At this truly nightmarish and dystopian time, why on earth should I waste my time with an advice column? Aren’t my petty concerns meaningless in the face of massive human rights violations, the literal destruction of our planet, and the devolution of our nation (and with it our already tenuous place in the global community)? How can my concerns about my sex life possibly matter when refugees are being denied basic rights and detained in American airports?
– Concerned Citizen, 2017
Honestly, this is a really strange time to be writing an advice column, and yes, there are absolutely bigger concerns in the world right now. If you are reading this column instead of attending a town hall meeting with Len Suzio or calling your representative, put the damn newspaper down and go make some change. This column is frivolous and should not distract from the absolutely critical actions we all need to be taking right now. But in this time of total social decay and neglect of increasing numbers of our community, empathy, love, and interpersonal relationships are one of the only things it feels like we can control. Don’t fight with your roommate right now! Fight the fucking power! Hopefully, this silly column can help you deal with the smaller conflicts in your life right now to smooth the road towards the big conflicts that need our attention right now. For the next four years, we need radical empathy, community care, and meaningful relationships to keep going in this hellscape we are facing. In this small small way, I hope that this column can help people right now. But if you haven’t called your representative about Betsy DeVos yet, put the fucking paper down.
I didn’t see my roommate for all of break, and I’m concerned about living together for another semester. I loved having my own room at home and it sucks sharing with someone I’m not friends with. How do I deal with this shit for another semester?
– Reluctant Cohabitor ’20
Roommates are a difficult thing. The best way to deal with the awkwardness of sharing an intimate space is to find a space or a time that can be yours…maybe a favorite desk in the library, or 1:20-2:40 on Mondays and Wednesdays while your roommate is in class. Prioritize time alone with yourself, which is one of the hardest things to do while in college, and your roommate won’t grate on you as much when you’re in the same space at night or in the morning. Also, make sure your space is comfy and personalized. Dorms can be a really sterile place, and making your half or third of the room feel like home is a good way to recreate the peace of your room at home.
I hate the fucking cold weather!! I’m from a place where the air doesn’t burn your exposed flesh with its icy grasp and I’m miserable. Other winters have been shitty, but I spent break at home and now I really can’t deal with this cold shit. How do I make it to spring?
– California Dreaming ’18
I feel that, my human. I’ve only found one solution so far: lamps. Nice, soft, natural-ish lighting really helps when the sun sets at 3:30 and the sadness sets in. Also, now is a great time to make use of the gym! The lighting is harsh, yes, but if you work up a sweat, your body almost feels real again. Also the steam room in the locker rooms are AMAZING and routinely how I thaw my poor Southern bones. Try playing squash or swimming! And never, EVER forget to wear long underwear under your clothes. Yes, you feel like a lumpy blob, but the heat retention is unbeatable.