Category Archives: Highlanders Anonymous

Highlanders Anonymous: Sororities, Stress, and Going home for the weekend

“I want to join a sorority, but I’m scared of what people will think of me. I’m not a party girl or anything, but I was really into my church growing up and this is a nice chance to meet cool people while getting back into philanthropy. Should I do it?”

When you get to college you have so many incredible opportunities to get involved at your school. Greek life is definitely a pretty cool one, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. I suggest that you go to a bunch of informal rush events and mixers (if you haven’t already) to make sure that this is something that you truly want.

If it is, then to hell with everyone else’s opinions—you do what you want. It sounds like you’re getting into it for all the right reasons so the real question is, why shouldn’t you?

“I have way too much going on right now. I’m a freshman and I got involved with every club or organization I could get my hands on, but now I feel completely overwhelmed. What do I do?”

Make sure that you have a planner. It may seem elementary school-ish, but they really do work. Write down everything that you have to do every week including the due dates. This will help you organize everything in your mind which will certainly help with the stress.

Secondly, with all of your events and homework be sure to schedule in some time alone for yourself. “Monday 6pm- 8pm: watch two Once Upon A Time episodes with Halloween cookies.” It may seem dumb, but when you have to schedule everything else in your life so carefully it helps to know that you’re guaranteed some “me” time.

“I have a boyfriend back home that I really want to visit, but I don’t have a car. The longer we go without seeing each other the crazier I feel. I knew that long-distance would be hard, but I’m not sure if I can handle only seeing each other once every few months.”

First of all, yes, long-distance will continue to be hard, but there’s no reason that you guys can’t see each other on the weekends. There’s a bus that leaves Radford every Friday to take you to the real bus station and it returns on Sundays. It’s not too expensive either.

Another option you have is hitching a ride with someone else headed in that direction. Post on the RU Facebook page for your graduating class to see if anyone is headed where you want to go. Most people are willing to even go out of their way for you if you offer to pay for gas.

That’s all for this week, but remember to send in your anonymous questions for us to answer! Next week could be your question!

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Photo by: Danielle Johnson. Students: Sydney Puryear and Olivia Moorehead

When you get to college you have so many incredible opportunities to get involved at your school. Greek life is definitely a pretty cool one, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. I suggest that you go to a bunch of informal rush events and mixers (if you haven’t already) to make sure that this is something that you truly want.

If it is, then to hell with everyone else’s opinions—you do what you want. It sounds like you’re getting into it for all the right reasons so the real question is, why shouldn’t you?

 

 

Highlanders Anonymous: Why I quit Greek Life

Here at Whim, we pride ourselves in being able to help other students with problems they may be facing during their time at Radford. Although very different from our normal format, here is a confession sent in to us that I think will be helpful to anyone else who may find themselves in this person’s situation. Rather than give advice to this person, they’ll be giving the advice to readers. You do you, Highlanders.

 

Before I get into too much detail, I want to first start out by recognizing the amazing things Greek Life did for me. Being in a sorority taught me a lot about myself. It taught me how to work with others, especially those I don’t agree with. Greek Life allowed me to become friends with people I may have never met if I hadn’t rushed. It taught me how to write a professional email, how to deal with issues in a professional manner, and how to network. Greek Life gave me experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world and I’ll always respect and defend my former sorority.

Leaving Greek Life was a really hard decision to make. Imagine being surrounded by the same 80 people all the time and then suddenly, only a few of them are still around. My decision to leave my sorority wasn’t an overnight thing; I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I’m done with this.” The decision I made was very personal and had probably been brewing in my brain and heart for a few semesters. There were times when I’d sit in chapter and feel my heart sink as I looked around at all the girls I’d come to love and thought about life without them.

Do you feel out of place in your sorority? Graphic from Film School Rejects
Do you feel out of place in your sorority? Graphic from Film School Rejects

Then one day, I realized I couldn’t think about them anymore. I couldn’t torture myself by thinking, “what if they won’t talk to me anymore?”, or, “what if I’m all alone after I leave?” I looked around at my life and the crushing anxiety I felt and realized I had run out of options. I couldn’t ignore the fact that I could barely pay my dues, or that I was having to drag myself out of bed to go to events and be present. I couldn’t force a smile at recruitment parties and tell girls how great being in a sorority was when I, myself, was miserable.

