Dear Ephelia

Ephelia Ephelia

My friends and I are trying to prepare for Halloween, but we don’t want to be basic. Do you have any unique costume ideas?

Being basic is not a bad thing. In fact, intentionally deviating from the norm only inscribes you deeper in the mainstream — but I will step down from my individuality-is-fake soapbox. Here are some costumes sure to set you apart from everyone else on Hoxsey: Ronald Reagan and Satan (the dynamic duo), Henry VIII and his wives (great group costume), prudish cat (a classic with a radical twist), Caesar (the dressing, use real anchovies!), and, my personal favorite, a sexy handmaid (blessed be the fruit).

Not to get all existentialist on you, but the days and weeks are getting harder and harder to tell apart. How do I turn off autopilot? 

I have been hearing this a lot from people, so first, know that you are not alone. What helps me might not help you, but I escape the monotony through ritual. For me, this takes the form of a Sunday morning Tunnel muffin. This silly little self-constructed tradition signals the close of one week while ushering in the start of another; it’s a deliberate distinction between cycles that otherwise look the same. Tradition makes me feel like time is moving forward, like I am progressing. Your ritual can be anything: a television show you like, dinner with a friend you don’t see enough, a hike, rereading a comfort book, knitting, playing cards, going on a run, etc. What matters is that you choose something you enjoy and make a point of enjoying it regularly. 

I hate to admit it, but my therapist was right all along. Life is really about the little things. 

Everyone around me is freaking out about jobs for next summer. Up until recently, I hadn’t even thought about it and now I’m wondering if I should have. Am I behind?

I am rather torn on this issue. Logically, I know that there is no set timeline for life which means that you can never be behind. But, have I woken up in a panic and took an entire LSAT to see if law school is a viable alternative? Yes, actually. While you need to plan for your future at least a little, you must be emotionally present in your current life, which is a lot easier said than done.

Dear Ephelia, I need to cut him off, but I also need attention. What do I do? 

In the words of the late and great Hannah Montana, everybody makes mistakes, and everybody has those days. Give yourself grace but also try your best to act rationally. Is the attention from this person really worth it? Would it be better to take the time and get to the root of the issue, or should you just find someone new to give you your validation? There is no one size fits all answer, so be honest with yourself and do what is right for you right now.

Who plays the bells? 

My dorm’s proximity to the bells means that I have not slept past 7 a.m. for the entire year — so I have a personal stake in this question. According to my editor, a bell-ringer, students only ring the Thompson bells, which go off at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. Not only is she in big bell’s pockets, it also does not make sense how automated bells are never on time. I am onto you, [redacted],  and you will be held responsible for your crimes against sleep.