You’ve got issues: Breakfast at Tombs

October 11, 2012

Dear Emlyn,

I’m a sophomore and it’s housing selection time for me. I live in Southwest Quad with one of my friends from freshman year, but this semester we haven’t been that close and even disagree pretty frequently. I don’t want to live with him next year, but I don’t really know how to break the news. Advice?

-Gloomy Roomie

Dear Roomie,

I think the worst thing you could do would be to say, “I don’t want to live with you, sorry, dude,” because that’s a little too blunt. It stings. You do, after all, have more than a semester left with this guy, so you want to deliver the news in as kind a way as possible so that you don’t wake up covered in honey or shaving cream,  à la The Parent Trap.

Instead, consider your options and get an alternative living situation lined up as quickly as possible. Ideally, choose someone laid-back, busy or involved on campus (so they’re not ALWAYS in the room), and into good music (because do you really want to hear the Fray constantly blasted throughout your Village A next year? Didn’t think so). Anyway, once you have your future roommate(s) all figured out, tell your current roommate the following: “Hey, so I don’t know what your plans are… but (insert name or names here) and I are going to live together next year I think! Just a heads-up. If you’re looking for a roommate still, I’d be happy to ask around for you.” Boo-yah, you’re free as a bird.

You can even use that as a script if you want; I don’t copyright. It’s friendly, it’s helpful, and most importantly, it’s not combative. Just make sure to tell him this as soon as possible so that he has adequate time to figure out his living plans for next year and you’re golden.

Hi Emlyn,

So, I’m a freshman and I’ve fallen in with a pretty crazy friend group (we all like drinking, smoking, hooking up, whatever). I love them and I’m having a blast, but my parents are very conservative and are coming to campus this weekend for Parents’ Weekend. I’m afraid that they are going to find out that I’ve been partying a lot. What do I do?

– Parent Problems

Hi Problems!

First of all, your parents will think that you’re a sad loser with poor social skills if you don’t introduce them to anyone, and you will get depressingly encouraging emails from your mother in the months that follow.  The parentals are here to see what your life is like – and friends are a big part of that—so you can’t get out of letting them meet a few people. Just explain everything in advance to the few friends that you may invite out to dinner. Remind everyone not to curse or talk about how they slut it up on the regular. This is actually pretty easy—Parents’ Weekend is all about Georgetown and how you’re liking it, so conversation-wise your friends can stick to talking about classes and their extracurriculars without much trouble. Parents will eat that up.

Also, don’t forget to clean your room extensively before they arrive—recycle any red solo cups or beer cans, hide your super short skirts in the back of the closet, whatever you gotta do.

Lastly, be wary of the less-acknowledged Georgetown tradition that I like to call “Hide the Hangover Parents Weekend Brunch.” I have lived through it, as have many others. Basically, your parents are going to want to have a “late” brunch on Sunday around 10 a.m. You are going to want to go out on Saturday after you shuffle your family back to the Holiday Inn. That’s fine, but I suggest taking it easy this weekend.

Drink lots of water, maybe call it a night before shotgunning a beer or four—again, do what you gotta do. In the morning, take a shower and two Advil. Walk to meet them at the restaurant so that you’ll wake up and get going a little bit. Order water/juice/coffee and eggs (a non-obvious hangover food). It’s likely that your parents have been hungover before, and without effort on your part, they’ll probably be able to tell how many liters of fun you had the night before.

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