One of the biggest lessons I learned about Greek Life is that you are definitely not buying friends, despite the stereotype. There are people you aren’t going to get along with, and there are going to be people who don’t like you, and that’s okay. Greek Life taught me a hard lesson that I probably would’ve learned in the real world anyway. The fact of life is that no matter what occupation you’re in, there are going to be people you have to work along that don’t seem to have the same interests in mind as you have. As nice as it is to think that we’re all fighting for the same cause, sometimes that’s just not the case. We may all have the same goal in mind, but there are going to be people who see a different path to that goal. As difficult as that can be to work with, it’s a fact that we need to accept and learn to be okay with.

My reasons for leaving Greek Life can be summed up in one syllable: stress. Sororities and fraternities are a huge obligation, both financially and timewise. There are a lot of rules that you need to be prepared to accept, which is fine! Sorority life definitely helped me clean up my social media to make it ready to be viewed by potential employers.

There is a taboo that surrounds disassociating from a Greek organization. I will say there have been some people who look at me like I’m an alien when I tell them I’m no longer in my sorority. However, there are more people who still hug me and treat me like family. I don’t consider myself a “former sorority girl.” I’m a person, just like anyone else in or out of Greek Life. If you’re someone who’s thought of rushing, it’s a great experience and definitely something worth trying if you’re able. If you’re someone in a Greek organization who feels they need to disassociate but are afraid to, don’t be afraid — there’s nothing to fear at all. There are more people in Greek Life who are going to be kind and accepting of you even after you leave than there are people who will judge you and cut off contact with you.

The most important thing to remember if you are deciding to leave your organization is to leave with grace and kindness. Even if there are people who pushed you away and made you feel unwelcome in your organization, you don’t want to burn a bridge like that. It’s important to remember that the people around you are people, even if you have been mistreated.”

Signed,

Disassociated, but always a sorority girl

Highlanders Anonymous: Spring cleaning, professionalism, and winter weight gain

“Someone told me that my outfit was inappropriate. Are there any rules against what you wear at RU?”

There actually isn’t a dress code at Radford. Although you might be used to having one and being cautious during high school, those days are thankfully over. It’s up to you whether or not you want to wear pajamas to class or wear a tinfoil hat at this point. The only thing you may want to worry about is personal. How do you want to be perceived in school? As you age at RU, you’ll probably want others to see you as a professional and respected individual. One way to communicate that is through the way you dress. Just keep that in mind.

“My house is an utter disaster and I need to do some spring cleaning. How should I get started?”

Make a shopping list to start. Write down all of the cleaners and tools you are going to need to buy at the store to get everything clean. My recommendations are cleaners that are environmentally friendly, smell good, are diverse enough to clean many surfaces and kill germs. If you go to the store and wing it, read every label carefully.

Dusting kitchen lampOnce you have everything, tidy up and put things away, while making things more organized if you can. I suggest that you consider things that will help you have more organized storage, like plastic bins with lids that can easily be stored in closets or under beds. Furniture is also very helpful to declutter your home. A shoe rack can turn a hazardous and messy looking foyer into a welcoming area.

“I feel like I’ve gained so much weight over the winter. How can I get back into shape?”

I’m no expert, but I have some tips that seem to work for me. First, you need to keep some sort of exercise journal that not only keeps track of when you exercise and what you do, but how you feel while doing it. Being able to see your progress can show you how far you’ve come and keep you motivated.

Another thing you can do is scheduling times you exercise so you make the time for it no matter what. You also have to remember that you’ll need to start back up slowly so that you don’t injure yourself. In addition, you shouldn’t just exercise; you should be eating well too. Even if you still want to eat the same junk food as usual, it’s good to at least try to make your diet more balanced. Add some strawberries to that cereal! My mother always told me that once you are able to do something for a month, it becomes a habit–whether it’s good or bad.

Highlanders Anonymous: Aches and pains

“Why does my back always hurt?”

Sometimes your back aches because of bad posture. This can be caused by slouching during the day and while you walk. That same pain can be caused by the positions you sleep in each night. Back pain is basically inevitable, if you want to deal with it, here are some quick tips:

  1. Be more mindful of your posture when you walk and sit.
  2. Do some research and find back stretches that can relieve your pain.
  3. When doing any heavy lifting, lift from your knees, not your back.
  4. Make sure to sleep in positions that do not put weight and stress on your spine.

