganization, it can be quite stressful. Even if you don't have ADD/ADHD and are just a naturally disorganized person, the best way to ensure success is to find a tactic that works for you. Being in the 99th percentile of ADD/ADHD diagnoses, I've learned some tips and tricks along the way that keep me on top of things.

1) Use a planner

This can be a lifesaver. Whether you use an agenda, a wall calendar, or your phone, make sure you write down all your due dates, upcoming appointments, and even your plans with friends to avoid double booking. It's not enough to just write things in your day planner—make sure you actually look at it too.

2) Set up a routine

By the second last week of August, I started settling into my daily routine. The transition from summer to school is easy for me because of a full-time job that requires me to wake up by seven and head to bed by eleven. However, if you, three a.m., and Netflix got very close during the summer months, you may want to decide on a wakeup time and a sleep time. For some, those two are enough, but you can also plan your wake-up, breakfast, medication, study, and bedtime. Even if you don't have class at the same time every day, I recommend waking up at the same time anyway. Though your schedule may be broken the morning after a couple of six packs, following a routine for the most part means there is less to think about.

3) Set goals (and rewards!)

I set up a three-goal reward system that helped me kill two birds with one stone. I'm the worst at delayed gratification. I’ll eat stale donuts even if I know there’ll be fresh ones in an hour. But I trained myself to set three goals for myself, from something as simple as "email professor about assignment" to "don't forget medication for a week". Your reward can be after however many goals and be whatever you want, but I find that three is usually the magic number.

4) Do menial tasks with a friend

Many people hate cleaning their room, especially when you just cleaned it a week ago and have no idea how all of your clothes got on the floor. When it comes to things we just don't want to do, having a friend over who doesn't mind just hanging around with you while you do your chores can make it a less sleep-inducing experience. If they're nice enough, they might even offer to help. If they're like my friends, they'll probably just keep telling you about the spots you missed.

5) Use SAS

Student Accessibility Services is in the basement of the student center and is very helpful if you have an ADD/ADHD or learning disability diagnosis. You can get accommodated to ensure you achieve academic success.

6) Realize that it's okay

It's perfectly okay to not be able to focus all the time or feel like you just can't get organized sometimes. Take the steps that are right for you, but don't measure yourself on another's "ideal". Figure out how to manipulate external things like alarms and calendars so they can help you reach whatever goal(s) you set. Although school generally gets easier when you manage to organize, sometimes the restless and messy kids grow up to be the restless and messy adults, and that's totally okay.

Dear Mac,

I’m unemployed right now, and I don’t have any income. Most of my friends are employed. Even if they are just making minimum wage, they at least have some sort of money coming in. My parents give me money when I need it (for rent and stuff) but I hate asking them for money because we are struggling financially as a family as well. I try to mention it to my friends when they want to do things that need money. I mainly try to make it light, saying things like “I’m broke” and “Student life”, but they keep on suggesting things to do that cost money, and I don’t know what to do anymore. I love my friends, we’ve been friends all my life, but I can’t afford to hang out with them anymore!     -Broke

 

Dear Broke,

That’s a really tough situation to be in. Financial difficulties can be awkward and tough to talk about, but it is important to address this issue, so that it doesn’t cause problems in your relationship with your friends. Since you’ve known them your whole life, it might be a good idea to try to talk to your friends, and be honest with them. Let them know that you are having a tough time financially. Chances are that they will understand.

You can also try suggesting cheaper alternatives for hanging out. Instead of going out to dinner, you can try having a potluck, or cooking dinner together. Instead of going to the movies, you can try playing board games or sports, or renting a movie. Most people understand what it’s like to be having money troubles at some point, so trying to communicate honestly with your friends could be a great idea. You don’t have to go into details, but it might be helpful for you to be assertive and say that you would prefer not to spend money when you hang out. Maybe they just don’t realize that you are serious about your financial difficulties.

