Advice with Agony Adam

By Adam Leahy Feb 10, 2022 #Agony Aunt

It’s week three already. The masks are off, the fourth years are beginning to sweat over the FYPs, and the move away from online lectures has begun to cause a steady decline in attendance. Nature is healing. Adam’s back on hand too to help solve some of your week three trials and tribulations.


Adam, I need some help. At least twice a week I have the recurring dream that I’m being chased by Brown Thomas (the statue, not the store).

He starts by following me through the plaza before breaking into a run right at the library. He chases me all the way to The Stables before I get inside and to a crowd of people where I feel safe.

Why is this happening? How do I stop it? What am I doing to incur the wrath of this leery copper man?

He’s not copper, I’ll have you know. He’s cast-iron. Brown Thomas, or “Together and Apart” to give him his official title, was originally sculpted by artist Antony Gormley and installed in the UL Plaza in 2001 for a cost estimated somewhere between €35k and €70k. He was commissioned by Dr Roger Downer, a former president of the university.

But I digress. What you’re having here is a completely normal anxiety dream.

Brown Thomas, a symbol of the institution of UL, is chasing you through and away from beacons of academic fulfilment (the lecture halls of the Foundation and Main buildings, the library) and into a place you feel more comfortable and safe – The Stables!

It’s a dream we’ve all had, tied up in feelings of inadequacy or imposter syndrome that likely come from a worry about your grades or classes and whether or not you fit in at university.

Luckily I – and hundreds of UL students before me – have the tried-and-tested solution.

You’re going to need to stand up and face your fears. In this case, the questionably-named Brown Thomas himself.

The UL tradition for this particular anxiety dream is to march right up to Brown Thomas, walk around him in a circle three times, and repeat the phrase “You will not best me, Thomas. I am the master here.” After you’ve completed this, kick him square in his flat, cast-iron d**k.

This is a surprisingly common dream for students at UL, and so this solution has passed down through generations feeling the exact same as you. Next time you see someone walking around campus on crutches, you’ll know you’re not alone.

I just can’t get a girl to be my girlfriend in UL. I don’t know where I’m going wrong and it’s driving me mad.

I’ve no problem getting the shift in Molly’s or Angel Lane, but it never leads anywhere. I’ve tried all the techniques for approaching women you hear about – touching them on the arm, prolonged eye contact, negging, ghosting. But in the end, I’m the one who always ends up being ghosted.

Where am I going wrong and what can I do to get a good woman around here?!

Don’t worry, I got you. There are some techniques Neil Strauss and his cohort won’t teach you in the guidebooks. You’re going to need a very large box and the brightest lamp you can find.

The best way, in my experience, to find a woman is to get up nice and early and find a big field in the countryside. Little known fact, women congregate in fields across Ireland every morning. They just hang out there. Especially throughout their breeding season in the spring.

Once you’ve found the right field (perhaps there are tell-tale droppings about the place or a freshly-dug hole in the earth), it’s all about playing the waiting game. Stay low, keep your ears peeled. You want to listen out for them.

Once you think you hear the pitter patter of furry little women feet, you’re going to need to bound up with your lamp on full to dazzle them. Take out the box and…

Sorry. Excuse me. That’s hares.

If you want to meet a “good woman”, I suggest perhaps concentrating less on putting them down and ignoring their messages and focus more on the fact that they’re human beings with intelligent opinions and valid feelings that don’t much care for mind games – and definitely not small rabbit-like mammals sensitive to bright lights.


My lecturer won’t stop making pop culture references that I don’t understand and it makes me feel stupid.

Every day, in every class, they make references that I just don’t get. Should I say something? Ask them to update their references to something a little more modern? Or should I maybe open up my mind and try Googling this ‘Morrissey’ person? What do I do?

It sounds like you’ve got the makings of a classic Lecture Hall Bingo on your hands. Please do not waste this golden opportunity to enhance the college experience for yourself and the other students in your class.

You’re going to need a pen, a ruler, paper, and a metric hape of cans.

Using the pen and ruler, draw out a 5×5 grid on a couple of sheets of paper. Once done, fill the grid with some of your lecturer’s references. Pepper it with common ones but throw in some of the lesser-used references too, so the game isn’t too easy!

Once your bingo cards are done (you may want to consider laminating them for multiple uses!), get to class and have some fun with it. Enjoy!


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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