“One of my friends keeps posting things on my Facebook through my own account when I leave my phone on the table. It really drives me crazy! How can I get them to stop?”

If it’s a true friend, they’ll respect your wishes for them to stop if you simply ask. If you’re still getting to know them, or don’t want to confront them, don’t leave your phone lying around. That’s probably good advice for any time. Our phones have lots of sensitive information on them, like your bank passwords, email passwords, and often private conversations between you and others via social media, just like Facebook.

“My feet hurt a lot after work! How can I make it easier on my feet?”

In active jobs like waitressing or even retail, you are often running around to get things done or standing for hours upon hours each workday. To soothe your feet after a long day, I’d suggest a foot rub and a soak in the tub. If these options aren’t enough, I’d suggest getting insoles from a local pharmacy or Walmart.

High heels can also crush your toes and cause blisters and aches in your feet. The shoe you choose to wear will also determine the shape of your feet at the end of the day! Standing in one place for long periods of time can also cause back and feet aches. If you are able to find time to stretch sometime during your work, that can go a long way. You could even try doing it during your break.

 

Highlanders Anonymous: College is hard

“Why is college so hard?”

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Photo of student Hannah Syke. Photo By: Hannah Mowery.

College is hard because, suddenly, you become fully responsible for your education. You need to learn to take care of yourself. This means scheduling your own doctors’ appointments and making sure to budget your money so that you’ll have enough to eat for the whole month. College takes a huge toll if you’re unable to keep up with your new responsibilities. However, you also get to take full credit for everything you do once you get to college.

“How do I tell my girlfriend that I need some space without making her mad?”

You know your girlfriend best. If you think she’ll get mad that you need some alone time, then maybe you need to reevaluate your relationship. We’re all entitled to our own privacy and peace. If someone can’t compromise or be understanding, then they’re the ones with a problem.

“Where’s the best place to study on campus?”

There are so many places on campus that are good for studying! It really depends on where’s most convenient for you. Usually lounges don’t work so well though, because there’s constant foot traffic that can be really distracting.

My top three buildings for studying are the Bonnie, Young Hall, and McConnell Library. First, the Bonnie is a heavily visited area because of the food and SOAR office. The top floor is fairly quiet and is equipped with two rows of computers and a printer. There are many tables, chairs, and couches, so it’s great for group studying and projects.

Second, I would recommend Young Hall. Young has four stories of various studying and lounging areas.If one place there isn’t working for you, little nooks with chairs and small tables can provide cozy and private studying areas–but make sure you don’t fall asleep!

Third is McConnell Library. The first place you think of to study is generally the library. Many specialists there are more than willing to help you with research projects and materials. Tables and areas throughout the building let you actually speak at a normal volume and work on group projects.

 

 

Highlanders Anonymous: The how-to edition

“How can I spend less money?”

The number one way to save money (according to no real statistics) is to make a budget. I’m not just talking about a yearly or monthly budget either. No. I mean a weekly and daily budget. If you want to have control over your hard-earned money, you’ve got to strategize.

You can be strict with your budget and have fun too. The best way is to be realistic. If you know you’re going to buy food at school and go shopping every Friday,factor those things in. Making a plan doesn’t mean you can’t do things. What you can do is be more informed, so you’ll know how much you can spend at the mall. Budgeting is smart, no matter how old you are. This will reduce a lot of stress in your life. Knowing your limitations is important.

“How can I learn to cook for myself?”

There are many ways to learn how to cook. I suggest finding the most fun way for you. You can watch cooking shows, if you’re a visual learner and want some inspiration. Another way is to buy a cookbook or look at recipes online. Follow the instructions exactly if you’re not sure what you’re doing. You can improvise after you’ve got the basics down. Cook alone or with friends, whichever suits you.

“How do I get a good night’s sleep?”

Be aware of your health and state of mind. It may be harder to fall asleep if you have a lot on your mind. To wind down, you should get away from electronics and bright screens that stimulate your brain and keep you awake. I suggest reading a book, conveniently placed near your bed. Also, make sure not to eat too close to bed–it’s not good for your metabolism! Make yourself comfortable and relaxed.

