Campus Life advice

Party food and relationships

Supporting the MIT community, one query at a time: on food and finding love

If you would like Tech Support to take a look at your problems, please submit them at Questions have been edited for length, clarity, and content.


Tech Support: Hello, how may I help you?

Reader: I want to invite a few friends over for a party, but I don't have a huge budget. What food should I make or buy?

Tech Support: Depending on what kind of party you are throwing, this may vary. For instance, if you plan on throwing the most amazing rager that MIT has seen since it was founded, you may not even have to worry about food. 

In all seriousness though, if it is just a casual get-together, you can just get some snacks like chips and dip (such as Tostitos’s deliciously fake cheese dip) or a cheese and cracker plate; you could also make a fruit salad if you want to be healthier. If it is a more dinner-type thing, you could do something like a taco or pasta bar, or even make it a potluck so that everyone brings something. In fact, this latter option would essentially kill two birds with one stone, as it is both low-budget and creates variety while making everyone feel like they are contributing. 

You can also make some chocolate chip cookies with ice cream on top for a quick dessert that most everyone will enjoy if all else fails. But don’t stress out about it too much — there are plenty of low-budget options out there, so no need to worry. If you’re inviting good friends over, the company should make it much more enjoyable as well.


Reader: As I get older, I see more and more of my friends getting boyfriends/girlfriends, and it honestly makes me kind of depressed sometimes. How can I stop myself from feeling bad about this, and how does one even get a significant other in the first place?

Tech Support: I think that one of the first things to ask yourself here is this: what kind of place am I in mentally right now? By no means do you need to have your life together to be in a relationship, but if you have very low self-esteem and don’t like yourself, it can be difficult to be in a relationship. You will rely on the other person to provide love to you and end up accepting less than you deserve (and you, my friend, are awesome).

Assuming you’ve got that under control, though, it can be helpful to identify other single friends to hang out with so that you feel less lonely. There is nothing wrong with being single, and relationships are not always as easy as they seem when you’re looking at couples. (I’m not saying they aren’t worth trying, but the grass is always greener on the other side.) Even platonic relationships can be a way to “prepare” you for romantic relationships, as they both require caring about somebody beyond yourself to a deeper extent.

As for your question on how to even get an S.O. in the first place, I truly believe that if you can just be yourself and focus on doing what you enjoy, everything else will follow. People will see the energy that comes from you when you are doing things that you actually enjoy doing, and that in turn will attract the right people. Additionally, be open and expose yourself to opportunities to meet a wide range of people, romantically or not. Get to know more people, whether or not you’re attracted to them, because that also allows you to practice interacting with others and see all the different kinds of people out there. 

And if one day down the road there is someone who catches your fancy, then having done all this will have prepared you to act on that opportunity when it arises. In the meantime, just live your life and don’t worry about it too much — there are plenty of people out there, and I’m sure you, as an MIT student, have a lot on your plate anyway.