Dear Ephelia

Ephelia Ephelia

Dear Ephelia, I am down horrendously for someone who doesn’t like me back. How do I get over them?

Religiously repeating the phrase, “GPA is forever, xyz is temporary” used to work well for me, but then I actually liked someone, and the chant didn’t quite do the trick. Putting things in perspective is important, but logic is unlikely to make you feel better if you’re in the dumps. Nothing can take away your pain, but there are things you can do to add something positive to the emotional cocktail of your brain. I like spending time with people I love, going on walks, playing my saxophone, writing, and calling my girlboss of a mother for words of wisdom. It will all pass in time, but for now, remind yourself of all the things you’re grateful for and keep moving forward.

Sorry not sorry, but Halloweekend did not live up to the hype. Is this school boring, or are my expectations unrealistic?

In my expert opinion, it’s not that our school is boring, per se, but it’s more that the social scene is segmented in a way not common at larger universities. Specific groups, such as clubs and athletic teams, typically throw parties, and these groups are not large enough to get an interesting cross-section of the student body. This quasi-exclusionary party system means that if you are not part of a group or are part of a group that you do not like, Williams can be a pretty boring place. So, to get back to your question, I think it’s a bit of both.

I love to gossip, but I always feel like I shouldn’t be doing it. Is it bad? Should I stop? Any alternatives? Please advise.

Word on the street is that anyone who stakes some normative claim against gossip is stupid. But there is a vast body of research that extols gossip as an invaluable social tool, and here are some of my favorite conclusions:

  1. Negative gossip has a prosocial effect. Those who are gossiped about typically change their ways and try to regain the approval of those they wronged.
  2. Gossip, defined as two people talking about others who are absent, accounts for two-thirds of all conversation. And only 3 to 4 percent of gossip is malicious.
  3. Positive gossip is associated with self-improvement efforts, and negative gossip is associated with a heightened sense of pride for gossipers.
  4. Gossip is an evolutionary adaptation. It took over back-scratching (strange, I know) as a means of building social connections amid growing prehistoric communities.

So, go ahead and run your mouth. Gossip has its merits — at least that’s what I’ve heard.

Is it socially acceptable to leave the group chat? If so, under what circumstances?

Wanting to set digital boundaries is fair, but leaving a group chat is not essential. Muting a chat effectively does the same thing as leaving a chat, minus the potential social backlash. You can disengage without anyone ever knowing, no explanation needed. If you are looking to leave a chat as a means of dealing with some larger problem, like ending a friendship, know that a few taps is likely not enough to resolve the issue, and a conversation may be necessary.