“How do I learn a new language?”

To learn a new language, there’s nothing better than practice. The more time you put into learning the basic structure of a language and practicing  vocabulary, the better results you’ll see. Although it can be a struggle at first, try and integrate this new language as a part of your daily life. The more the language is used practically in your day to day, the easier it’ll be to remember to go back and work on your weaknesses and get better. Another really helpful thing is to speak to native speakers of the language. You can do this through language-learning sources, online or you can even get a pen pal.

Highlanders Anonymous: Who’s to blame?

Highlanders Anonymous: Who’s to blame?

“Why does my roommate always tell me it’s my fault she can’t get her work done? What’s her problem?”

Well, it seems to me like she’s trying to shift the blame on you. By telling you this, she’s not being very specific though and seems like she wants you to ask her what is the problem. I would suggest skipping all of the drama that she is trying to manufacture and confront her.accusation

“I just had a huge acne breakout and I have a date tomorrow. Do you have any tips to clear it up?

Websites like teenvogue.com suggest spot treatment that will help you to dry out pimples and the like. You could also just use makeup to cover up any blemishes you may have. Many sources also suggest the use of products with salicylic ingredients that fight acne. Try to use facial wash and other products the night before to help clear up the acne as quickly as possible. The day of your date is when I would recommend covering up whatever you weren’t able to get rid of. Also, these are short term solutions, but should help lessen the redness and irritation on your skin before the big day!

“What’s the best way to tell someone that their room is disgusting?”

 Well, I don’t think that’s very nice to say at any point to anyone. Lots of people end up with a messy room because it’s hard for them to get organized and can even be a telltale sign of depression. Approach this delicately and if you really want to help this person, you could always offer to lend a hand.

“How do you know when it’s time to move in with someone?”

Well, this isn’t exactly a black and white matter. Some people will give you a specific time frame with certain relationship milestones. Others will tell you that there has to be a certain level of understanding and cooperation between the two of you. However, all of that may not even work in the end, so I suggest the ultimate cliché: follow your heart.

There are no real rules that can tell you when the right time is for you to be emotionally or spiritually ready to cohabitate with another person. All you can do is try and be careful. Be honest with yourself and you’ll know the answer.

Highlanders Anonymous: What now?

“I hate my job so much. Everyone is so annoying there, but I really need the money. How do I keep dealing with these people?”

If you really need the money, it’s worth it to stay at your job and try to work things out. Even if you’re able to adjust your budget and can afford to quit, try to stay there and figure things out. Jobs are essential for college students to learn valuable skills and gain experience and knowledge for resumes.

No matter where you go or what you do, there will always be difficult people with whom you are forced to cooperate.  Although it may leave a bad taste in your mouth to continue acting civil to someone you dislike, you might have to bite your tongue and let things go. Choose your battles and be kind when bringing up something that upsets you in your work environment.

A small issue can easily build into something extremely challenging to resolve when left alone.

What do I do now? Graphic from Bang2Write
What do I do now? Graphic from Bang2Write

“I’ve run out of problems to ask. Why am I so happy?”

That doesn’t really seem like a problem to me…

“Stress is killing me right now. I’ve fallen behind in a class and it’s too late to withdraw. I feel overwhelmed. What now?”

Right now, take a deep breath. It might not be too late to try and turn it around. It’s worth a shot to try and talk to your professors and ask them for a chance to get your act together. Although it seems unlikely sometimes, there are those out there that actually want you to succeed. Sometimes, if you explain your situation and state that you really want to succeed, they will be on board.

If not, you may very well fail your class. That is a really scary thought, but you can’t let it eat you up. We all fail sometimes. What’s the worst that’s going to happen if you fail this class? Isn’t it just a minor setback? Where can you go from here? Even if it’s difficult to carry on after the realization that you’re going to fail, it helps to ask: What’s next for me? That way, you can come up with a plan that will make you feel less helpless.

Personally, when I start taking action it makes me feel much more peaceful.

Highlanders Anonymous: Diets, Netflix, and so much more

How do I even diet?

To start a diet, you need a good reason  and a clear goal. Once you have those, you can plot out the course to success. The closer  track you keep of your progress, the more motivated you will be. There are a variety of  free online resources to help you diet in a safe and healthy way.

food weight
“Diet in a safe way that’s healthy.”

