Advice from Dr. Blingspice: Help! The pandemic made me forget how to make friends

A drawing of seven different people of different shapes and sizes in front of a yellow background.
(Lyndzi Ramos | Daily Trojan)

The remote college experience left a mist of awkwardness and social anxiety; coronavirus guidelines now make it difficult to fully integrate into campus culture. With these lingering qualms, I decided to selflessly carry the responsibility of helping people. 

Whether it be a question about making friends, something going wrong in your sex life or a faraway romance, I — a self-proclaimed therapist — carefully crafted the correct answers for your questions, sent to us at the Daily Trojan.

How do I hook up with the no-visitors policy?

Who would’ve guessed that USC would be the ultimate cock-blocker of 2021? The University’s safety efforts have left many social butterflies with subpar college experiences, but my heart goes out to those in USC Housing with a high sex drive. The University gives its toughest battles to its strongest Trojans.

Don’t let USC regulations become an obstacle. Hook up with someone who lives in the same building as you, but beware, as you’re more likely to run into them again. It’s a high-reward, high-risk scenario; I only recommend this if your sex drive is unbearably high because it can lead to future awkward encounters.

The alternative is to have sex with people who don’t have similar housing restrictions. Ensure that they are trustworthy and always share your location with a friend. 

The final option — and my personal favorite — is to embrace your abstinence. Hot girl summer is over and has made room for Christian girl autumn and prudish girl winter. Hookup culture is especially prominent but highly overrated in college. Since USC housing decided that chastity is part of the lease, so be it. 

Bypassing the no-visitor policy is tough, but there are loopholes that will allow you to remain sexually active. There’s also nothing wrong with accepting defeat and welcoming chastity season.

How do I make friends? I’m a freshman and I feel really lonely, and everyone already has their groups made up. I want someone I can study with, but people tend to ignore me when I try to talk to them.

The key to making friends is putting yourself out there. USC’s a showcase, and you’re the mannequin. Look presentable and hope that someone approaches you to become your friend. 

Spending time in your dorm’s communal study space is a convenient way to socialize with people and interject in other people’s conversations — but make sure they’re the right conversations. If they ignore you, it’s likely that you’re interacting with rude people. 

USC’s Student Equity and Inclusion Programs, including the Latinx/Chicanx Center for Advocacy and Student Affairs, the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs, the LGBTQ+ Student Center and more, are also safe spaces that allow for interaction between other students of similar identities. The key is to make yourself available, look friendly and converse with others, especially in the cultural centers, which tend to be met with people who favor studying in social environments.

Another option is pretending to be — or actually be — confused in classes and begin conversations with your neighbors by asking for assistance. Questions like, “Wait, what are we doing?” or “What is going on?” are my personal favorites because it’s likely that your neighbor doesn’t know what is happening either. There’s no other force that unites people better than confusion and disorientation, both of which can lead to a study group. Exert your inner (h/b)imbo energy.

Cliques shouldn’t discourage you from socializing because many friend groups are never officially made up. It’s appropriate to dabble in various groups rather than relying on a core group of friends, considering the fact that people never end their college spans with core groups from freshman year. 

You have several routes to make friends, and luckily, you can fit into various niches at USC. 

Long distance relationships: Is it worth it?

Unless well established, which most high school relationships aren’t, long distance relationships can bring more restrictions than the coronavirus. Imagine the beautiful Trader Joe’s cashier begins flirting with you, and you can’t reciprocate because you’re a prisoner to faraway love. There are too many fish in the sea, especially in college, to be tied down to a person who can’t satisfy your physical needs. Don’t have a prudish girl winter by force. 

Long distance relationships also require an extensive amount of effort, which is often not possible with the amount of time it takes to maintain an academic, social and professional balance. Endless FaceTimes, text threads and travel to visit your significant other isn’t ideal when there’s an array of people to choose from at USC – artsy people, frat bros, sorority sisters and the list goes on.

Life’s too short to worry about someone who’s 300 miles away. Save yourself from the arguments, the nine-hour calls and the expensive flights and venture out. Few long-distance relationships make it through till the end, and it’s best to explore the Trojan variety while you can.

If you need advice, feel free to reach out to Dr. Blingspice by direct messaging  Daily Trojan on Twitter and Facebook or by submitting your questions to the Google Form on our Instagram stories. 

Emanuel Rodriguez is a junior offering advice on students’ most pressing questions. He is also the Audience Engagement Editor at the Daily Trojan. His column, “Advice from Dr. Blingspice,” runs every other Friday.