My professor overheard me talking to a friend about how much I hate his class, and now I think he hates me. I’m so embarrassed and have no idea what to do. Help!
Dear Shoulda Whispered,
You dummy! Have you ever heard of the cocktail party effect? In my family, we do a lot of shit-talking. That’s why we learned this rule early on: People can ALWAYS hear their own names. No matter how loud the party is, no matter how far away in Usdan they’re sitting, no matter if they’re your professor and you forget that they are also in the room during class (come on, kid), people are remarkably attuned to their own names. It makes sense, but it sure is shitty for you right now.
However, this situation is fixable. Trust me, you’re not the first person to make this mistake. The solution requires some work on your side: You need to become a totally fire student. Do every reading, raise your hand in class, participate your trash-talking little ass off. The Sadie’s Mom term for this maneuver is called “fake it ’til you make it.” Pretend like you like his class, pretend that he never overheard you, pretend that your relationship is totally jolly and friendly.
Plus, there’s always the chance that you’re just being paranoid. Yeah, sometimes the dumbass wearing sunglasses indoors hears you ask your friend if they have a concussion or they’re just a tool. But mostly, that’s just your guilt telling you to be nicer. Smile in class, ask your professor about his favorite kind of coffee or whether he likes Ken Burns, and quit worrying. Also, learn to gossip better. It’s college.
I have had a crush on one of my good friends for a while. I feel like I need to tell her to get closure but worry about the humiliation and am afraid of the possible outcomes. What should I do?
— Friend Crush on Foss
Dear Friend Crush on Foss,
I have a few questions. Do you no longer have a crush on her? Why are you looking for closure? Is the relationship over? Maybe these are questions you should be asking yourself. If you’re still in love with her, the vulnerability you’re feeling can be really dangerous, because you need to handle this problem with grace. Reacting defensively or angrily can damage your friendship and your romantic possibilities, so you need to be your best person right now.
My move is always to introduce the idea slowly and like it’s something that everyone knows already. My best friend is a very handsome gentleman, and when we met, I was obviously very taken with him. Since our relationship developed into a friendship and I realized that I didn’t want to date him, I felt like I could joke about it. Jokes include: asking him if he’s trying to get me alone to confess his feelings for me, asking if I can name my firstborn after him, and referring to him as my future boyfriend. He’s still very cute, but now I just use that information to tease him. He mainly thinks this is annoying, but he also participates, so you tell me. If you’re being positive and casual, your friend will read those vibes and reciprocate. If you angrily confess your feelings when you’re both drunk and watching “The Daily Show,” shit will be way weirder.
Of course, my example only works because I’m not in love with him anymore. If you are still in love with your friend and you’re looking to date, I would start with some nice gestures. My boyfriend was my friend until he started wanting to eat lunch and dinner together every day and go on long walks alone. This gentle introduction of romance gives you a chance to figure out how you really feel without a dramatic confession. Although he eventually built up to that and it was REALLY HOT.
This is a sticky situation, and also something that has happened to every single person on this campus. Make it an inside joke if you’re over it or slowly woo your way into her heart. And then whatever happens, remember that time keeps going and you’ll be just fine.
i miss wes wat do i do
firstname.lastname@example.org, class of 2015
First, they let you use your email still? You’re an adult now; get a Hotmail or something and stop making our email slower. Second, your problem is a very tricky one, and a fear of mine that I’m repressing for the next year.
I’ll tell you what I tell homesick freshmen: Stop living in the past. Unfollow your Wes friends on Instagram and stop liking my Facebook posts (I’m just kidding; please don’t). Remember the shitty parts of Wes: Eat some mass-produced food that hurts your tummy and then get too drunk and walk around in the snow trying to flag down the Ride. But they don’t have the Ride in real life, so don’t get in any cars with strangers!
Also pretty disappointed that in four years you didn’t learn spelling or grammar, so maybe look into that. Learn to cook, so when you hang out with babes you matched with on Wescam you can make them delicious food. Get really into reading and craft beers and pursue your career and your music. Or, we’ve got an open space in Art House. Head on back to Middletown?