 

How much Netflix is too much?

Once you’ve started flaking out on commitments or become buried alive in an avalanche of dirty laundry. At that point, you may be escaping from reality a bit too much.

What’s the best way to keep from falling behind in my classes? I’m just trying to make it to spring break.

First of all, it’s good that you have something to look forward to. Hang in there, okay? The best way to keep from falling behind is to keep track of when everything is due. Also, keep in close contact with your professors to avoid confusion. Turn in assignments early if possible. Then you can cruise by until you finally get to relax over break.

I’m so over being stuck inside the house during snow days. How do I keep myself from going crazy?

Enjoy the snow to its fullest–go outside and be active. You can always study and spend some quality time with your roommates. There are many conventional types of entertainment to enjoy, too.

Dust off the old board games from the closet or switch the PS2 back on. Better yet, do some actual dusting. That will help you burn off all that excess energy that you’ve built up from being stuck around the house. Get your spring cleaning done way early. It’s helpful to get things done in a more zen environment. There isn’t much of a downside to cleaning your house or going the extra mile to clean things you usually ignore. After all, you have all the time in the world.

I feel like I’m stuck in my major. Am I just wasting my money going on this way?

If you feel like you’re stuck in your major, maybe you should be exploring other options. If that’s a big or expensive leap for you, talk to people in your field that already have the job you want. Speaking to those professionals will help you get some perspective and direction on what you need to achieve your goals.

Highlanders Anonymous: Allergies, birthdays, and over-spending

Cat allergies can cause problems
Cat allergies can cause problems. Graphic from Mother Nature Network

“I have two cats, but my girlfriend is allergic. She says she won’t come over to my place unless I get rid of them. Should I give the cats up?”

Hopefully, your girlfriend isn’t seriously thinking that you’ll get rid of your pets. If your cats mean anything to you, don’t get rid of them. Relationships come and go, but a pet is a companion for their whole lifetime.

If you’re actually considering giving the cats up, maybe you should. Having a pet is a huge commitment. Deciding to keep the cats or get rid of them shouldn’t be taken lightly. You’re in charge of two lives here. Pets depend on their owners to do what’s best for them. If that means a new home, then give them up.

“How can I tell if I’m bisexual?”

Are you attracted to both sexes? If yes, then you’re considered bisexual by themost basic definition. That doesn’t mean you have to pursue– or stay away from–same-sex relationships. It’s up to you who you’ll pursue in the future. I advise you not to pressure yourself with a label. Love who you love!

“Everyone forgot it was my birthday last week. Are they bad friends?”

Friends get busy and forget things. Don’t take it personally. They’re sure to feel bad when they realize their slip-up. If you want to celebrate your birthday, make it happen. Throw a party and don’t dwell on these negative thoughts.

“When I go to the store, I always buy way too many things. Sometimes, I only go to buy bread, milk, and eggs, but I come out with ten other items. I really don’t have money to spend on things I don’t need. How can I stop getting so sidetracked?”

It sounds like you’re are trying out a method of stress relief called “retail therapy.” This can effectively distract you from the real problems at hand, but it doesn’t  solve them. In fact, it’s probably making things worse because now you’re also going broke. Instead of shopping, go talk to somebody about your problems, and make a stricter budget.

 

Highlanders Anonymous: Is this real life?

“It’s been really hard to get exercise this semester. How can I find the time?”

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“Physical exercise can relieve stress, so we’ve got to find time for it.” Photo by: Caroline Leggett

Exercise is very important, for both our physical and mental states.  Physical exercise can relieve stress, so it can be very important  to find time for it no matter how busy our schedules are. If you’re finding that it’s difficult to schedule a set time for exercise, you can always be a bit more spontaneous. Start by keeping exercise clothes on campus at all times. That way, whenever an opportunity arises, you will be ready. Leaving exercise clothes at home is one of the most common reasons to pass up a workout. Be prepared and I’m sure something will come up.

“What is the least embarrassing way to ask someone on a date?”

Do something special for this significant person and ask them when the time is right for you. Don’t push yourself before you’re ready, but don’t wait forever. Otherwise asking will become more and more difficult.

