DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm a 20-year-old college student. I spend a lot of time with my friends, and they mean a lot to me. Honestly, they make going through school worthwhile. Now I have a situation that is making me uncomfortable.
A close friend who normally tells me everything is keeping a secret from me. He won't tell me, but he's told our other close friend. It hurts my feelings that he suddenly doesn't trust me with something. He told me not to ask our other friend, but I want to know what's going on. What should I do? -- Feeling Like an Outsider, Jackson, Miss.
DEAR OUTSIDER: You may not want to hear this, but I suggest you take your friend's advice. Stay out of this situation; don't butt in. I understand why you feel left out, but who knows what's going on? You don't, for sure, and it is not your business anyway.
You may really hate this, but what I strongly recommend is that instead of fixating on what's going on between your friends -- or, more accurately, with your one friend's life -- pay attention to your studies. You are in college to learn and to develop and hone the skills you need to become great at being you, while making a living at the same time. Distractions, including whatever is going on with your friends, can easily keep you from focusing on your goal.
Yes, you want to be a good person, which implies being a good friend. The challenge is to keep your priorities in order. Be a friend by letting your friends know that you care and that you want to be supportive. Be a good you by buckling down and doing your schoolwork to the best of your ability.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been talking to and seeing a guy for about a month. We've both made it clear that we don't want anything too sexual yet. I really appreciate that attitude, because it makes it easier for me to relax with him.
But the thing is, the second I did get relaxed with him, I got a scary invitation to spend the night in his apartment next week. Is it too soon? I'm 22 years old and on my own now, but I have never crossed that line. Is now the time? -- Virgin, Rye, N.Y.
DEAR VIRGIN: I commend you for your decision thus far to remain a virgin. If it is your intention to remain so, I caution you not to spend the night at any man's house, especially one who is your love interest. Putting yourself in such a compromising situation will have either frustrating or devastating results. Neither is worth it.