Everything you need to know

Dear Joe,

I consider myself a hard worker. I spend hours on homework, take time to study, and even do extra practice problems that aren’t even graded. The problem is, I still seem to bomb on everything. Whatever happened to getting results when you work at something? This school is wonderful at punishing failure, but when I fail everything, it just becomes constant punishment. How do I get out of this rut?

—Fed up (with a capital F)

Dear Fed up,

First off, take a deep breath. Now exhale. I’m sure you’re feeling better already.

Now, it might make you feel better to know that everyone here has met failure. I don’t necessarily mean actually getting an F, but having results that were way below expectations. I remember that first time I bombed a test. I couldn’t believe it. After a week of shock, I got over it. You will too. Screwing up allows us to pick up the pieces and rearrange them into something better than before. The biggest nightmare would be another four years of mind-numbing work that doesn’t get you anywhere.

Maybe the best advice I can give you for your troubles is to keep plugging away. Don’t get into the habit of making excuses for your failures. When you acknowledge that you’re responsible, it’s the first step toward future success. If you keep at it, you’ll see results.

But above all things, stay away from World of Warcraft. I’ve seen too many friends lose their academic — and social — lives to this abomination.

Hang in there,

Dear Joe,

Last week, after I came home from a long day of work, I found a tie on my door. I was sexiled! That night was spent on the couch in my floor’s lounge. Needless to say, it was uncomfortable. Is there any way I can prepare for the next time this happens?

—Sleepless in Skibo

Dear Sleepless,

Becoming a refugee of Love Island is a rite of passage for any college student. While it may not be a pleasant one, at least you’ll have stories to tell. But honestly, does it have to be such an unpleasant experience?

Maybe not. I think that there are plenty of options to make your night at least a little better than becoming lounge trash. First off, if you’re a dorm dweller, I’m sure another room has a sleeping bag, a pillow, or maybe even some floor space to spare. And if you ask kindly enough, maybe next time your roommate will be willing to leave some sleeping materials along with that tie of his. If all else fails, and your roommate is still going at it, see if you can have someone hold an extra set of blankets/pillows/etc.

Whatever you decide to do, just don’t open the door! A Pandora’s Box of awkwardness will follow, and Carnegie Mellon already has a healthy supply of that.

Rest easy,