“How do I break it to my roommate that I don’t want to live with them anymore? I’d like to spare their feelings, but I’m so sick of them!”

If you’re really sick of someone, it’s only a matter of time before you say something you’ll regret. This whole process will come a lot easier if you’re more honest with yourself and your roommate. Until you’re able to get away, tell them if you are bothered by something they do so your problems don’t snowball into something crazy and dysfunctional. If those things aren’t working for you and you’ve made up your mind to get away , just tell them that you have found another living situation that will work better for you. It’s up to them whether they’re going to take this personally. There’s not much you can do about that.

“My room looks so boring. It makes me not want to have guests over. How can I make it nicer and more comfortable?”

Decoration is key here. Use mementos, art, and lighting to make your room more customized to suit your personality. A cheap way to do this is to buy string lights and posters of things you like. These items are found at most department stores. If you want to make your room more comfortable, consider setting up a sitting area . This could be a comfy reading chair, or just another place for guests to relax.

“Is this real life?”

It could be real life–or we could be in the Matrix.

Highlanders Anonymous: Go to sleep!

What do I do when everything is too much and I probably have to quit something?

First of all, don’t panic! We all get overwhelmed sometimes. Quitting may end up being the best option for you — but to cool off, how about to looking at all your options? Make a pros and cons list. What would be good about you quitting versus staying in your present situation? Only you can answer those questions. Answer them as honestly as possible and you’ll find out what works best for you. You might also want to consider what outside factors are pushing you to quit.

I’m really behind on my papers! I can’t seem to get organized. What do I do?

I’d say that you have a case of procrastination only gets worse with time. Try using an assignment book and plan out times when you can work on your papers. Make sure to keep those times open so that you don’t keep getting behind. There are many other tools to help you get organized. You always have the option of using your phone to set alerts and keep your calendar organized. There are also many free resources online that can help you with scheduling, as well as good old-fashioned spreadsheets. Remember that schedules aren’t always easy to enforce and it takes time to get used to them, so don’t veer off course by ignoring your schedule right at the start.

Napping-students
“It is hard to have a regular sleeping schedule while trying to find balance with all the craziness.”

My friends think I drink too much coffee and I’m trying to cut down, but I can’t even stay awake without it. How can I get more energy?

 To get more energy, you need more sleep! It’s hard to have a regular sleeping schedule while trying to find balance with all the craziness. There are few things that are going to keep you from falling apart this semester. A human body can go through some crazy things and still survive –but without sleep, you’re doomed. You won’t be able to focus as well in class or give your all on homework if you aren’t well rested. Don’t forget that a well-balanced diet will go a long way in keeping you energized.

 How do I make friends? I’m new in this town and school.

 The best strategy for being involved with others is becoming more involved in school life. There are many clubs, sports, and other organizations you can join to meet new people and have fun. Don’t forget that volunteering or getting a job will also introduce you to others. If you happened to miss the most recent club fair, don’t fret. You can still contact clubs and go to meetings through your RU Involved app on the school website.

 

Highlanders Anonymous: Diary, bills, and extra school

“I spend way too much time playing video games everyday. How do I stop getting so distracted and get my real work done?”

Procrastinating when you have a lot of work to do can become a real issue and it’s a pretty common one. Take steps to se that you focus enough to actually get your work done on time, even if you have to force yourself. I’d even go as far to say that you should unplug your game console during weekdays. That way, the temptation is gone.

“Is there a way to keep my roommates in check? They’re super forgetful and I’m afraid they’re going to leave the heat on every time they go out? The electricity bill is going to be too high this winter!”

If you are able to have a chat with your roommates about this, ask them to set reminders for themselves to prevent this from becoming a hindrance. You all could also agree on an attention-grabbing sign on the front door that reminds them to switch off the heat.

Remember that there’s no outright way to force people to change the way they are. If there is no peaceful way to stop them from leaving the heat on, tell them that they must pay a larger portion of the heating bill. The best solution would ideally be the one with a compromise though.

“Some people tell me that I wear too much makeup and it’s really annoying. What’s the best way to tell them off?”

Ignoring them might be a better way to go about that. However, if you have to encounter these people often, don’t feel like you have to justify yourself for wearing your makeup. Be honest and tell them that their behavior is bothering you.

