Everything you need to know

Dear Joe,

Thanksgiving is coming right around the corner. This is my first year away from home, and it’s going to be hard having turkey without my family. Is there any way to bring some Thanksgiving cheer to Carnegie Mellon?

—Tartaned and Feathered

Dear Feathered,

As an honest man, I’ll say immediately that Thanksgiving dinner is best eaten with relatives. So let’s talk turkey. Out in the Pittsburgh wilderness, it may seem like Thanksgiving is a passing fad only celebrated by the elderly and cranberry aficionados. Many foreign students reasonably feel no connection to the holiday, and others are too busy to take time out for a dinner of such magnitude. Also, I’m sure many of your local friends are heading home, so even if you wanted a Thanksgiving dinner, your company might be sparse.

But you must ignore the odds, Feathered. Thanksgiving, not surprisingly, is a time to give thanks. This means to your friends, and even to yourself. Take it upon yourself to set up a Thanksgiving dinner, regardless of how insignificant it may seem to others. Chances are you’ll be surprised. If you cook the bird, homesick students will come.

You’ve known all along, however, that the event isn’t about the food. Go around the table and ask people what they’re thankful for. For instance, I’m thankful that La Prima knows how to make good espresso, and that everybody has finally shut up about the election. I’m sure you can find better things to be thankful about.

—With grace,

Dear Joe,

Senior slide is starting to kick in. I’m usually extremely productive, but I seem to spend all my time procrastinating, waiting for the day when I can get out of here. How can I finish strongly this semester?

—Sick with Senioritis

Dear Sick,

I can relate. My senioritis is so advanced that it took all the effort I have to crank out this article. Hour lectures seem to last for weeks. Homework assignments feel like they should be illegal under the Geneva Convention. In short, everything is harder, even though we have enough experience that everything should be easier.

Whatever causes this malady, there’s one thing that I can suggest to combat it. Just keep plugging away at it. They call it a senior slide for a reason. Once you start sliding, it’s hard to stop. Try to cure this disease before it’s too late. If this means planning weekly study hours or even working on the weekends, then so be it. You’ve worked hard up to this point. It would be a shame to throw it all away just because you don’t feel like doing anything.

If there’s anything to work toward, it’s post-college laziness. I’ve heard from several sources that the work after Carnegie Mellon is a breeze comparatively. I’ve even heard that some jobs don’t require you to take work home. So look forward to brighter, lazier days ahead. Just don’t do it here. It doesn’t work, regardless of your year.

—With a D (for diploma),