Dear Ephelia

Ephelia Ephelia

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something energetically off about my room. How can I drive the demons out of my living space? 

It might just be mold, but, if you really want to scare the spirits (or really all things, dead or alive) away, my roommate has some month-old spoiled milk she is willing to loan you. For a never-before-seen price of $5.99, the most foul stench known to man can be yours for 30 long, uninterrupted minutes. Drive those devils out and reclaim your space! #ad 

Honorable (unsponsored) mentions go to sage, bleach, crystals, Lysol, the Marie Kondo Method, and candles. 

Ephelia, where are you picking into next year? 

I’m a rising sophomore, so that’s a really sensitive question. Like many, I do not particularly care as long as it is a room of my own. While I would love to have the Greylock Quad sophomore experience, at this rate, it looks like I would be lucky to get Tannex. Though, the crawl from my far-away dwelling would be rough, so don’t be surprised if I look extra hobbit-like next year — it’s a price I’m willing to pay if it means I get a single. 

What are the ethics of double texting? Is it ever appropriate? Is it better to double text in quick succession or wait a long time between texts? 

Double texts are not only appropriate — they’re also appreciated! As long as you and your recipient are on good terms, I think grocery-list, lots-of-messages-at-once texting shows excitement and a level of closeness, and spread-apart double texts exhibit sustained interest. This advice is coming from someone whose responsiveness wanes, so take this with a grain of salt, and be sure to always respect other people’s boundaries and comfort levels. 

A dude came up to me at a party and told me that he and his friends are starting a podcast. I think it was meant to impress me, but instead it just left a bad taste in my mouth. What’s your position on this? 

Just because you can start a podcast, does not mean you should. While I love listening to This American Life on my walks, there are some voices that simply do not need to be amplified. If someone talks about their podcast only as it relates to them and has no deeper passion for the project, then that is a voice that needs no greater platform. It sounds like the man in question fits this bill, in which case, your reaction is completely understandable. There’s something disturbingly narcissistic about shallow podcast aspirations — how much do you love to hear yourself talk if you want to broadcast it to the world? 

I feel really lonely, and what’s worse is that I feel alone in my loneliness. Is there something wrong with me? 

Take the idea of personal failure out of the loneliness equation. There is nothing wrong with you. In fact, your loneliness says nothing about you as an individual — it is an essential part of the human condition. Though I cannot in good conscience say “You’re not alone,” I do know — with absolute certainty — that you are not alone in your loneliness. Coping with loneliness, or really any “undesirable” emotion, comes down to letting yourself feel, plainly and simply. Feel without comparison, without hyper-analysis, and without actively trying to do anything (which I admit is far easier said than done).