Carr: Independence necessary for healthy college relationships

Cary Carr

Cary CarrThe other night, as I was hanging outside of my boyfriend’s window staring at the city lights, I had a truly terrifying thought. For the first time in my life, I realized I had no freaking clue where I will be by this time next year. This spring, I’ll have a diploma in my hand, and during the summer I’m sure I’ll be busy job hunting like a mad woman, but by September, well, I’m not really sure.

Of course, I know where I’d like to be — in New York, drinking a skinny iced latte from Starbucks and editing at one of my top choice magazines GQ, I’m looking at you. But is that reality? I’m not really sure. And there’s only like a million different ways my life could work out. For all I know, I could end up living in North Dakota, working as a dog groomer and raising two sets of triplets.

And who is going to be there to give me advice? I mean, I have my wonderfully loving mom and stepdad, but as a 22-year-old college graduate, I’ll essentially be on my own.

Here comes the lesson that applies to you ambitious college students: Take all the advice you can get while it’s still there. News flash — the real world doesn’t have advising offices when you suddenly rethink your career in biochemistry. And there’s no equivalent to the Student Career Center when you’re desperately searching for a relevant art history internship. I know far too many students who never take advantage of these resources, and they’re seriously missing out.

You might be thinking how badly you can’t wait to get the hell out of here, away from the useless assignments, freed of your parents’ consistent complaining about your grades and released from the torture of that party across the street that blasts dubstep versions of Britney Spears every Tuesday night, but you’ll miss the comfort and reassurance of it all. Well, maybe not that last part, but you get the point. Now go be good college kids and utilize all that free stuff Temple gives us. You paid for it, after all.

Q: I work late on the weekends. What are some good after-hours places in the city?

A: I feel your pain. I, too, work in the nightlife industry, and it can be a total drag when your work hours happen to coincide with prime party hours. Fortunately for you, I happen to work at one of the most popular clubs in the city — Whisper, located at 1712 Walnut St. — and it has an after-hours permit, so it’s open until 3:30 a.m. Double bonus — the later it gets, the busier and better the dance floor is. But I’ve also heard that Lit UltraBar, located at 460 N. 2nd St., can be pretty awesome on the weekends. ZeeBar is another great nightlife venue, but it is membership only, so unless your people happen to know people, it might be kind of a hassle to get in.

Q: Do you think that texting a boy first makes you seem too desperate?

A: I hope this isn’t a serious question because we are so beyond this. Listen, us girls can and should do what it takes to get what we want. And if that means texting a guy before he texts us, then so be it. Who made these weird rules anyway? Truth is that guys like a girl with confidence, and if they’re intimidated by a measly text then you don’t want to be conversing with them anyway. Just don’t blow up their phone if you don’t get an answer because that could potentially make you seem a bit, um, scary. I actually got involved with my past two boyfriends by being the initiator. With my ex, I sent him a Facebook message and let him know that I thought he was cute. Turns out, he had been thinking the same thing about me. And with my current sweetie, I texted him and started a casual conversation that resulted in our long-term relationship. If they don’t answer, then forget about them. On to the next one!

Q: How often is too often to see your boyfriend during the week?

A: It’s funny you ask because I am actually having the same exact problem. Balancing classes, jobs, extracurricular activities, friends and family can be overwhelming. Add a boyfriend into the mix, and suddenly your whole life seems like a giant balancing act.

I see my boyfriend almost every night. Granted, he always comes over an hour before my head hits the pillow, but sometimes it seems like we’re smothering each other. And too much of a good thing can cause some serious relationship problems, and trust me, we definitely have some things we could work on.

Everyone has different boundaries and everyone’s relationship is unique, but the important thing to remember is that your “you time” should come first. Just make sure that your relationship isn’t taking away from the things that make you happy all on your own. For me, it’s getting lost in magazines, slurping pumpkin iced coffee and obsessively watching reruns of “30 Rock.” But hey, like I said, everyone’s different.

Cary Carr can be reached at

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