This is an open call for problems.
From what I know — personally and statistically — it is clear you’ve got them.
I absentmindedly ate two stale brownies last night while googling “how to be a good girlfriend.” I have a weird-in-all-the-right-ways friend who listens to me talk for long periods of time about these sorts of somewhat self-created problems, and without fail at some point during our conversations she will suggest I google the topic at hand. When in doubt, we turn to Google.
She also listens to me talk about other sorts of problems. The ones I wouldn’t ask anyone but her and Google — the unnerving types of questions that pop up as suggestions below the Google search bar, the little things that pick at our brains. Questions of self exploration, questions about life when it doesn’t look like you thought it would that inevitably arise. Questions that come up when you realize it’s easy to think theoretically about being a “good girlfriend,” but less easy to define what being a good, positive partner to someone really is and that it's even more difficult to actually do it.
Organizations such as Central Student Government and the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services will provide students with the resources to overcome serious mental health concerns. But as college students, such resources may be unnecessary in dealing with the smaller concerns that plague our day-to-day experience.
My actual name is Emma, but I think this semester, I want to be Google for you. I have no qualifications as a professional counselor or adviser beyond my personal experience, but I’m willing to lend advice to those who want it. I am not a medical doctor, I have no ground to stand on in claiming I may be able to help you in some way with your all too real problems — but I’m offering you, at the very least, another perspective.
I hope to offer you a thoughtful, personal response — one that doesn’t include a numbered list of generalizations — and one that will generate conversation and reflection, and also make your life a little easier in some way. I believe that’s all anyone really has to offer another person in these types of situations.
It’s been done before — the advice thing — but nevertheless, this is the start of my own column. You can reach me via my e-mail here at the Daily at firstname.lastname@example.org, and in exchange for your honesty, I promise you anonymity, should your question or problem be chosen as the topic for a future column.
Please send your “Dear Google” responses to Emma at email@example.com to enjoy watching her attempt to spread her nowhere-near-professional advice around campus.