Everything you need to know

Dear Prerna,

When a couple decides to break up, why does everyone around have to suffer? My two good friends were dating for a very long time — the perfect couple, or so I thought. They broke up two years ago, but my best friend still doesn’t “approve” of me hanging out with her ex. It’s been such a long time, and both of them have moved on in their own ways by dating other people. So why must I, a person who isn’t even directly involved in the breakup, pick a side or compromise on my friendship with the other?

—Stuck in the Middle

Dear Stuck,

Didn’t it just seem like an ideal situation when your best friends were dating? Anyway, I think your best friend just feels uncomfortable around her ex. However, you should explain to her that her ex is your friend, too, and as much as you love her, you would rather not have to choose between the two.

You should probably not encourage her ex to bring a current girlfriend to events with your best friend and vice versa. It takes a while for people to get comfortable in such situations. Try keeping out of their breakup — you are entitled to your opinion and your friendship, both of which are independent of the other.

Time heals everything,


Dear Prerna,

I can’t get myself to sleep soundly anymore. Every night I go to bed and wake up a few hours later. Sometimes I feel like I am wasting time while sleeping. I’ve tried staying up later to make myself tired, but it hasn’t helped. I have tried the whole movie-and-heavy-snack run, but nothing seems to work. What should I do?

—Student Needs Overnight Rest, Easily!


The usual advice column answer would be: Don’t drink caffeine too late; don’t work out after 4 p.m.; have a stable sleeping schedule; and so on. However, being college students, we know that advice is hardly realistic.

So, let’s get to the suggestions that fit the bill: Don’t do any really exciting activity before going to bed. If the noise down the street is keeping you awake, get an air purifier to make white noise or a fan in the summer. Don’t think about stressful topics; instead, just relax and think of something soothing. Usually, I like to recap a nice episode of my day or just imagine something that makes me happy and peaceful. If this still doesn’t work, I suggest you find a history book and start reading. Nothing calls sleep faster than an extremely dull book.

Good night,