DEAR HARRIETTE: A close friend who moved away a few years ago is now moving back to my town. We fell out of contact over the last year because she left. A few days ago, she came in contact, informing me that she was moving back. She never put in the effort to keep the friendship going when she moved away, so I stopped, too.
I have an established group of friends, and it is going to be tough to rekindle my friendship with this girl. Since she knows me, she wants to cling to me. I am not sure I even want to be best friends again. What is the best move? -- Distant Friend, Cambridge, Massachusetts
DEAR DISTANT FRIEND: You do not need to figure out the future just yet. Consider it respectful that your friend let you know she is moving back home. Don’t read any more into it right now. When it is convenient for you -- and she initiates the call -- agree to get together with her and hear her out. Find out what she has been doing over the past few years, and what brings her back. Let her know that it hurt your feelings that she left and didn’t bother to stay in touch with you. You can forgive her without agreeing to include her in your new friend group.
If you feel that a heart-to-heart will be heard, tell her that you have moved on and that you aren’t inclined to incorporate her in your new circle of friends. If you have any interest in rekindling a bond with her, you can agree to get together with her on occasion and see how it works. You may find that you want to be friends again. Either way, forgive her for not being as connected as you would have liked. Let the present unfold before you.
DEAR HARRIETTE: College is coming up. My parents keep warning me that college is a lot more difficult than high school. They tell me that since I am going to have a lot more free time, I am going to have to learn to manage it well. I am nervous that I am not going to be able to keep up with the work. I love to procrastinate, and I know that I will not be successful if I continue that trend. It was fine in high school, but it must change for college. What do I do? How do I change it? -- Procrastinator 101, Topeka, Kansas
DEAR PROCRASTINATOR 101: How well did you do in high school? In the classes where you excelled, what did you do to stay the course? A great way for you to develop discipline for school is to build upon any good habits that you have as you also establish more positive habits. This includes keeping a calendar of your classes and your assignments. Give yourself deadlines that are ahead of your professors’ deadlines so that you have time to review your work, complete all details and turn it in on time. Most important: You must begin to believe that your life is valuable and that education will help you to build a happy, healthy life. With faith and focus, you can reverse the trend of procrastination. You have to believe you are worth it!
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)