I do not sympathize often, especially when someone's sorrow is self-inflicted. I don't believe that sympathy is constructive in most scenarios. Especially in college.
You got drunk and were issued an MIP? Too bad. Don't drink.
You failed a test because you went out every night this week and didn't study? Ouch. You could have avoided that one.
You have a million things going on and you feel like you don't have time to accomplish everything? I totally get what you're going through. I've found that if I block out my time it allows me to be way more on top of all of the assignments I need to complete. Want any help?
I think a major problem with society is that people crave sympathy. Something in their life sucks and they want the world to sit down and cry with them. Sometimes that's helpful. Most of the time it's not.
I'm a strong advocate of the theory that it's better to tell people the painful truth than it is to tell them a numbing lie. Antibiotics may sting but they kill the infection. A band-aid will just cover it up.
I pride myself on being able to be blunt with people. That makes me sound like an asshole, I know, and maybe I am. But I'd rather be the asshole that tells someone what they need to hear so they can have a better future than be the person that tells a lie so as to temporarily fix the present.
I like to call it tough love.
College is full of people that need tough love, myself included. This is a time where we make mistakes, and we're supposed to learn from them, not a place for us to expect people to feel bad for our mistakes and then go make the same mistakes again.
I really like the way my viola professor explained it to me in a lesson a few weeks ago. She said that it's perfectly okay to make mistakes, as long as the mistake is made one time. After that it's up to you to notice the mistake, learn from it, and fix it. If you make a mistake a second time and you made it the same way you did the first time it's not a mistake.
It's a choice.