Dear Sadie, I’m so nervous for my family to descend on campus for Homecoming. I’ve changed a lot since coming to college, and I feel like they still treat me like a child. Do I pretend to be innocent or make them face the facts? —Family Feels ’17
Dear Family Feels,
The problem with this question is that you’re being immature just by the way you’re asking. Being an adult is about being yourself—pursuing your own interests, cooking for yourself, motivating yourself to do stuff you care about or stuff you have to do for money. If you act like yourself, without playing games with your family, they’ll be able to see that. Don’t “pretend” to be anything! Don’t “make” anyone “face the facts!” If you’ve changed a lot, they’ll be able to see that based on how you act.
However, being with family tends to make people revert to their younger selves. Family is one of the most valuable things in life, but they get annoying real quick. If you get petty, you’ll seem immature. If you insist on how mature you are while crying about the raisins in your cookie, or scream at them that you KNOW ABOUT POT OK, they’re going to be reminded that you used to pee yourself and not eat foods that are red. Be sweet and mature and don’t insist on telling them how mature you are. If you have to say it, it feels a little less true. Trust me, I’ve told a lot of people that “I’m fucking fine ok so stop fucking asking I’m fucking great” and have never once been believed. Family is stressful but pretty damn wonderful. You don’t need to prove anything to them—that’s the whole point of unconditional love.
I have a friend staying over this weekend, and I got clearance from my apartment-mates to have him stay. However, I’m afraid they won’t like him and I’m not really sure what to do with him to keep him entertained. Thoughts? —Puppet Master ’17
Dear Puppet Master,
Friends visiting is such a mixed bag! It’s fun, but hella stressful. Here’s how to deal: First of all, if your friend is cool, your apartment-mates will be cool. People don’t like when people come into their homes and ignore them. Get your friend to hang out with them a little bit, do a bit of chatting and a little joking, and don’t be anxious. If you’re hovering anxiously wondering if they like each other it will create a super strange energy.
Secondly, don’t worry about how to entertain your friend. I was really nervous when my little sister came to visit about what we would do and whether she would think I am cool. Your sister will probably never think you’re cool, so calm down and just do something that you both think is fun. My sister and I went to a party, just the two of us, and danced, alone in a corner. Your friend is there to see you, not be impressed by how cool you are. Do something you both like with your attention given fully to your friend. Sure, hang out with people and bring him to parties and stuff, but make sure he knows your priority is spending time together.
Also, your friend doesn’t need to be constantly entertained. I was dragging my sister all over campus and she finally just asked for some quiet time to watch TV and chill. Not Netflix and chill, because she’s my sister, but she did just want to watch Netflix and chill, you know? This is vacation for your friend, too, so don’t feel like you have to be constantly up his ass like an actual puppet master. Gross.
Sadie, I was sitting in a bathroom stall and overheard two of my friends talking about how annoying they thought I was. Should I confront them? Should I act normal? I thought what we had was good! —Lost in Love ’17
Dear Lost in Love,
Classic. Shit-talking in the shitter. Here’s the thing: What happens in the bathroom stall stays in the bathroom stall. The other day I popped a giant zit in the Olin bathroom, but I didn’t go out and talk about it! I just published it in the newspaper! Bathrooms are a safe space for being a little bit gross. Shit talking your friend is gross, but, like pooping and changing your tampon, it is sometimes really necessary. If you think things are fine, they probably are. Maybe you have been spending too much time together (Why were you all in the bathroom together?? That’s a lot.) and they just need a little space to bitch. I love my stupid boyfriend, but after a few hours without other human interaction I’m about ready to kiss that hot ass goodbye. I still love him, but I do need some space and someone to complain to about how he wears TOMS with socks. So, I wouldn’t worry too much. Give them some space and be a truly great and non-annoying friend for the next few days, and then leave that shit in the bathroom.