-Mac

 

Dear Mac,

I used to be really close with my parents, but now I’m having a really hard time connecting with them. I feel like we don’t have anything to talk about, and I feel like even when we’re spending time together, we’re not really “together”. We’re on our phones, or iPads, or not really spending quality time together. I feel like I’m really different from my parents now, I’ve changed a lot from when I was younger, and I know that we disagree on a lot of really core values, opinions, and beliefs. I still really miss being close to them, but it’s hard to have a conversation that won’t end in a fight. I really do love them though, and I want to get back to the way it used to be!     -Disconnected

 

Dear Disconnected,

First of all, it might not go back to exactly how it used to be. You said so yourself that you’ve changed a lot since then, so chances are, your relationship will have changed a lot too. This is not a bad thing. You said your values, opinions and beliefs are different from theirs now, which also might not be a bad thing. Some of the best conversations can be between people with opposing viewpoints. You just need to make sure that you put emotions and frustrations out of the equation so that a debate doesn’t turn into an argument.

You can always start small: Ask your parents how their day went, try asking them detailed questions about their day, and try to really listen. Share details about your life too. Tell your parents what’s new with you, what’s new with your friends, how your day was. Starting small like this can build a great rapport, and help you get back into the rhythm of great communication.

If you feel like you’re beyond small talk, and are looking for some meaningful conversations, you can do that too. A great way to find interesting and relevant topics is by reading the news. Talk about a municipal election – the pros and cons of each candidate, talk about the World Cup, Talk about the economy, talk about international affairs. You can even google interesting conversation topics and use them as guides during your conversations and debates. This way you can have intellectual or relevant conversations and debates, and maybe even learn something.

Something else you can do is to try spending more quality time together. You can even explain to your parents what you are trying to do, and this way you can get the whole family engaged and actively working towards the same goal: reconnecting. You can do this by setting rules, such as “no electronics for an hour”. You can also try out some hobbies or activities together as a family. Don’t be afraid of the art of conversation – try to engage each other in meaningful conversations. You can talk about sports, world issues, your days, anything really. It might sound cheesy, but you can even really connect with each other about reminiscing about old memories, and hopefully building back your family rapport can help you create some new ones!

-Mac

“Dear Mac” is a column written by volunteers from the MSU’s Peer Support Line. To email in a question that you want addressed in a column, you can send it in to: psl@msu.mcmaster.ca with the subject line: Dear Mac. The Peer Support Line does not run in the Summer, and will start again in the Fall. 

Dear Mac,       

I’m about to start my fourth year this Fall, and I still have no idea what I want to do next. Most of my friends know what they are going to do, but I have no clue. I don’t know what my degree will get me, and I don’t know what kinds of jobs I want to do, or what I would be good at. Before, it seemed okay, because I still “had time”, but I’m starting to panic now, because I’m starting my fourth year, and I should know what I want to do with the rest of my life! I’m freaking out, and I don’t know what to do!

-Futureless

 

Dear “Futureless”,

First of all, just because you don’t know what it is, doesn’t mean you don’t have a future. It’s very common to have doubts and questions about the future, and you are definitely not alone in having them. The first place to start is to think about what interests you, what you like, and what you are qualified to do. Look at the kinds of things you’ve enjoyed doing in the past: What subjects do you like the most? Do you like research? What kinds of job and volunteer experiences do you have? The Student Success Centre website has many resources for career planning (under the “careers” tab). You can also try talking to a Career Counsellor, either at the Student Success Centre (Gilmour Hall, 110), or at your faculty office. You can also try searching up different careers you might be interested in on the internet to see what requirements they may have. You could also try searching up different careers your degree could lead to (e.g. careers in psychology, careers in gerontology, careers in communications, etc.) If you’re interested, you could even try talking to one of your professors, many of them are very helpful, and may be able to help guide you in identifying your strengths, weaknesses, and areas of focus and interest.

See if you’re interested in pursuing graduate studies, talk to professors or your academic advisors and see if they have any insight about grad school for you. Think about whether you think you want to go straight to grad school, or take some time off to work or travel, or have some personal time.

One other thing to remember is that just because you’re going into your fourth year, does not mean that choosing a career is “now or never”. Many people change their careers throughout their lives. It’s okay to worry, but don’t feel like you have to have your entire life planned out right now. You still have time, and you have a lot of options.

