Dear Jessica,

I’ve always thought of myself as a “relationship person.” I had a boyfriend for three years back in high school, but we mutually ended things my freshman year. Since coming to Binghamton University, all of the guys I’ve come across seem to just be looking for hookups. It’s exhausting! When I tell them that’s not what I’m looking for, they run in the opposite direction. Where can I find a nice guy who doesn’t want just a hookup?

I think it’s important to meet in the middle. While it’s good to make it clear that you’re not there just for a hookup, I wouldn’t immediately say that you’re looking for a long-term relationship, either. Don’t put too much pressure on anything. Keep in mind that college is not the be-all and end-all of romance. If you don’t meet someone now, it doesn’t mean you never will. If you go into a date or a relationship with weighty expectations, it will always disappoint you. With that in mind, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, either. You describe yourself as a “relationship person,” and this may be true, but don’t hold yourself off from having new experiences because you are trying to fit yourself into that box. It’s okay to be a “relationship person” and have a hookup every once in a while. Your person is out there.

Dear Jessica,

Do you have any advice for budgeting meal plan money? I always start out doing well at the beginning of the semester, but then the stress kicks in and I’m constantly eating at the Marketplace and drinking at least two coffees a day. My parents are annoyed that they always have to add money to my meal plan toward the end of the semester. How do I make the money last?

One thing that has been helpful for me is knowing how much is allotted in my meal plan for each day, and paying attention as my meal is being totaled. This way I begin to learn exactly how much each item costs, and can have the more expensive items less often. As far as avoiding expensive Marketplace meals, I always keep a snack in my backpack, whether it be a granola bar or some trail mix, so that if I’m hungry but don’t have time to get to a dining hall, I have something to hold me over until I’m back in my dorm. Also, I get snacks from Target or Walmart, not the dining halls, where packaged foods are often more expensive and can’t be bought in bulk to save money. I know it’s hard, but try cutting down on the coffee. Maybe substitute one cup with some Lipton tea, which is less than 20 cents in the dining halls.