Advice for awkward people

Dear Patrick,

It’s the first day of class, and I want to make a good impression on all my friends and these new people. How do I prove to everyone I became totally cool over the summer and am not the same dorky dweeb I was at the end of spring?

Goals Of This Time Approaches: Become Excellently Fantastic, Require Encores, Seriously Hawt


The best way to show the masses you have reinvented yourself is to change your look in numerous drastic ways. If you had hair in the spring, shave it all off. Grow a beard (even if it’s patchy), and if you can make designs with it you absolutely should. Change up your wardrobe: start wearing vests, get new shirts with sassy phrases or topical or ironic logos on them, put on as many accessories as your body can support, and be sure to include a hat. I recommend top hats, but the Carnegie Mellon go-to is the fedora.

You should not, under any circumstances, ignore your craving for self-definition and instead try to be the best person you can be. You should not try to hold engaging conversations to get to know someone better. And you should absolutely not embrace yourself for who you are.

Embrace the quirky side,
Ryan “Definitely Patrick Hoskins” Black

Dear “Patrick,”

I thought you graduated? How is it that this column is still running? ARE YOU REALLY PATRICK??

Incredulously Nagging, Very Attentive Seeker In/Of Nearly Official Freelance Thespians, Has EveryBody Overtly Digging, Yet Sure Nihilistic Aliens Trample Creative Humans, Earning Required Supplies


I can assure you that, though the original author of this column is no longer writing it, good hands have picked it up and will continue this great piece of periodical advisement for at least a while. I cannot promise a perfect transition, and I cannot promise the same quality or type of responses Patrick gave, but I will attempt to keep the spirit of Advice going.

I’m definitely not an alien stealing Patrick’s literary body in preparation for a hostile takeover in the coming months. Definitely not.

You’ll be the first to go,
Ryan “Apparently Not Patrick Hoskins” Black