Give roommate time to adjust

Published: September 29, 2012

Dear Emily,

I’m a freshman at Penn State, and I’m having a hard time getting to know my roommate. She seems really distant, but I feel like if she opened up, we would really get along. What are some things that you’d recommend doing to have her open up?

Dear Roommate,

It’s still early in the year, and since you’re living with her, definitely give it time and hopefully she will open up a little. There are many things you can do to help build a relationship with your roommate. Something you could start off with is suggesting a good study spot on campus or going to a cafe to grab a cup of tea and digging into your studies. Something like that gives you time to talk but also gives you something to do. Another thing you could do is suggest going out to grab ice cream or a hot chocolate. This gives you the opportunity to talk to each other more and really have time to sit down and enjoy each others company.

Since you are a freshman, just be open to getting to know all the people around you. You may not know your roommate very well right now but don’t forget there are others living around you, too. Meet more people by going next door and asking them if they want to go to dinner or lunch with you. Most of the time, people are open-minded and want to get to know each other, so be open to making new friends and talking to strangers.

Dear Emily,

I have been in a long, dedicated relationship for awhile now, but I think my girlfriend’s feelings for me are fading. I don’t know what to do, but I really want to keep her around. What can I do to make sure she is still in love with me?

Dear Lost Love,

The truth of the matter is that sometimes love doesn’t last forever, but there are also situations where you have to work to get the love back. It really depends on your situation, so I would sit down and really weigh out what is going on in the relationship. Think about the weaknesses and think about the strengths of the relationship. Once you’ve thought about the relationship, do what you think is right. Sometimes love fades and it is just not meant to be, and if that’s the case it may be time to move on. Your moving on will lead to something that is really supposed to happen later on down the road.

If you don’t think it’s time to move on, prove to your girlfriend how in love you are with her and earn her love back. Sometimes in long, dedicated relationships, we forget how much we really mean to each other and get lazier in the relationship as time goes on. Do things to refresh the relationship and treat your girlfriend as you would a brand new girl that you are trying to impress.

Love her and treat her like a lady. Prove to her that chivalry isn’t dead.

Emily Chertow is a high school student in central Pennsylvania who writes a monthly column offering advice from the point of view of a teenager. You can send questions to her at or mail them to Ask Emily, c/o Centre Daily Times, 3400 E. College Ave., State College, PA 16801.