“I have the option to spend another year at school, but it’s not required. I’m not sure if it’s work it or not. Should I stay or just get a job?”

Only go to school for another year if it will be worth it in the long run. Ask yourself an important question; “Will not going to school the extra year prevent me from achieving my goals?”

“Where should I hide my diary?”

diary
“Where should I hide my diary?”

Transfer it onto your computer and password-protect it. Then, dispose of the paper copy.

Highlanders Anonymous: Attendance grades and heartbreak

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“If your professor isn’t willing to help you out, then I suggest you attend class anyway.” Photo by: Sydney Crawson.

“My professor grades his students on attendance. I am constantly sick, and don’t have the time to be going to the doctor all of the time for a note to excuse me from class, but I also don’t want to fail. What do I do?”First, you really should go to the doctor at least once to try and get some medicine that will get rid of whatever you have for good. If you’ve already done that and are still getting sick, you really need to talk to your professor. Explain the whole situation to him or her, and suggest a person who regularly attends class to be your note-taker. If your professor isn’t willing to help you out, then I suggest you attend class anyway; it’s honestly the only other option. Wear pajamas to class and bring a lot of tea; do whatever you can to keep yourself comfortable. If you have to go, the least you can do is feel good.

“My boyfriend of five years just broke up with me, out of nowhere. I really thought that we were meant to be and I’m so heartbroken. I can’t focus on anything, and I’m so behind on my schoolwork. I don’t know what to do.”

I’d definitely suggest that you seek him out and talk to him. This breakup probably wasn’t out of nowhere for him, and finding out what happened might help you find some peace. On the other hand, maybe you had a big fight and his decision to break it off was spur-of-the-moment. In this case, he might be regretting breaking up with you. Seeing you now might help him to put in a final decision about whether or not he really wants your relationship to be over. In either case, you’ll continue feeling lost until you finalize what happened between you two.

“Last night I was intoxicated and wrote up my paper for my CORE class (Don’t worry, I’m 21). The only problem is that the paper was awful and I submitted it anyway. I still have time to rewrite it before the due-date, but I have no idea how to turn in the real paper now.”

I hope this situation has taught you about the problems of writing while intoxicated, so, don’t do it in the future. Since you still have time, go ahead and write up the second version of the paper, and try and resubmit it. Most drop-boxes let you submit things multiple times for cases like this. If that doesn’t work, email your professor and explain that you don’t want the paper you submitted to be graded, and that you have the replacement. He or she will most likely either change the drop-box settings to allow you to resubmit, or will accept the paper via email.

I hope I helped with your problems! If you have any other problems, comments, concerns, or questions, send them in to Highlanders Anonymous.

 

Highlanders Anonymous: Ugly feet

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“I’m sorry to say this, but some people have a “thing” against feet.”

“My boyfriend said that he hates my feet. That makes me feel ugly when he says that. How can I tell him that it bothers me?”

I’m sorry to say this, but some people have a “thing” against feet. They can’t stand the sight of them. It’s possible that this may be the case. That’s no excuse for a boyfriend to say that he hates something about you though. The point here is that you shouldn’t feel like you should hate a part of your body that is essential for you to live your daily life. Tell him that it hurts your self-esteem when he points out flaws. It’s just as hurtful as making fun of someone that has a large nose. That’s part of you and he needs to learn to love it or hush up about it.

“I like to listen to my music at full volume in my bedroom and now my roommates are mad at me. The thing is, they never told me I couldn’t. Do they even have a right to be mad?”

You have to remember that you’re learning to cohabitate with other people now. They all have their own goals to fulfill while they’re attending RU. Sometimes, your hobbies may annoy them. Give them a little leeway. They might have a midterm to study for and your loud music may be very disruptive to their progress. If your goal at RU is to party, that’s ok. That’s your choice. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re also respectful of other people that are sharing a space with you. If they’re mad, be the bigger person and turn the music down without causing a fight.

“Should I stay at RU and work over Thanksgiving break or should I go home to visit my parents?”

I think that depends on how badly you need money. Be realistic. In the long run, what will help you the most? For some, going home to clear your head and pig out is very relaxing. Those students can come back to school with a fresh state of mind and start studying more effectively. If you stay and work you’ll be less stressed due to your increased income. It’s up to you. Can you hang on until winter break?

