Advice: Ask Natalie on being alone in Vancouver

“Dear Natalie,

My boyfriend who I stayed with in Vancouver this summer broke up with me, and all of my friends went home and the friends who live Vancouver are too busy to hang out. My job is a joke, but I need it to pay rent because I didn’t go home for the summer. I’m stuck alone in a city that I’m slowly beginning to hate because everything in my life sucks and I’m alone.

Any advice?”

That, my friend, is a tough break. But not everything sucks; Vancouver is an amazing place, full of great things to do, even on your own.

Clearly you are fabulous, and while I don’t know much about your ex, you are worth more than whatever you were getting from your relationship. You are smart, you are kind, you are important. But even if it was the worst relationship ever, it will obviously still take time to heal and grow.

But you can use the rest of this summer to do just that. Use this time of lack of school to get busy. No readings that let your mind wonder to certain people, no classes where you might run into them, no awkward eye contact in the new Student Union Building (although it’s definitely big enough that might not happen, unless you’re both really into rock climbing).

Congrats on your crap job. Now you will become the best employee ever. Hopefully it’s not too unbearable and you can stick it out for the rent, which now pays for the best place in Vancouver. You are going to start baking or cooking or painting or something. Something new that will make you want to actually want to go home.

You’re also going to do something that forces you to leave your place. The gym, the mountains, biking, anything, but you’re going to force yourself to do it.

Most of all, you’re going to make new friends, either from your work or just your life. Join a running group or a sports team. Stop hating the city that is nearly bursting at the seams with things to do. With your time off work, you can’t afford to sit at home and do nothing. If you’re paying for the rent to live here during the summer, you might as well enjoy it.