Everything you need to know

Dear Gretel,

My new roommate is really freaking me out! The room is such a mess. Her version of unpacking was just throwing everything around the room. Worse, she’s started eating my food without my permission, and the room is starting to smell already. I want to start off the year right, and I don’t want to be mean to her or anything, but I don’t want to stay in the room. She always has friends over whenever I just want to be alone or sleep, and I woke up the other night and this random guy was in the bed with her! I’m trying not to be a prude, but it really made me uncomfortable. It’s only the second week and already I don’t like living in this room. HELP!

—Trapped in the Closet


It’s always hard when the person you live with turns out to be the roommate from hell. This person could have potentially been your new best friend, but all you can do is hope to get through the year without suffocating them while they sleep (or accidentally dropping a kitchen knife on them, electrocuting them in the shower, or poisoning their food... Yes, I’ve thought about this). The most important thing to do is communicate with them! It doesn’t matter if you want to be nice, or if your roommate is socially awkward, or if you just avoid confrontation like the plague, nothing will change if your roommate doesn’t know what’s wrong. Have you told her the messiness bothers you? You don’t have to yell, but you should nicely approach and tell her what’s wrong. Chances are she’ll understand, and you two can work something out. Stick to what you both agree on, and the rest of the year should be just peachy. Whatever you do, don’t walk behind her spraying everything she has touched (including that boy) with Lysol.

Live in a house made of candy like me!


Dear Hansel,

Every year I come back to Pittsburgh and this place seems so gloomy! All I can think of is how I’m going to get tons of work in the coming year, how there’s nothing to do in Pittsburgh and the weather sucks. I want to have a social life but a lot of the time it just seems so lame that all I want to do is stay in my room and chat on the computer. It’s so depressing just thinking about it, and I want to make more friends this year rather than be holed up all winter. The school year hasn’t even started yet and already I’m dreading finals and the cold winter! Help!

—Down in the Dumps

Dear Donny Downer,

Stop being such a worrywart! Of course Pittsburgh seems dull if all you do is stay inside your room! Get up, and go out and meet new people! You can’t change the weather, or how much work you’re going to get, but you can change what you do with your free time. Making more friends is a great way to help make your experience at Carnegie Mellon better. Since it’s the beginning of the year, it’s the perfect time to get out and meet new people. Join a student organization, and you can bond with people who have the same interests as you, or just grab a friend and go out to parties! New school year, new people! Having more friends and more things to do will definitely make the winters pass by faster, and who knows? Maybe you’ll even meet a special someone (wink, wink)?