Dear Coley – April Submissions

Read Coley’s post-spring break advice submissions!

Dear Coley is an advice submission section created in January 2023 as part of The Alternative Times


Dear Coley is an advice submission section created in January 2023 as part of The Alternative Times

Cole Ferrentino, Staff Writer/Editor

My whole thing is on communication and always telling people when they hurt me or I feel uncomfortable. Lately instead I have been being passive and dismissive and not speaking up for myself because I feel it’d be easier. What should I do? I feel like a hypocrite. – Anonymous

Looking for other outlets and ways to communicate can make it easier to get back into the habit of communication. Communicating is very hard, and I get that. It can feel like risking damaging a relationship if you tell someone how they made you feel. If it helps, though, one of the most important things I ever learned was to not ‘reward bad behavior’. If someone hurt you or did something unjust, do you really want them to get away with it not knowing how it made you feel? Do you want them to think it’s okay to do it again? Communicating is the only way to prevent it. – Love, Coley (With a big help from Lulu)


Is moving in with my partner of 3 years a good idea or should I wait some more? – Anonymous

Three years is a long time, so I assume you and your partner know each other well enough to live with one another. Consider, though, how stable the situation will be as a whole. I’m assuming this is another student or a younger person, so consider what you guys’ finances are at the moment. Will you be expected to split the rent or pay for anything else if you move in? Will you have somewhere to go in the emergency that things don’t work out? If all of that seems okay, go for it 🙂 – Love, Coley


I don’t care about school, my future or getting some job where I work till I die. What should I do?? – Anonymous

There are so many possibilities out there that it’s worth it to care even if you might feel like you’re going nowhere. There’s more than just one typical linear path for a future that’s (likely) been shoved in your face for years. There are so many things one can do with their life and so many paths to travel down, and the best part is that it’s never too late to pursue them. School isn’t for everyone and that’s okay, but I still heavily encourage you to invest in your future in some way. It could be through learning a skill for a career, coming up with ideas for a business, trying to become famous, or scoping out rich people you could marry. So many more options than going to college and getting a 9-5. – Love, Coley


How do I become more likable? – Anonymous 

I struggled with this for years. It came down to changing my behavior and choosing not to seek attention in negative ways mainly, but the most important part, which can apply to anyone in any situation, is friendliness. Kindness is important, but friendliness is often left out of that conversation – they’re not the same thing. You have to be approachable and keep a friendly look on your face. Compliment people, be responsive to conversation. This is what lets people think of you as a potential friend. Don’t make people think you don’t like them. People can unfortunately be judgmental and avoid people they think are intimidating, and then jump to conclusions about whether or not that person is likable before even getting to know them.  – Love, Coley.


How do you leave a toxic relationship? – Anonymous

It was hard thinking of a response to this question, because I don’t want to give advice in an area that I, too, struggle with. I can’t say that I have a definite answer, but I want to publish the question to let you know that you aren’t alone in it and I’ve been there. I didn’t leave an emotionally abusive relationship – I was broken up with, forced out of it. If I were in another situation like that I still can’t say whether or not I’d know how to leave, but I can tell you that after some time I was glad to be broken up with. If you’re afraid to leave for similar reasons (afraid to be alone, attachment, etc), just know that it didn’t hurt after a week – I felt happy, happy to be away from someone I used to scream and cry over when they’d give me the silent treatment or withhold love from me. You just need to prepare yourself for the initial blow. It’s going to hurt at first and preparing yourself for it makes it hurt a lot less. And then, after time it doesn’t hurt anymore. You start to feel good. – Love, Coley


What’s the best advice you can give to someone struggling with growing up? – Anonymous

Let them do things at their own pace. If they actually request help with developing adult life skills, give them all of the knowledge that you know. But you can’t force anyone to mature at a pace faster than they’re comfortable with. It’s not really up to you. – Love, Coley


All these questions for advice, but my question is. How are you, Coley? – Anonymous

Aww, this made me smile! Thank you for asking. If you really want to know, I’ve been doing very well actually! I’ve been working on being more social and making new connections with others, and trying to go out as much as I can. I got a job that I enjoy and have also been making more music. I even turned 18 at the beginning of this month. Things are as good as they’ve ever been and I hope everyone else can experience the same joy in their own lives as well. – Love, Coley