-Mac

 

 

Dear Mac,

I think my housemate is stealing my food. We are living in our house for the Summer, after living in the same res this year. I often notice that my food is missing. There are only 3 of us living in the basement, and we all share a fridge, but I’m pretty sure I know which of my housemates is doing it. I’m getting super frustrated, but we are all really good friends, and we are going to have to live together all year, so I don’t know what to do!

-Hungry

 

Dear Hungry,

This kind of situation can be tough, because when you’re living with close friends, you want to have fun, but you also need to remember to set rules. You might be pretty sure which one of your housemates is taking your food, but remember that you might not know for sure. Something you can suggest is having a “house meeting” where you can set ground rules for living together. Here, you can mention specific rules for sharing food and fridge-space. This way, you aren’t singling out one person, and it is also a constructive way to prevent problems in the future. If this doesn’t work out, try talking to your housemates individually, or leaving notes on your food saying “do not eat”, or labelling it with your name.

-Mac

It’s 4 in the morning and you’re at a random house party. Your friends are any number of things: passed out, belligerent, making out, the list goes on. As the party slowly clears out, you feel truly alone with your thoughts the first time that night. They are stronger than ever now, leaping over logical gaps that appeared seemingly insurmountable just a few hours ago. In a moment of weakness, you pull out your phone and start writing a text the length of a PhD dissertation. It could be because you had a fight with a significant other, you are wondering that you have been friend-zoned, or maybe that one person that one time looked at you funny and you want to make sure you’re cool with each other, you know? Again, the list goes on.

Later that morning, you wake up with a headache and the nagging feeling that you did something you shouldn’t have. When you check your phone you see the text you sent in all its elementary-school-level-English glory. After swearing off alcohol, now it’s time to figure out what to do next.

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

 

Since high school, I have heard the same lies constructed to recover from a drunk text: my friend did it as a sick prank, I didn’t mean to text you but I was really drunk or I meant to send that to someone else. No one is by any means convinced, and science has proven the situation just became 10 times more awkward.

Not acknowledging the truth only makes it worse, because you are convincing the other person that the issue has implications that you don’t want to admit. They read the text. There’s no going back. So how do you recover from a drunk text? Well… you don’t. Even if you pass off your lie, the nagging problem in your mind is unresolved and will come back stronger eventually.

Often when we have feelings that we feel we shouldn’t have, we bury them deep inside. Not only are you giving them undue power, you are also invalidating your own emotions. This is fundamentally wrong because your emotions are always valid, no matter what you or others say. Maybe you understand that you should not have these feelings, but it is important to accept that you are having them and to understand why you are having them rather than letting it fester in the back of your mind.

Instead, you should make use of this opportunity. You’ve opened the can of worms, now you might as well just talk it through with the other person. The hardest part of bringing the issue up is not a problem anymore, so have an honest conversation to hash things out. It may not always end well, but it’s the best shot you have, and at least you always get closure.

I consider myself lucky to say that my life doesn’t often resemble that of a Grand Theft Auto setting (re: surrounded by multiple stolen cars, maybe robbing a bank I feel up for it). Actually, there’s no “often” about it. Seeing as how my normal routine generally involves getting to class with some sweet potatoes wrapped up for lunch and the only money on me is in the form of a meal card, there is a conclusive, “Nope”, to the heated question of whether or not my life fits into the mold of GTA, or anything remotely reflecting it.

And yet, just this past weekend, the frame of my car window could’ve been the very screen of the game in action. A firearms store had a car smashed through its front windows, fluorescent lights hesitantly flickering and just about thirty cop cars blocking each lane diverging from the main street. My stomach churned and a movie gasp ensued.

