1. Dear Irene,
How do I tell my roommate to start picking up after herself. I feel like I made the mistake of being nice one too many times and now it’s expected of me. She’ll even go and tell me that she put her plate in the sink for me to wash. I feel like if I don’t say anything to her soon that it may lead to a larger confrontation and I don’t want that. I also don’t want our relationship to be weird afterwards. Please help.
- Frustrated Room-mate
I understand it can be difficult living with someone who doesn’t share your mindset of cleanliness and the importance of a clean home, but it sounds like the problem is more than your roommate not cleaning up after herself. Your roommate is crossing the line of decency and you might feel like you’re being disrespected in your own home. After all, you’ve stated she’s putting dishes in the sink and expecting you to wash them. I know you don’t want the relationship to become awkward or further strained, but, unfortunately, the entire situation is already awkward and strained. You’re uncomfortable in your own home at the expense of making someone else feel comfortable. I encourage you to find your chalk or borrow mine. Draw the line and do it today. Set your boundaries and do not allow them to be crossed any longer. Let your roommate know that the state of the home from a cleanliness and mental health perspective has become quite bothersome. Tell your roommate that you will no longer clean up her mess and if it continues, other living arrangements will be made. I would also suggest that you be very specific when addressing this issue so there will be no misunderstanding. If there has been a habit of leaving dirty dishes in the sink, tell her you will no longer wash her dishes. If it’s a dirty clothes problem, tell her that you will no longer pick up her dirty clothes or do her laundry. If she’s nasty in the bathroom then it’s a deal breaker. You don’t live with someone that keeps a nasty bathroom. No ma’am. Bye Felicia.
2. Hi Irene,
Do you have any advice for someone who is graduating this year and still doesn't know what to do with the degree they are about to get because they feel as if they are not good or experienced enough as the graduating class they are in and feels like they are going crazy and about to lose it.
Dear Jag Senior,
I encourage you to sit down and take a long breath. Calm down. You should take this time to reflect and recall all the reasons that you chose your major. It might have been an easy choice. It might have been the sensible choice. It might have been what someone thought you would be good at. Regardless, you pursued the interest and prevailed. What you have accomplished is no easy task and it’s perfectly fine to feel a unsure and anxious. After all, you’re taking a big step and short walk across a very important stage. Embrace your new season and be fearless. You may not feel like you’re experienced enough or have obtained all the knowledge needed for your new journey, but most employers hiring new college graduates are well aware of that learning curve. Remember, they are hiring you because you have proven to be someone that can think critically, overcome challenges, complete tasks in a timely manner, handle projects and finish what you’ve started. Be cool, man. Don’t go crazy. You’ve come too far. Hold your head up. Be confident in the things that you do know and never let them see you sweat. Remember, Superman was really Clarke Kent but he didn’t go around telling people that shit. You got this.
3. Dear Irene,
I don't think I'm very happy with myself because over the course of the past three weeks Ive been spending all of my time inside my dorm. The only times I ever leave are when I'm hungry or when I have class. I feel embarrassed to leave my dorm and it feels like anything based in a public setting will give me anxiety. Im not sure if its because I am unhappy with myself or because I'm worried about what other people will think of me. How do change this because i want to eat outside in public without feeling like people are judging me for the way I open my bag or chew my food? I don't want to feel nervous when I wait in line at the bookstore or when I'm in a room with people I dont know. I hate that feeling.
Dear Anxiety Sucks,
The fact that you’re writing me this letter tells me a lot about you. You care about the impression you make and how others perceive you. I want to personally thank you for possessing a quality that is becoming harder to find in this generation, empathy. You have the ability to understand and feel for others. Don’t be ashamed of such a gift. It’s a treasure. You’re mindful of how loudly you eat and conduct yourself during meals because you’re a respectful person. Hell, with all this twerking going on and loud talking I would stay in my room too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert. If you truly want to change and practice being a bit more outgoing, I would suggest that you find a group of like minded people that share your common interest. They will understand you far better than anyone who has ever made you feel “different” or as if you don’t fit in. True friends don’t care about the way you eat because they don’t want to see you hungry. True friends want to hang out with you because you genuinely care about how they feel. At the end of the day it’s not about the public, it’s how you conduct yourself in public. Send me a follow up email and we’ll have lunch. My treat.