Well, since you asked: an advice column

opinionsBy Briana Wheeler
Staff Writer

Dear Briana,

My roommate and I were really good friends at the beginning of the semester, but we have just been drifting apart. I am a little scared to go back to my room because she silently stares at me. How do I fix this?

Sleeping in the library,

Clothed and Afraid

Dear Clothed and Afraid,

If you only fear discomfort and not your personal safety, the first step involves occupying the room as you normally would. Entering an antagonistic space is difficult, but you have just as much of a prerogative to live there as she does. Ideally, everyone should feel safe, happy, and healthy in their space, but roommate conflicts do happen.

Especially since the two of you were friends in the beginning, I would suggest having a conversation with her to try and figure out where things went wrong. If you need support, you can always ask one of your proctors to mediate. Go back to the roots of the relationship and discuss what worked in the room before any issues started.

If you get to a point where you don’t think you can save the friendship, keep in mind that people can still be considerate roommates even if they aren’t friends. The crucial component of that conversation is boundaries. Regardless of anything else, you and your roommate need to compromise and establish new boundaries that will allow each of you to inhabit the room unencumbered by the other person. Neither one of you should feel the need to sleep somewhere else.

Hope it works out,

Dear Briana,

I drink an entire nalgene full of water during every class. Because of that, I have to use the bathroom every 35 minutes. My classes are fifty minutes, so I just end up holding it until the end even though it hurts. I work out a lot and hydration is super important to me, but I also feel incredibly disrespectful anytime I have to leave class. I have three classes back to back in the morning, so I’m a little frustrated with it. Where’s a good middle ground here?

Holding it and worried,

Full Bladder

Dear Full Bladder,

Over time, consistently holding in urine can have negative effects on the bladder. I think there is a middle ground, and it includes a little work on two fronts. Instead of an entire nalgene for every class, maybe drink just one throughout the morning. If you intake a little less water on class days, you may find a less frequent need to use the bathroom. I also suggest that you go to the bathroom when you need to.

I have found that most professors don’t mind students going to the bathroom so long as they actually use the bathroom and don’t use it as an excuse to wander about the halls for 15 minutes on their phone. If you’re respectful about it and don’t waste their or your peers’ time, it should not be a significant issue. Hopefully these strategies will make class less stressful and you can focus more on the material at hand.

No need to worry or hold it,