Dear Doolino,

Mondays are the worst for me! I have a PACE class at 8 a.m., and am totally booked until 2 p.m. As a result I’m overloaded with work on Sundays, and extremely sluggish on Mondays so I can’t effectively learn anything taught to me. What do I do about this situation?

Mondayn

Dear Mondayn,

Firstly, congratulations on having such a witty pseudonym given that you are likely using most of that creative brain to stay sane! Jokes aside, college is not so much about producing the easiest schedule possible as it is about experiencing new things. In five years time, when you get your first job (thanks to PACE), you will likely encounter the same unpalatable hours. Unlike the rookies who had perfect, post-10 a.m. classes all throughout college, you will be prepared for these hardships, and you will realize the merit of your Fall 2016 semester. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

You say you wish to stay sane while balancing your shitty schedule? I once read a recipe online that suggested you replace the water in your coffee machine with Red Bull. This would not only keep you awake, but would also give you a cerebral hemorrhage to distract you from your stress. In the end, the generic statement probably wins here: entertain all your late-night shenanigans on Friday and Saturday, and try your best to sleep before 12 a.m. on Sunday. Napping right after your last class on Monday might also help alleviate the suffering.

Sincerely,

Doolino

Dear Doolino,

OMG! I’m a freshman and, like, can’t decide what I wanna major in ROFL! It’s already been two weeks, and my academic interests are ambivalent. I kinda like English but IDEK LMAO!

INSTAPRINCESS321AddMe;)

Dear INSTAPRINCESS321AddMe;),

Judging by your use of vocabulary, I think you should simply be grateful that you are allowed to experience a higher education in the first place. Additionally, how on Earth you managed to use such outdated internet slang and ‘ambivalent’ in the same sentence is so contradictory.

Nevertheless, my dear INSTAPRINCESS321AddMe;), YOLO. Life is too short to fret on that which is distant. Embrace carpe diem — live each day with the intent to explore all disciplines. You have four semesters to decide on your major of choice, so engage each and every class you take up until then to the fullest. Appreciating the concept of a higher education will open up the right academic pathway. And in due time, if you try your best, the name INSTAPRINCESS321AddMe;) will be up in lights.

Also for someone who likes English, you seem to do a pretty poor job of writing it. As you youngsters would say, yes, I am “hella sav.”

Doolino

P.S.: It’s “first year.”

Dear Doolino,

I’m a first-year student. I have met a lot of new people in the past few weeks who seem cool, but because I haven’t known these people my whole life, like my friends from back home, I don’t know if they are being their genuine selves or not. I want to make friends, but also feel nervous about placing my trust, time and energy into people I’ve met recently. How should I handle this whole “friends business”?

Lonely First Year

Dear Lonely First Year,

A very reasonable question indeed.

During the first few weeks of school, people tend to put on façades; in the pursuit of acceptance, they act to fit society’s norms. This is to be expected — everyone is nervous about being in a new environment. In the same way that a block of ice would melt on a warm kitchen table, you too must warm up to your new environment before you can find your true form. If there is anyone you are unsure about, maintain an  amicable yet safe distance from them until this first little flurry of “beginnings” ends. If by the end of it you, they are similar to the person they were in that first stretch of college, then congratulations, you’ve probably found truly genuine people!

I have been alive for many a year, and let me tell you, I’ve met my fair share of jerks . But these people are a minority. Be a trusting person, give people the benefit of the doubt and they will return your kindness with more kindness.

And if they change? If they are not genuine? Respond to their lustful avarice for societal acceptance by keeping your distance. Brush aside their plastic personality and move on to better, more caring people. This is a big school with many vibrant, loving and interesting people. Explore different activities, approach different people in your hall and classes (irrespective of age) or impulsively ask people to grab a meal. Extroversion is not easy for everyone, but take comfort in the fact that everyone is as scared as you are. I, for one, can assure you that nothing beats the happiness that ensues when someone starts the conversation.

There are plenty of other revenants in the graveyard. Don’t fixate yourself on one person.

Sincerely,

Doolino