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

 

That scene inevitably made me confront the fact that I, and along with most students, live in a massive bubble here at McMaster University. The majority of those who surround us are privileged enough to obtain an education that will set us up for a future with, at the very least, a stable job – and yet, this make it easier to ignore the reality that we are a privileged minority. Crime just doesn’t often find itself on the sidewalks of McMaster University. We spend most of the hours of the day on a campus where there are assistance phones on nearly every corner and a constant hustle bustle of students on their way to classes and meetings. You’re hard-pressed to find yourself virtually alone outside, when inside the safety of McMaster’s frontier. And with street lamps lighting our walks home to dorms or to the student houses sprawled around campus, McMaster feels safe.

But I’m afraid that this comfort perpetuates a lack of awareness on prevalent safety issues for students. For example, in first year I often walked back to my dorm at night without any concerns at all. The danger of this, however, is when that comfort extends beyond campus to areas of the city that are certainly not as monitored, well lit, or busy. On the contrary, areas outside of campus can also feel a thousand times more dangerous because of the sudden lack of any comfort at all. As a frequent traveler to coffee shops downtown, walking to bus stops alone felt hostile and often incited serious anxiety – especially when I questioned what I would do beyond screaming (which can never be stressed enough as one of the most effective tactics in a predatory situation) if a problem arose. It didn’t take long to realize I wasn’t alone in feeling ill prepared for such a situation after Google flooded me with similarly concerned voices.

Virtually anyone walking alone at night or who have found themselves in a vulnerable position should have a plan. The tips that follow are going to help you, but if you still feel unsure (even in the slightest way), please reach out to someone so that you feel as though you do have a plan. The best we can do to prepare for the unexpected is to cover as many bases as possible, especially building up your own street confidence. There are tips that we’re all told here and there growing up, like screaming no matter what and attempting to attract as much attention as possible to yourself, but also suggestions that are much more explicit in how to not only avoid but actively escape from an attack. Although they sound much more explicit than we’re used to, they’re some effective recommendations that should be taken very seriously.

Tips for avoiding a problematic situation

  1. Body language is critical. It may not seem like much to stick up your chin and walk with your shoulders back, but this demonstrates confidence and someone who won’t readily submit themselves to a perpetrator.
  2. In a parking lot, if you notice a big van parked next to your own car, enter from the passenger door.
  3. Use your discretion when administering help to others, especially in isolated areas. If someone is asking for assistance, do so with a friend or say that you will go upstairs to find a security guard to help.
  4. Always lock your doors immediately – cars, houses and hotel rooms alike.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask a security guard to walk you to your car. Make sure to ask the front desk to find one for you. When you’re on campus, don’t hesitate to make use of SHWAT (Student Walk Home Attendant Team). It’s run seven days a week in the evening hours.
  6. If someone is walking behind you within a distance too close for your own comfort, cross the road. If they follow you, cross the road again. Call 911 if they follow you in this zig zag pattern.
  7. Consider carrying a defensive weapon with you, such as mace or pepper spray.

 Tips for getting out of a problematic situation

  1. The most vulnerable point on the body is the eyes. Take your fingers and jam them into the eyes, then run. Another point of vulnerability is the knees. A fast, hard kick can bring down even the largest foe.
  2. The elbow is the strongest point on your body and can be more effective than punching. If you have the chance, punch the throat as hard as you can to cut off air supply. *A note on the last two suggestions. Make sure to be as forceful as possible when using physical defense as it may result in anger being taken out on you if they’re not effective. This is not to say you shouldn’t attempt physical defense at all, but just that you must wield as much confidence and strength as you can before doing so.
  3. If thrown into a car trunk, kick out the back taillights and stick your arms out through the hole. Wave them around to catch the attention of other drivers and pedestrians while your driver won’t be able to see you.
  4. If the predator has a gun but you are not under his control, always run! It’s very difficult to hit a moving target, so get moving.
  5. Show anger, not fear. A predator’s own confidence will increase if they believe you to be an easy target.
  6. Yell, “FIRE!” not “Help!” More people tend to run to the scene off of that buzzword.
  7. If you are alone, also try calling out another name so they may be fooled into thinking you have someone with you nearby.

 

So… you’re thinking of moving in together?

