Dear Ephelia

Ephelia Ephelia

Ephelia, everyone wants me. How do I reject people in a polite way?

Wow, your life must be so hard! But seriously, all jokes aside, rejecting people is no easy feat. I typically panic and say yes, my best friend yells at me for being passive, and I then have to get myself out of a sticky situation that could have been avoided with a simple “No thanks.” That’s all to say a polite rejection is an honest one. A simple and direct “Sorry, I’m not interested” should do the trick. No need to drag it out or explain yourself — “no” is all you need to say.

My one-year anniversary with my boyfriend is coming up — what should we do?

Every relationship is different, so the best thing to do is what you know your partner will like. If your significant other likes grand gestures, then maybe a gift or weekend excursion is appropriate. If words are more their thing, then write a letter, make a playlist of meaningful songs, or give them a book. If they’re happy with do- ing what you normally do, spend some quality time together and perhaps go out to a nice dinner. The point of an anniversary is to celebrate your love for someone, so don’t overthink it.

If how you express love is incompatible with how your partner prefers to receive love, and this is why you’re asking this question, a deeper conversation is probably needed — but your anniversary is not the time! Save that fun chat for later.

How often should I call my parents?

According to section seven of the Interpersonal Relationship Rulebook, once or twice a week should be sufficient. Texting your parents every other day or so also seems pretty standard, according to surveys conducted by the Arbiters of Human Relations (AHR).

Not even exaggerating, my roommate is in our room 24/7. I have not had a single second of alone time since I got to college. Would it be rude to ask them to leave every once in a while?

I hope you are OK, because I sure wouldn’t be if I were you. Alone time is essential, and I hope you are finding ways to get some semblance of that outside of your room. It seems fair for you to talk to your roommate about this, but it would be a tricky conversation to have if you and your roommate aren’t at least friendly. I would probably start by dropping hints, i.e., “Hey bestie! I heard your favorite movie is playing at Images tonight,” and escalate to more direct requests if they don’t get the message. If you are a frosh, talking to your JA might be worthwhile. JAs make the frosh world go ’round.

Dear Ephelia, are these answers about me?

I hate to break it to you, but nope! People and experiences spark ideas, but once I start writing, reality is already long gone.