An Introduction to Advice Columns

I constantly find myself taking valuable seconds, minutes and hours out of my day to sit down with friends and dissect the complications of our often very privileged college lives. More often than not some version of the same conversation happens twice and I find myself slightly rewording the same spiel over and over again. I absolutely love creative writing and utilizing a genre that loosens up on the tight grammar rules that often come with other types of writing. I also love listening and unpacking peoples problems. To mix these two passions of mine would be to create a college themed advice column. Yes, I will be finding my inner Carrie Bradshaw.

According to the Colombia Journalism Review, advice columns have existed since the 1600s and things that we consider a simple Google search today were once at the hands of advice columnists around the globe. You would think that the power of Google and other search engines has allowed for the power of advice columns to die down, but today they serve a different function. The article quotes: “They are the lightning conductors of social unease. That’s where peoples anxieties, frustrations, addictions, and day-to-day problems are put to rest”. This line really resonated with me because I think that there is so much power in the written word. Society has social constructs regarding what is acceptable to say out loud and bring into conventional conversations but that doesn’t necessarily exist with the written word.



Like we all know… you can find anything online. 

College is a bubble, in an alternative universe, where some really weird, fucked up, even beautiful shit takes place. Yet sometimes we just can’t get ourselves to say those things out loud. I want to bring those topics to the surface through my anonymous advice column.


2 thoughts to “An Introduction to Advice Columns”

  1. Hi Marissa!
    I really enjoyed reading your post. When I was thinking of different genres to experiment with for this project, I never thought of an advice column. Your idea is very unique and sounds super interesting. I agree that writing can be a great outlet for dealing with the chaos and stress of everyday life, especially in college. An advice column sounds like something that people would be really interested in reading and would help people better express themselves. The genre is definitely relevant, too, because of the issues of stress and mental health on college campuses. Even though we have it really good, life gets a little crazy sometimes and you want to talk about it.
    I look forward to seeing where you go with this experiment!

  2. I think that this is a really unique idea. I definitely agree that the majority of college students go through the same stupid struggles on a daily basis but often don’t talk about it. An advice column is such a creative way to expose these topics and show people that college students are in this together! Are you planning on having people submit questions for you to answer in your column? Or are you going to come up with these questions on your own?

Leave a Reply