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Advice with Agony Adam

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The semester is back in full swing as we wrap up week two and Adam’s on hand to answer some of your burning readjustment to college life questions.

 

I’ve been having trouble with my housemates in recent weeks. I’m a quiet, caring, reserved type, but for some reason my housemates seem to think I’m some kind of ravenous party animal.

It was my birthday recently (just before restrictions dropped, but sshhhh!) and, because I care about people and their safety, I didn’t make any plans. Still, some of my friends called over unannounced with beers and a large cake. I won’t lie, things got a little rowdy.

I had no idea that my friends were throwing this party at my house, but my housemates still think it’s my fault and they’ve asked me to move out. Things like this just keep happening to me. What do I do? Please help.

I feel your pain, friend! Sometimes being just too darn popular can be a real hindrance.

Perhaps the best option is to go with public opinion. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say. Follow that mantra. Let them know what they’re going to miss out on by giving them what they think they want.

Allow your housemates some space to breathe and reflect on all your positive traits and the things they love about you. There’s got to be something, right?

You never know, maybe they’ll invite you back after things have blown over!

 

Adam, I believe one of my housemates is trying to turn everyone against me. I need help.

Over the last few months, my housemate – let’s call him Denys – has been framing me for things I didn’t do. In the first semester, he told everyone I’d been threatening him on nights out and stealing his drinks when nobody was paying attention. People ignored that but he’s not letting it go.

Last week he took my clothes and other belongings and placed them all around his room. At the doors, the windows, over digital communications devices. He’s claiming that I’m trying to invade his personal space.

I’ve told anyone who’ll listen that I’m not responsible for this and aggression isn’t in my nature. How do I make them believe me?

I’m sorry to hear you’re getting such shade from your housemate. This is a tricky one, for sure. How you handle this could really shape how your housemates at large see you going forward.

Maybe you don’t need to make them believe you. Perhaps you can use this to your advantage and gain a few concessions from your other housemates.

Play along. Accept the blame. And maybe if you agree to stop then you can get exclusive rights to the comfy chair during First Dates and Home and Away? Or perhaps they’ll exempt you from your round at The Stables every second Wednesday for the semester?

Every crisis can become an opportunity, comrade. Or you could stop leaving your stuff along the perimeters of your housemate’s room. I’m not sure which is the easier option.

 

I’ve been feeling like a fraud since I started college. I can’t help feeling like I don’t belong at university and that at any moment my classmates will see me for who I really am. How can I beat imposter syndrome? Thanks, Three Raccoons in a Hollister Tracksuit.

You’ve got my sympathy. Trying to fit in when you feel like you don’t belong is never easy.

The best thing we can do when faced with imposter syndrome is to take a step back, consider the things we like about ourselves and the things we don’t like but can improve on. What are our accomplishments? Things we’re proud we’ve achieved? Think about how they make us unique and how they’ve earned us our place where we are today. One man’s discarded Stables chicken roll is another’s dumpster dinner delight. We’re still eating at the same restaurant!

Don’t compare yourself to others, their thoughts and achievements are no bearing on yours.

Avoid chewing on the desks in lecture halls and I’ll see you on graduation day!

 

Have you got a problem you’d like Adam’s help with? Drop him a message on @a_leahy on Twitter!

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