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Dear Janet,

This is a little embarrassing, but I’m pretty inexperienced sexually. Ever since I’ve come to [Carnegie Mellon] I’ve tried to find someone to hook up with, but it seems like I never have any luck. I’m a nice guy, I try to listen to what girls say and be nice to them, but nobody ever wants to take it to the next level. What am I doing wrong?

—Not Ever Really Dated

Dear NERD,

The dating scene at Carnegie Mellon can be hard, no doubt: We’re a very boy- and nerd-centric school. Competition can be fierce, so before hitting up a prospective date I would first consider how realistic your goal is. Once you think she’s in your league, make sure you don’t go too fast. Nothing is a bigger turnoff than somebody laying it on too thick. Still, you can’t wait too long to give some sign of how you feel or you risk being forever considered as a friend. If you’re just looking for sex, your best bet is probably either drunken parties or the Internet. But if you are looking for someone to date, just take a look at the girls around you, be obvious but not creepy about how you feel, and be willing to accept it if your overtures are rejected. Good luck!

Dear Janet,

I can’t seem to get any sleep. Every night I go to bed and wake up a few hours later. I’ve tried staying up later to make myself tired, but it hasn’t helped.... What should I do?

—Student Needs Overnight Rest, Easier!


The typical advice-column spiel is to not drink caffeine or exercise after 4; don’t work or watch TV in your bedroom; have a stable sleep schedule, etc. Now, let’s get to the real advice. Ease yourself into sleep — don’t go straight from
something active right into bed. If noise keeps you awake, get an air purifier or humidifier to make white noise, or a fan in the summer. Don’t focus on all the crap you have to do tomorrow. Just focus on breathing slowly and relaxing your muscles; I like to count my breaths, but as long as you concentrate on something, it’ll work. Finally, the worst thing you can do is to lie there stressing about how little sleep you’re getting. It’s better to turn the light on and read something boring for class than to lay in the dark with your eyes wide open for hours.


Need advice? Send queries to advice@thetartan.org.