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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Eliana’s Advice

Published: April 25, 2014
Section: Opinions

Dear Eliana,
I thought that by living in an apartment with a kitchen, I would be able to have better control over my diet. Instead of having to rely on what’s being served at Sherman or Usdan, I could just cook my own food. Little did I know that I actually had to know how to cook in order to eat well. So I’ve been eating a lot of donuts recently. They’re just too good, and I happen to be around Dunkin’ a lot for some reason. How do I hold myself from packing an artery every morning and eating a donut? How do I go about trying to teach myself how to cook?

Dear Jelly-Filled,
I understand the temptation that is donuts. And cooking requires effort. But all is not lost; there are some ways to learn to cook that are completely doable. One option is to take a cooking class. Do it with a friend or housemate so that you know someone there and can have more fun. It’s a way to bond and learn the basics of cooking and maybe even some good recipes. Another way is to ask someone you know to teach you for free. Maybe your mom can hand down some secret family recipes for you to use. One last option is to buy a cookbook and sit down and teach yourself. The Internet can teach you to do anything. It’s actually quite amazing. Once you just get down to it and learn to cook, hopefully, you’ll be less tempted to buy the unhealthy stuff at Dunkin’. If you are still having trouble resisting, try to wean yourself off of it. Try limiting yourself to one donut a week and then work your way down from there.

A while back my long-term SO and I broke up. I turned to my friend for help and he was very supportive. After a month or so, my SO and I patched things up and got back together, though there was a long hazy period of on/off dating. My friend didn’t like this at all and said I was being an idiot for wanting to get back together with my SO. This saddens me greatly but I realize I cannot change the way he feels about the situation. Not only does losing such a close friend hurt but it also hurts knowing that he regards me so negatively. How do I go about mending this relationship while maintaining my relationship with my girlfriend?

Dear Conflicted,
That is a sticky situation indeed. Ideally your friend would be OK with you getting back together with your significant other, but that does not seem to be the case. There are a few ways this could go. First, you could choose your girlfriend. You would lose your friend but keep someone else you care about. On the other hand, you could listen to your friend and break up with your girlfriend again. Then you would have your friend, and he wouldn’t look down at you, but you would not have a girlfriend. Another way this could go is that you could talk to your friend. Listen to his concerns about getting back together with this girl, and then tell him your side and all the reasons you want to be with her. Hopefully, you can respectfully see the other person’s point of view and come to an agreement, where you guys can still be friends. Maybe he doesn’t have to hang out with your girlfriend and be best friends with her also, but at least the two of you can have a friendship where you both respect each other’s decisions.

Dear Eliana,
My long-term boyfriend and I have been living together for a few months now, and it’s going pretty well, but not so well with my father. He is really religious and really doesn’t approve that I live with my boyfriend. My father is paying for my tuition as well as housing, so I want to respect his thoughts, but I want to maintain my independence. I really enjoy my living situation and want to let my father know that I’m not going to change because he doesn’t like it, so how do I get him to see it from my side? Or at least how I do let it not bother me?
-Daddy’s Little Girl

Dear Daddy’s Little Girl,
The best thing for you and your father is to communicate and to try and find a compromise. If your dad really doesn’t approve of you and your boyfriend living together, then it’s unlikely you’ll change his mind. However, you could explain to him what you like about your living situation, such as how you can split the rent with someone, and you like to spend the time with your boyfriend, and how serious your relationship with him is. Just tell him how you feel, and listen to how he feels. He probably has valid reasons to prefer you don’t live with your boyfriend yet. You both need to try to understand each other’s views. A compromise that could work is that you pay some of your own tuition and housing. That way, you are more independent, but you still get the help from your dad. It might be hard, but if your independence and ability to live with your boyfriend is important to you, then it will be worth the effort.

Dear Eliana,
One of the ways I keep myself busy is with an on-campus job. The pay is fine and it isn’t too stressful, except when my boss keeps assigning me work to do even at times when I’m off-shift. She’s my boss, so I don’t want to just turn her down for fear of my employment, but I’m a student first. Sometimes the work she wants me to do really gets in the way of my classes and stresses me out, and I can’t handle all of it. I’m fine with the amount of work during my shift, but this extra work puts me over the edge. How do I approach my boss about this?

Dear Over-encumbered,
Good for you for getting a job! I understand that it can be a lot to balance work and school. One option is to just get a different job that is less cumbersome, but that it a very drastic measure. If you are comfortable with it, confront your boss politely. Just tell her that you have a lot of schoolwork, and it would be really helpful if she could give you work during the hours you are there and being paid. If she understands, she should get that you have other priorities besides work. It is unlikely she will fire you for telling the truth.

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