If you’re thinking of moving in with your partner, chances are you’ve thought long and hard about it. Making a legal commitment to someone is a huge step – one that you can only hope will turn out well. Most of the things people tell you to consider are often common sense: Can you be yourself around them? Do the two of you deal well with conflicts and disagreements? Are you doing it because you want to, or because you feel pressured? Do you feel comfortable farting around them?

Okay, fine, maybe not always the last one, but you get the point. There are so many questions you can ask, so many conversations you can have, and yet, how are you supposed to know what time is the right time to pack your bags, book a U-haul, and make a home out of your destination?

Jyss and Daire are moving in together in May. After sharing their love of television, Jennifer Lawrence and ice cream sandwiches for almost a year and a half, they’ve decided to add a home to the list of things they share.

Q: Why did you decide to move in together?

Daire: We spend almost all our time together, living in either my or her place. We have been really looking forward to it for a while, and since we know each other so well, we know exactly what we needed in our new place…Dishwasher! Laundry! Character! And also, you know, all the romance and stuff.

Jyss: We love each other, we live well together, and it feels like a natural step. Plus, we’ve been spending money on two separate apartments and two sets of groceries, so saving money is a huge bonus.

Q: Which one of you brought it up?

Jyss: My dad was actually the one to bring it up when I was searching for my own apartment last year.

Daire: We had only been dating for five months at that time. We were really surprised [by his suggestion] (“Whoa! Too soon!”), but we have not spent a night apart since… We have been casually apartment hunting since the fall, and started seriously looking after the holidays.

Q: What was the hardest part of the decision?

Jyss: We’ve been lucky. I can’t really say that there were any hard parts. Because we decided to live together several months before our leases end, we’ve had a lot of time to talk about what we’re looking for, in both our apartment and in our relationship, before we even started viewing places. It’s been a nice transition. If anything, deciding what amenities we wanted, along with location, was the hardest part, and reconciling that with our budget.

Daire: If I had to pick one, it’d probably be deciding whose furniture to keep and whose stuff to toss.

Q: Is there anything you’re concerned about?

Jyss: I’m a little worried about us making time to be apart. We love spending time together, and we share a lot of the same friends and interests, so we’re pretty inseparable. I want to make sure we have time apart to keep things fresh and keep our relationship healthy and long-lasting.

Daire: I think it’s normal to feel concerned, especially for couples moving in together who haven’t essentially lived together before. So I do have a little bit of apprehension – maybe it will feel different when everything is a mutual decision, rather than half of our decisions occurring in one or the other’s domain. This applies especially to decisions regarding buying things, as they will now take up shared space, rather than live in my place or her’s.

Q: What aspect of living together are you most looking forward to?

Daire: I can’t wait to officially start a life together, even though we’ve been “living together” for so long. This is the next step in our relationship and in our lives. I’m especially looking forward to waking up next to her in our bed, making her breakfast in our kitchen, and putting the dishes in our dishwasher!

Jyss: I’m excited to see our things together, to have “our” place. I’m also really excited to create a new home in Hamilton, instead of the compact, temporary nature of student housing, and I couldn’t imagine anyone better to do that with.

Q: Any advice for other couples considering moving in together?

Jyss: My best advice would be to talk about it− a lot. Talk about groceries, talk about money, talk about furniture: what you’ll have to contribute and what you’ll have to give up. I also think having a test run of say, a month, living together at one of your places full-time is really helpful. You get to know each other’s habits and pet peeves and you can create strategies for living together before you’re locked in legally.

Daire: I would definitely say to make sure you know that you can live together. How well do you deal with chores, housework, etc. as a couple? Do you have schedules conducive to living together? For us, since we’ve essentially lived together for our entire relationship it is hard to imagine not living together.

From a more practical standpoint, we have set up a joint bank account that we will use to pay our common expenses, such as rent, utility bills, groceries, cleaning supplies. This way, we don’t end up leaning on one person more for groceries, as we can both access the account and both contribute equally.

Miranda Babbitt
Assistant LifeStyle Editor

Having a panic attack on Valentine’s Day? First up, breathe. Second, peruse through the following suggestions to some common problemos.