 

Remember, if you all enjoyed this edition of Highlanders Anonymous and something is bugging you, submit a question!

Highlanders Anonymous: My roommates are pigs

“So I’ve been dating someone for a while now…and he won’t admit to anyone what we are but me. I really like him but I don’t think what he is doing is okay…what should I do?”

I would be wondering why he wouldn’t admit or tell anyone about the two of you being an item too. Although it might hurt your feelings that he won’t refer to you all as a couple in public, maybe he has a reason for it. If you’re in a work environment, people often keep their relationships on the “down low” to ensure privacy and not disrupt workplace relations.

However, if that’s not the case, it could be that he is just shy. Perhaps he’s afraid of changing the dynamics in your peer group. Don’t just sit watching and waiting for him to show you the answer you are looking for. Try and be straightforward with your feelings. I believe that the key to a healthy relationship is honesty. Also, if this is a deal breaker, make sure you get that across when you bring this issue up.

“I really want a dog but I can’t afford the fee of the pet deposit for my apartment. Any tips?”

I’m sorry, but I’m guessing that if you don’t have enough money for a pet deposit, you probably don’t have the money to keep a pet. There are numerous fees every month for a pet: food, flea prevention, vaccinations, etc. If you aren’t prepared to pay those when getting an animal, then don’t make the commitment!

“Help! My roommates are pigs! I have tried to bring it up but they end up mocking me and leaving. I don’t want to live like this anymore. What should I do?”

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“Help! My roommates are pigs!” Photo by: Caroline Leggett

Sometimes we’re stuck with roommates (and other not-so-friendly people) that won’t respect our standards of cleanliness. Even though it’s a pain, you’re going to have to just find your own way of coping. Try to make your room nice and spend more time in there or buy your own things so you won’t have to argue over people using the last clean spoon.

Hey, I’m pretty shy and I have been having trouble making friends in class. Are there any good methods on how to start a conversation without being too awkward? Should I just join a club or something?

I would say that most new interactions are going to be a little awkward, so brace yourself. I think that the best “method” to start a conversation is to just bring up a topic that’s relatable and take a seat with someone. That way you have time to talk and get to know one another. Joining a club is like being in a new little family. I definitely recommend that. You can make all sorts of great connections in a club.

That’s all for this week, folks. Don’t forget to submit your questions to Highlanders Anonymous too.

Highlanders Anonymous: He never texts me back

“What should I do if a boy says he likes me, but never texts me back and only does when I get mad?”

First of all, it could be that texting isn’t really his forté, although it’s unlikely. When you’re interested in somebody and they lead you to believe that they are too, things may get very frustrating. This is because you’ve built this person up to be someone in your mind that you are deserving of. That’s a good thing though. You want to set some standard for the people that you go out with.

However, you must know that not everyone is going to live up to your predetermined set of expectations. If they can’t do that, don’t wait up for them. In the end, you’ll only end up hurting yourself. Make sure you share your feelings with him before you go and write him off though. For example: If you don’t text me back, then it gives me the impression that you’re not interested. See what he has to say about that.

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“If you don’t text me back, then it gives me the impression that you’re not interested. See what he has to say about that.” Photo of: Jamie Zander. Photo by: Caroline Leggett.

“I have a friend who’s really similar to me and we have the same ambitions, so it’s really fun to work with her. Sometimes I feel like we compete too much. It gets to the point where we don’t feel like friends anymore. What do I do?”

It sounds to me like you might need to take a step back here and analyze your friendship. Why did you decide to be friends in the first place? If you feel that you still want to be friends after you answer that question, go outside of this work environment. Try doing something that friends do, where you can just relate to one another and do something fun. If that doesn’t go, maybe you all just don’t get along so well anymore. People change sometimes and can’t remain friends.

“What’s your opinion on the “Basic Bitch”? Some people think it’s ok, but others get really mad.”

I think that it’s a negative thing to call anyone a bitch in any context. The phrase “Basic Bitch” seems a little passive aggressive. If you don’t know your audience, it could be deemed offensive, so be careful when discussing it.

 

Thanks for all of the submissions, everyone. Good luck!

If you or someone you know has a problem, submit a question to Highlanders Anonymous.