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Eliana’s Advice: How to deal with professor, roommates and boyfriends

Published: March 21, 2014
Section: Opinions

I was trying to email my dad a question about my chemistry class, since he is a professional chemist at a pharmaceutical firm and has been able to help me out in the past. After posing a rather boring question about covalent bonds, I included a bit about how annoying my professor is, how unfair his grading policies are and some pretty mean things about what I think he does after class. In my ever-so-fortunate luck, as I was typing in my dad’s email, I accidentally auto-filled my professor’s email instead. The very professor I was mocking in the email. Completely embarrassed about the situation, I haven’t been to class in the past few days. My professor answered my question about bonds, but didn’t mention anything about my theories on his love life. Should I even bother going to the class anymore, because I’m sure he’s probably going to fail me because of what I said? If I do decide to stay in the class, how should I talk to my professor about this? Or should I act like it never happened?
-Embarrassed and Ashamed

Dear Embarrassed and Ashamed,
Oh my, that is quite a pickle. I completely understand the urge to release some steam by theorizing about professors’ love lives. First things first, I would start going to class again. Missing lectures is not going to help with your concerns about failing the class. If it’s a big lecture, I wouldn’t be too worried. There are a lot of students to blend in with, and if you’re still concerned, just sit in the back and keep a low profile. Then, you need to apologize and get past it. Your professor seems to have decided to ignore your comments and go on with his life, so he might be somewhat understanding and possibly won’t fail you for them. I would go to him, or at least send him an email explaining your mistake, and say sorry. You could just pretend it didn’t happen, but then you won’t know where you stand or what to expect. Hopefully, your professor knows how to be professional and not take it too personally. Own up to your mistake and be brave. Everything should turn out fine.

Over the course of the year living in a forced, or should I say cramped, triple, I’ve had to withstand being so close to other people. While I’ve been able to endure so far, and have a lot of fun sometimes, I’ve reached my breaking point. My two other roommates are driving me crazy. One of them eats all the food my mom makes me when I go home for break, as well as the Pop-Tarts that I eat for breakfast, without really asking. We all said at the beginning of the year that “what’s mine is yours,” but that doesn’t include my mom’s Rice Krispie treats. My other roommate is a lot more considerate, but still gets on my nerves when she brings home some random guy, which happens a lot. I walk in to the room late one night, and she’s asleep with someone I’ve never met, and I feel awkward with a strange man in my room when I want to change and go to bed. How do I talk to my roommates about these problems I’m having, and how does it not come across bad if I’ve appeased these practices all year so far?
-Awkward and Hungry

Dear Awkward and Hungry,
Good job keeping it together this long! It’s totally normal to be annoyed at people after living in confined spaces for long periods of time. You really just need to sit down with your roommates and tell them what’s going on. With the food, just tell her you’re willing to share, but you would prefer if she asked first. With the roommate who brings home random dudes, tell her that it makes you uncomfortable and you would prefer that if she feels the need to spend a night with a guy that she does it at his place. I think your main problem here is communication. Just remind them that you all need to be respectful of each other’s space and belongings.

I really like my boyfriend, and I love to spend time with him whenever I can, and I am really enjoying living with him this semester. But some little things get in the way of the overall good times. First of all, he never washes the dishes. I don’t know if he’s lazy or he just has some antiquated and out-of-date views of domestic roles, but I would really appreciate it if he could help keep the apartment clean. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who cares. Also, we live in Grad this year and are looking for off-campus housing next year, but my boyfriend doesn’t want to be bothered looking for an apartment. He thinks things will work themselves out. Meanwhile, I’m the one putting in all the work looking at places, getting prices and talking to landlords now. He can be inconsiderate sometimes, but I don’t even want to think about breaking up with him over such trivial things. How do I talk to him about this and get him to understand my point of view?
-Sick of His Habits

Dear Sick of His Habits,
That sounds pretty frustrating. All I can really suggest is telling him what you told me. It does not sound like you need to break up with this guy if you really care about him and enjoy being with him. You just need to help him get into some better habits. Go to him, and say that you wish he would help out a bit more because you feel as if you are doing all the work for both of you and he is not contributing. Don’t be angry or nag about it, but just calmly say that you want to work on this with him. There is nothing wrong with asking for help from the person who is supposed to be your partner. You two should be fine.

Dear Readers, If you can’t already tell, this is an advice column and I’m here to help you with any questions that you might have! If you want more exciting questions, send them in and I will do my best to answer them. Whether it’s relationships, social problems or just life in general—send them here. I can’t wait to start hearing about everyone’s problems (how often do you hear people say that? Oh yeah, never). Send questions to
Thanks! -Eliana