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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Eliana’s Advice: In touch and in the game

Published: October 18, 2013
Section: Opinions

Dear Eliana,

Frankly, my roommates are making my room smell horrible. The disgusting rank body odor and dirty laundry is driving me insane. The problem is amplified by the fact that I sleep on a lifted bunk, and the smell rises to the top of the room, making it difficult for me to fall asleep. I don’t know what or who is causing the problem. How can I approach my roommates about the smell without it seeming like I’m insulting them?

– Burning Nose Hairs

Dear Burning Nose Hairs,

That sounds like a rather unfortunate situation. However, it is not necessary to go up to your roommates and say, “Someone stinks. Who is it?” There are gentler ways of addressing your problem. My suggestion would be that you tell your roommates in a nice way, something along the lines of, “Hey, our room is becoming a little bit dirtier than I would like, and it would be great if we could all contribute to keeping ourselves and our stuff clean.” If they really don’t get the message or if you don’t like direct confrontation, you could ask your CA to talk to them about the fact that with three people living together, it does not always smell like roses. In the meantime, perhaps invest in some Febreeze or other odor eliminator. Hope this helps!


Dear Eliana,

I was at a party last weekend, and I realized that many relationships seem to start out as random hook-ups. I am not the kind of person who is comfortable meeting people that way. It doesn’t seem like the best foundation for a relationship. How can I meet someone and build a solid relationship in a more traditional way?


Dear Lonely,

If it makes you feel any better, there are other people like you who don’t just want a random one-night stand. You might not find them at parties, but there are plenty of other places you might find someone looking for the same foundation as yourself. One place is one of the numerous clubs that Brandeis offers. You can meet people with common interests so that you can build a relationship with something other than alcohol. If you just keep an eye out and talk to people, you can snag yourself someone nice. Good luck!


Dear Eliana,

I’m from California, and winter does not exist so much there. I am not prepared for the winter at all. Right now a majority of my closet consists of very light clothing, and I am already starting to feel cold. How can I stylishly and cheaply prepare for winter?

-About to be Really Cold

Dear About to be Really Cold,

There are a few things that are essential for winter in a place that actually has it: a coat, sweaters, a hat, a scarf, thick socks and warm boots. I would also suggest wearing jeans or long pants whenever possible, as shorts expose more skin than is smart. Most of the popular stores sell winter clothes, so you just need to look. A good winter coat will not always be super cheap, but it is worth investing in, especially if you plan on being here for the next few years. I am not really a fashion expert, so I would just say to get items that are along the lines of what you typically wear. I also do not really know how the prices of stores compare to one another off the top of my head, so I will leave you to solve that puzzle yourself by using the Internet. Also, tons of layering helps.


Dear Eliana,

Parent’s weekend is coming soon, and I was talking to my parents about it when I realized that I barely know what’s going on with my family. Now that I am not directly seeing them every day, I feel I am falling out of touch with my family back home. How do I maintain a connection to my family life while I am away in college?

-Out of Touch

Dear Out of Touch,

It can be hard to stay involved with your family when you’re living away from them. It’s especially hard if they live somewhere that’s more than a few hours’ drive away. However, it is fortunate that we live in a very technological time. Facebook, email and cell phones all make it very easy to stay in touch. You don’t have to be there every second to know what’s going on with your family. It could also help to have designated times that you will Skype with your family or talk to them in some form. If you make time to communicate, it won’t be too hard to stay connected.
That being said, it could also be good for you to learn how to be more independent. You are probably going to be living away from your family for a while. Don’t ignore your family, but use this as an opportunity to become your own person outside of the family. Try to find a balance.