c/o Sophie Griffin, Features Editor

c/o Sophie Griffin, Arts & Culture Editor

Welcome to Ask The Argus, a column brought to you by the magnificent Features section! Each week, we bring you the hottest advice from your wonderful, trusty, seasoned editors. Are you having trouble making friends? Is your relationship falling apart? Struggling with time management? Don’t know if Summies quesadillas will make you queasy? Don’t fret: we’ve been there and are here to help.

Is it silly to ask for an extension on a paper that you’ve known about the whole semester?

No! We do not think that asking for an extension is silly at all, and it can actually be a good learning experience. Everyone has been in a place where the remaining time-to-work ratio is not looking too hot, and it is just a simple mistake! When you write to your professor, you can explain that you underestimated the amount of time the paper would take, and that to write to the best of your ability, you need more time. Be sure to let the professor know that you will use this as a learning experience to make sure it won’t happen again. 

Since you don’t want to be in this position of repeatedly asking for extensions, take extra care to treat it as a learning experience for the rest of your college career. 

When you receive your syllabi at the beginning of the semester, use a planner or spreadsheet to log any big papers or projects that are noted as part of the courses. For particularly big ones, note an anticipated start date well ahead of the due date. That way if you’re looking ahead to future weeks, you have a reminder that a big paper is coming up before it is too late.

Recently, I’ve been missing my home friends and wishing I can stay in better contact with them. Do you have any tips on how to maintain long-distance friendships?

Luckily for you, there are so many great options with technology today, making it easy to find new, exciting, ways to stay connected with your friends that are far away. Firstly, with friends you trust, letting them know that you’re missing them a little extra can really help to bring you closer; it lets them know that you’re thinking about them, and it can help them put in more effort to let you know that they care about you as well. Starting up a habit of messaging your friends can make your texts feel almost like an IRL conversation. Who knows? Maybe your friends are missing you just as much as you are them!

There are also lots of other fun things you can do online. Harness some skills from our early COVID-19 days and bring back some of the virtual hangouts we created back when we were all bored in quarantine. Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, and many other streaming platforms offer watch party functions where you can share a screen with your friends and use a chat box to converse with each other while you watch. There are also online games like skribbl.io, Cards Against Humanity, playingcards.io, and many others that are surprisingly entertaining.

Engaging in new student groups or planning meals with friends at Wesleyan, even if they are distant acquaintances, can also be an effective way to take your mind off of home and also meet new people within academics and extracurricular activities. Moreover, carving out consistent time to focus on your mental health—through exercising, reading for pleasure, or even cleaning—can help you get centered and possibly take your mind off of thinking about your friends from home. Finally, as pre-registration winds to a close, you can start thinking about new and engaging classes that you can take next semester. Maybe you can create bonds with the people in these classes. 

Smaller, acquaintance-like friendships can be hard to reach out to but are still very important. In this case, try to find things to ask them about or things that remind you of them that can spark a conversation. Even just texting “I was reminded of this funny memory today” can keep them in your thoughts and remind them that you haven’t forgotten about them.

At the end of the day, we all get homesick and we miss our friends and family at home. Just remind yourself that everyone gets homesick…it’s totally normal!

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