Asking for a Friend: Being left on read & planning for a restful Reading Week

The Journal's advice-giver guides two students who need to be proactive


I’m Audrey Helpburn, The Journal’s resident advice-giver. I answer questions about love, friendship, school, and more to help Queen’s students put their best foot forward on and around campus.

Although I’m not a professional, I aim to give the best advice I can to students who need a bit of guidance. This time around, I’m advising two students who need to be proactive: one who needs to address their casual hookup before it gets messy, and the other who wants to make a plan for a successful Reading Week. 


How do I get a text back? I’ve been seeing this girl for almost a year now. We’re “just friends” but we hook up fairly regularly. While we see each other in person and talk often, I feel like she never texts me back. We communicate really well when we see each other and we seem to be on the same page about our feelings and our relationship, but I feel like I am not getting enough consistent effort on her part.

I’ve tried to tell her that it sucks when she doesn’t reply to my texts and she keeps saying that she’s just a bad texter. She makes it really hard to make plans and feel like she actually cares about me. How do I explain to her that it hurts to feel ignored by her, even if she’s not trying to ignore me?


Left on Read


Dear Left on Read,

While you say you and this girl are on the same page about your feelings and relationship, it seems like you might not be. Whether you realize it or not, your words indicate that you’ve developed feelings for this girl. Meanwhile, the label of “just friends” indicates a lack of romantic feelings, which is a spot your love interest may still be in.

It’s best you come to terms with your feelings sooner rather than later by addressing them. If your feelings are going to cause you pain while you continue to hook up with this girl, it’s better you stop. I think you have to acknowledge how you feel and, if you’re brave enough, let her know.

You have to remember that if you aren’t dating and have agreed to casual hookups, then she isn’t really obligated to make plans or constantly text you. If you want her to commit more time to you, you have to agree to commit to each other.

If the girl doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, it’s best that you let her go.


Audrey Helpburn


Reading Week is right around the corner, and I’m starting to feel that mid-semester burnout creeping up. I have some catching up to do in a few of my courses, but I’m also in serious need of some time to decompress. I’m very conflicted about how to make the most of the upcoming break. Should I prioritize taking time to relax or making sure I get done what I need to get done when I’m back at home next week?


Studying in my Sleep


Dear Studying in my Sleep,

If you take a moment to relax and reflect, Reading Week is probably long enough to get all the important things on your list done, including decompressing. But decompressing has to come first.

Take the first few days of Reading Week to sleep in (that means no alarms!), watch some reality TV, spend time with family, and do a Korean face mask or two. 

Once you have a grip on your mental health and feel more relaxed, make a list of things you hope to get done on Reading Week. If you’re stressed about the length of your to-do list, try to work smarter rather than harder. This means exchanging notes with classmates, using past exams to study, and taking shortcuts—you don’t necessarily have to complete every reading and attend every lecture to do well on a midterm or an essay.

Make an outline of the things that absolutely need to get done, and then do them. Be a minimalist when it comes to studying. You’ll be just fine.


Audrey Helpburn

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