Your friendly neighborhood bartender is taking a break from his wild dating life to tackle your questions with his patented blend of advice and adult beverages. So slide on up to the bar my friends. Now, what can I get you?
I’m a Creative Writing major and will graduate college after this semester. And yes, I know that means I have a long road of waiting tables ahead of me until I sell something. I’ve already made peace with that.
Here’s my problem: I cannot for the life of me get off my ass and be productive. I have senioritis like nobody’s business. I want to graduate and hit the ground running with some substantial work completed, but I also realize this is the very last time I’m going to be able to hang out with all of my friends. The idea of being without them scares the hell out of me as they’ve become my family over the past four years.
So what do you think? Is it okay to postpone being a prolific writer until after I graduate? Or should I go the mature route, but possibly miss out on the last few consequence-free months of my life?
Senior Freaking Out
“Who will pose nonchalantly in front of my institution of higher learning after I’m gone?”
SFO, you hit the nail on the head recognizing that college is the last time you’ll get a free pass on shenanigans. That’s something a lot of post-grads haven’t learned yet. That said, college isn’t entirely a consequence-free environment.
Two quick PSA’s:
If you haven’t already, I beg and plead with you, no matter how funny it is or messed you are at the time, don’t let anyone take crazy drunk pictures of you, especially if you’ve suddenly lost any or all of your clothes. I’m so lucky I got out of college before they started putting cameras on every single cell phone, because if I hadn’t I don’t think I’d be able to show my face in public. There’s only one Internet, and once a picture of you is online, it’s there FOREVER.
Second, the other consequences that you can’t escape are pregnancies or STD’s, so play safe at all times.
Okay, on to business.
I think it’s great that you’re already thinking ahead to your post-college professional life, although just because you’re a creative type doesn’t mean you have to wait tables. What I’d suggest to you is working on your professional and people skills, and look for jobs – any jobs – in the publishing industry. Sure, being a lackey in a bargain-basement publishing house for a few years may not be the romantic starving artist life you’ve envisioned, but a dependable paycheck and (if you’re lucky) benefits are, in a word, awesomesauce. And it seems like every day, life just gets crappier for servers. (Did you hear the one about that recently fired Applebees waitress?)
If you’re having such a grand love affair with your personal life, I say don’t suddenly turn yourself into a recluse, because you’re right: many of these people are going to be exiting your life soon enough, and you’ll need the experience of being young and alive to give you things to write about down the road.
But don’t table the writing entirely. Start small. Work on samples. Begin creating a portfolio. You don’t need to have a finished novel by the time you graduate, but you should have something.
And one last thing. A lot of creative people graduate from college, get menial jobs, and then fall into a rut of post-college malaise that can last for years if you’re not careful. When you’re in your early twenties, it feels like you have a million years to realize your potential, and so you may not feel an urgency to be productive. But then you blink and your thirtieth birthday is on the horizon. It’s insane how fast life goes, so try not to waste it.
I started dating this guy about two months ago, and things are mostly going great. My one issue is that he’s still friends with all of his exes, and that weirds me out.
I guess I should think that’s a good thing, but honestly it makes me jealous. A lot of times I wonder if he’s more excited to talk to some of his exes than he is to me. But it’s possible that’s all in my head. Argh! I don’t know what to do. Am I being a jerk about this? Or is it weird for someone to stay friends with their exes?
Before you decide to go all Scott Pilgrim and wipe out your guy’s former flames, let’s chill for a second.
“Aw, but I really wanna … okay, FINE.”
Some people stay friends with their exes. It’s a thing. A lot of people find that too difficult emotionally, so they stay away. Some people stay friends with their exes in the hopes of eventually rekindling that flame, which can be a dangerous road to go down.
And some people are just kind of, well, chill.
Best thing you can do in this case is use your common sense. If it really does genuinely seem to you that your new beau is more invested in time spent with his exes than with you, then it’s probably not meant to be.
On the other hand, if he’s a relaxed kind of guy who’s way more interested in being a forgiving person than stirring up drama, well, sh*t, SC, he sounds like a keeper.
I’m not a fly on the wall, so you have to make that call yourself. But give yourself plenty of time to come to the right conclusion.
I’m hosting a party in a few weeks, and I have a friend coming over who doesn’t drink alcohol. Apparently alcoholism runs in her family, and so she just never drank at all. I want to have a fun beverage for her to drink, since she must get tired of drinking seltzer while everyone else has all of these colorful cocktails (we’re a very girlie drink crowd).
Any suggestions for non-alcoholic cocktail that a Sex and the City-type girl would enjoy? I have a fully stocked bar, shakers, the works.
Wanna Help A Sister Out
Happy to oblige, WHASO, and cheers for being a thoughtful friend.
Well, since you mentioned Sex and the City, what’s a more iconic drink from that show than that rugged old warhorse, the Cosmo?
A virgin Cosmo is really easy to make. Here’s what you need:
Fill a shaker with ice and pour in the cranberry juice. Add a dash of orange juice – this simulates the Cointreau or Triple Sec, which are orange liqueurs – then squeeze a slice of lemon and a quarter lime. Shake it well, then pour into a martini glass about two thirds full. Top the rest off with club soda, then garnish with lime.
Voila! A virgin among ho bags!
To ask JT a question, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can be super tech-sexy and ask via Twitter. Messages may be edited for space (but they’re totally more likely to get chosen if they’re three paragraphs or less. Just sayin’.)
You can find previous editions of AfterElton’s Ask JT advice column here.