I’m the only one alone!!!
Even though you’re not someone’s “one”, you’re not “the only one” single. 40% of the population won’t be going home to a cuddle-mate. Unless you count your furry friends in the feline and canine world, in which case 56% of us are going home to a glorious night of adorable cuddles. Bonus, they’re not expecting chocolate anytime soon (as in they die from it, yes).

My movie life is bombarded by rom-coms.
Teary eyes on Valentine’s Day are only okay if they’re from ROFLing (but I get if that’s too much physical activity - LMAO is cool too). So ditch the “rom” and stick to the “com”, with the near-classic, Bridesmaids. Or get in touch with your inner cooties-believer and watch “Frozen”, which graced the Oscars so it’s worthy for our adult, cultured eyes.

People think I have no plans.
Well, here is the riskiest but perhaps the easiest: lie. Nothing too grandiose, like saying you’ve been asked by three tall, dark, and handsome men if you would accompany them to Hawaii, but a small, “A fella from my stats class asked if he could make me dinner. Can’t give up a cooked meal on V Day.” Then go on about how you both love food, because I think that’s a universal similarity between all humans on Valentine’s Day. Or, stay moral, and say you’re planning on rounding up a bunch of gals and hitting the clubs (clubs, as in a sleepover for twenty-somethings who love the Notebook).

General anxiety issues.
Let me hear you say, namasteeee! Throw yo hands up in the air! But only if you’re doing a sun salutation, because we want you in that addictive meditative state all yogis strive to achieve. Yoga has the ability to reduce stress and decrease physiological arousal (in terms of symptoms related to stress… yoga doesn’t harm your sex life), so you can walk away super calm and super cool.

I just want someone to buy me a drank.
Turn on some Beyonce and and get your hands dirty! A blood orange margarita promises that Valentine’s Day festivity without the potentially sleazy offer of that guy lurking on you from down the bar. Invite a friend or two over and you’re night is now flawless.

Miranda Babbitt
Assistant LifeStyle Editor

Having a panic attack on Valentine’s Day? First up, breathe. Second, peruse through the following suggestions to some common problemos.

I’m the only one alone!!!
Even though you’re not someone’s “one”, you’re not “the only one” single. 40% of the population won’t be going home to a cuddle-mate. Unless you count your furry friends in the feline and canine world, in which case 56% of us are going home to a glorious night of adorable cuddles. Bonus, they’re not expecting chocolate anytime soon (as in they die from it, yes).

My movie life is bombarded by rom-coms.
Teary eyes on Valentine’s Day are only okay if they’re from ROFLing (but I get if that’s too much physical activity - LMAO is cool too). So ditch the “rom” and stick to the “com”, with the near-classic, Bridesmaids. Or get in touch with your inner cooties-believer and watch “Frozen”, which graced the Oscars so it’s worthy for our adult, cultured eyes.

People think I have no plans.
Well, here is the riskiest but perhaps the easiest: lie. Nothing too grandiose, like saying you’ve been asked by three tall, dark, and handsome men if you would accompany them to Hawaii, but a small, “A fella from my stats class asked if he could make me dinner. Can’t give up a cooked meal on V Day.” Then go on about how you both love food, because I think that’s a universal similarity between all humans on Valentine’s Day. Or, stay moral, and say you’re planning on rounding up a bunch of gals and hitting the clubs (clubs, as in a sleepover for twenty-somethings who love the Notebook).

General anxiety issues.
Let me hear you say, namasteeee! Throw yo hands up in the air! But only if you’re doing a sun salutation, because we want you in that addictive meditative state all yogis strive to achieve. Yoga has the ability to reduce stress and decrease physiological arousal (in terms of symptoms related to stress… yoga doesn’t harm your sex life), so you can walk away super calm and super cool.

I just want someone to buy me a drank.
Turn on some Beyonce and and get your hands dirty! A blood orange margarita promises that Valentine’s Day festivity without the potentially sleazy offer of that guy lurking on you from down the bar. Invite a friend or two over and you’re night is now flawless.

Subscribe to our Mailing List

© 2022 The Silhouette. All Rights Reserved. McMaster University's Student Newspaper.
magnifiercrossmenu