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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Eliana’s Advice: Vexing pranks, frustrating mornings and necessary breakups

Published: November 21, 2014
Section: Opinions

Dear Eliana,
I let my friends borrow my laptop every now and again when we’re in the library together. Sometimes, when I’m not paying attention, they head over to Facebook and start playing around with my statuses and profile pics. I find it a lot easier to just leave myself logged into Facebook on my computer instead of having to log in every time, and I don’t want to deny my friends my computer when they need it. I’ve told them multiple times to stop, but they enjoy ticking me off and seeing me get upset. I don’t think they’re taking me all that seriously, and it’s really annoying to see your profile picture changed to Charles Manson. How do I get my friends to take me seriously?

Dear Bothered,
I’m sure your friends’ pranking comes from a loving place, but you are right to be annoyed at them. If they enjoy seeing you ticked off, then don’t give them that opportunity. Don’t get emotional or angry; just calmly tell them that if they want to keep the privilege of using your computer, they need to leave your Facebook alone. It’s your computer, and you should be able to stay logged in if that’s what you want. I suppose you could come to the agreement that they can change something on your Facebook once a month, but that’s probably not ideal. If they can’t treat your stuff nicely, then you have no obligation to let them use it. Also, the hacking thing gets old. Tell them to get more creative with their tomfoolery.

Dear Eliana,
I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, and it’s not that I’m sleeping late. Instead, I don’t think I’m getting enough sleep at all. As the semester winds down, I’ve been staying up late studying and getting work done. I don’t mind getting to bed between 1 or 2, but to then wake up at 7 when my first class isn’t until 11 on most days is just frustrating. And once I wake up, I just can’t fall back asleep. I think I might have insomnia. Is there anyway I can get myself to fall back asleep for a few extra hours in the morning?

Dear Groggy,
Sleep is wonderful, and you should get to do it more. Part of your problem might be your inconsistent bedtime. My first suggestion would be to get on a somewhat regular schedule. I know better than anyone how hard that can be, especially in college, but if you have a specific timeframe for when you need to go to bed by, it might help your body know when it can sleep so that you don’t wake up as often. I also wouldn’t have any caffeine late in the day. Additionally, when you do wake up absurdly early, read or do work. Do something that can make you tired again and put you back to sleep or just do something productive. Maybe you can start working out in the mornings or even just doing stretches. You might as well get use out of this time if nothing puts you back to sleep. Good luck and, hopefully, good night!

Dear Eliana,
I have this large paper due at the end of the semester instead of having a written final. The due date for it is actually the last day of the final exam period, and since I have no other commitments during that time, I thought I could head home for the winter break a little early. However, my friends told me that if I do that and try to write the paper at home, I will never get it done since I’ll be out of the mindset to do any sort of schoolwork once I’m back in my own bed. I feel like that’s ludicrous and that it won’t be a problem, but at the same time, I have doubts with myself. I worry about being able to find solitude to get my work done at home and also that I might run into some sort of difficulty that could only be solved by being on campus. Should I head home early, or stick out the exam period here and make sure I get my work done before I start wearing my pajamas until 3 in the afternoon?
–Final Frustration

Dear Final Frustration,
Your lack of finals seems to be a blessing and a curse. It can definitely be hard to do work for school when you are at home in vacation mode. I can’t really tell you what is best for you personally—you know yourself better than I know you. If you honestly think that you can get work done at home, then by all means, go for it. I can, however, give you an alternate suggestion so you don’t have to choose one thing or the other. I’m a fan of compromises. Stay for only the first few days of finals week, and finish the paper early so you have time to work in the school environment, but still get to go home early and enjoy the break. Choose wisely, my friend.

Dear Eliana,
A friend of mine is having some trouble with her boyfriend. They’ve been dating a few months, but it seems like she’s grown tired of him as the honeymoon period has ended. She thinks she wants to move on, but worries about upsetting him and creating an awkward situation since she’s heard that he’s a bad breaker-upper. Apparently he posts passive-aggressive statuses and tries his hardest to make his ex’s life miserable. How do I convince her that it’s for the best to just rip off the Band-Aid and end the relationship quickly? She’s just hesitant to actually make any sort of change but I think she’s making a big mistake dragging this out.

Dear Chummy,
Wow, sounds like you’re giving your friend such good advice that I’m becoming obsolete. I agree with you. There is no reason to stay in a relationship once one person knows that she’s ready to end it. If she breaks up with him, it will be better for both of them. Tell your friend that if she’s tired of him, the courteous thing to do is break up with him. It might suck at first, like all breakups do, but the longer she waits, the worse it will be. Even if this guy has a history of dealing badly with breakups, he might be just as ready to end the relationship as your friend is. Talk to your friend again, and ask her what she is really gaining from remaining in this relationship. Hopefully, she will realize that it needs to end. If she still doesn’t get it, tell her Eliana said so.

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. Send questions to