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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Eliana’s Advice: Help with odors

Published: January 17, 2015
Section: Opinions

Dear Eliana,
When I got back to my room after the break, I discovered an unsettling smell. Imagine the corresponding smell to an absolutely terrible audition, and that’s what I have to try to sleep in. I figured I left some food somewhere that had gone bad, but after looking everywhere in my room, I couldn’t find anything responsible for the odor. I don’t know what else to do. I’ve doused my room in Febreze and cleaned everything, but the room just unbearably stinks. I’m sure I’ll eventually get used to it, but there has to be a reason behind the smell that should be fixed, but I’m a little embarrassed about talking to my CA. Should I ignore the smell or tell the whole world about my odor problem?

Dear Stinky,
First, let me say that I am sorry to hear about your odor issue. There could be multiple reasons for the smell: Maybe someone next door to you is the source, or your room has always smelled, and you got used to it, until you went away for break. At this point, if you can’t find something in your room that’s causing the smell, you should just talk your CA about it. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It could be something wrong with the building or pipes, so you could be doing everyone a favor. In the meantime I suppose you should keep up with your Febreze routine.

Dear Eliana,
I’m shopping a lot of classes right now—like 10—since it is the shopping period. I don’t have any actual requirements left to fill, so I just sort of want to take stuff that’s interesting to me. But my issue is that with all these classes to shop, I’ve found myself running all over campus to try to get to every class like it’s Disney World. And what winds up happening is that I get lost trying to find the classroom or am just so tired from the trek that I can’t pay attention in the class. Now I know when I make my final decisions on what classes to take, it’ll be a lot easier to get between classes. But I’m not able to learn anything about these classes since I’m so out-of-breath (and out-of-shape) when in the classroom, so I don’t know if they’re actually good or not. Is there anyway I can get the basics of a class without having to get to the classroom? Or do I just have to continue running around in circles?

Dear Running,
The shopping period can be a stressful time. All the classes sound so interesting and you have to eventually limit yourself four or five. If you’re having trouble getting from class to class, there are some other options. You could try just going to a couple of classes a day and try different ones each day. If you have friends in any of the classes you could also ask them about the classes. However, if neither of those options sounds appealing, you might have to start weeding out classes now based on other factors. Also, if you can hold out a little longer, it will probably get easier over the next few days as you learn where stuff is and get into a routine. You might just have to get creative.

Dear Eliana,
I met this girl on Tinder when I was home over break, but we went our separate ways when I had to head back to school. Now I’m worried that she’s just going to swipe right for some other guy and completely forget about me. I have her phone number, so maybe I could try to strike up a conversation over text, but I don’t want to bother her, especially if I don’t really know what she’s been up to. Should I just take a chance and see if she responds? I’d really like to get to know her, but I don’t want to scare her away, though.

Dear Tinderino,
It’s sweet that you’re giving this girl her space, but that doesn’t mean you have to ignore her. If things were going well, she’ll be happy to hear from you. She’s probably going through the same dilemma, and it could be helpful for you to make the first move. You don’t have to text her constantly, but remind her that you’re out there and say hi. She is more likely to find another guy if you don’t contact her at all. Definitely text her, but keep it light until you have a better feel about her feelings toward you.

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