Beary McBearface, treasured Oriel mascot and JCR staple, is here to help you with your troubles. In this column, Beary will attempt to find solutions to your little college worries; trust him, he’s seen it all. All you need to do is email email@example.com with the subject line ‘Dear Beary’, and if you’re lucky your problem will be solved in our next issue.
Of course, if you’d like to remain anonymous – and Beary encourages naming no names, we don’t want any beef here – just drop a note with your Beary concern to Chloe Whitehead’s pidge. And please do, Beary needs a hobby in his twilight years.
[If you’re really struggling, or if your problem contains sensitive information, be aware that Beary has received no formal Welfare training; please message Joel and Simone Fraser, our beloved Welfare Officers, for more information, or get in touch with the Welfare Deans or the College Nurse.]
1) Dear Beary, I recently purchased a fridge with my roommate, and it turns out he’s been hiding his hatred for said fridge since the day we moved in together. I feel terrible. I know it’s small, but I thought size didn’t matter. How can I repair the rift?
Size always matters when it comes to fridges, I’m afraid. You always need enough room for milk and margarine for late-night emergency tea and toast. However, if they’re your roommate I’m sure they can get past it – if they can live with you, they can definitely live with a fridge.
2) Dear Beary, I need to know: is it acceptable to overtake someone in the hall lunch queue if they take ages at the salad bar? I don’t want to annoy anyone but I hate waiting that awkward extra five seconds for my chocolate pudding.
Ah, the eternal conundrum: are you polite enough to watch someone painstakingly put lettuce onto their plate, or are you a ruthless, hangry queue-jumper. Personally, I think it’s acceptable if there’s no-one else in front of the salad-muncher, because you can easily nip round them without it being too obvious. However, if there’s a solid line of people in front of them anyway, I’m not sure how much you’d gain. It’s a difficult one, but trust your instincts or hunger pangs and I’m certain there won’t be major repercussions.
3) Dear Beary, are gilets acceptable?
4) Dear Beary, I think I’m addicted to the Pantin library. I wake up extra early every morning just to get to my favourite spot and see the cool white lights reflect off my sliders. I can’t bear to be apart from its smooth wooden desks; the dark panelling upstairs just doesn’t have the same effect. But I’m concerned I should broaden my library horizons: what should I do?
That’s a difficult one; the Pantin is a sweet spot. But, if you can bear it, try walking up a couple of flights of stairs to the Senior library. It still has dark panelling, but also lovely huge windows to combine natural light with beautiful old book covers. Do not, however, eat in there (or in any library). Alternatively, you could walk across the road to the Rad Cam if you can find a seat before the flare-obsessed humanities students bag their spots. Its lovely marble pillars and judgemental statues really make you want to work, and there’s arguably no better feeling than flashing your bod card against the reader and walking up its promenade past the tourists. Most important, though, is that you study where you’re most comfortable. Just remember that the Pantin isn’t all there is to see.
5) Dear Beary, I’m awful at Mario Kart, and keep getting beaten by my friends. Should I give up and accept it’s not for me, or secretly practise in the JCR and then drift my way into pole position on Rainbow Road?
You must learn your craft to be the champion: there’s no shame in practice. A disciplined training programme of at least one early morning Mario Kart outing a week, including two bursts of either Wario’s Gold Mine or Coconut Mall, should do the trick. Never give up, and always play with Princess Peach and the Mach Bike. Good luck, Padawan.
6) Dear Beary, I can’t stop singing ‘American Pie’ and I think it’s annoying my roommate. What should I do?
Annoy them: it’s a great song.