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All Fun & Satire

Advice Column: How do I stop making my suffering a competition?

By Parker Theis

Having personal problems? Not to worry, ask PuffPuffParker! Your most reliable campus stoner girly can answer any and all questions about life, love and mental anguish! 

Hi PuffPuffParker, 

I keep feeling the unquenchable desire to overshare about how sucky my life is anytime someone complains to me about theirs! How do I stop driving people away with this habit? 

Kaylee from Ottawa 

Hi Kaylee from Ottawa,

As the semester comes to an end, I’m sure a lot of us have been sacrificing slivers of our sanity for the betterment of our academic careers.

Whether that means calling in ‘sick’ to your job to cram in one last study session before exams or being the last person in the Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre every weeknight, the last couple weeks of the year bring out the worst in our personal habits. 

But alas, I am not here to talk about our collective stress. 

I come bearing a special message for you and everyone else who loves to climb up on their highest-of-horses to rant about how much stress they’re bearing. 

To put it plainly, hey you, NO ONE CARES! I don’t really think it’s a ‘flex’ that you were up until 4 a.m. grinding out a lab report and then had to get up at 7 a.m. for class. We’re adults now…you NEED your eight hours. No wonder it took you until four in the morning to finish your work, you were running on an empty tank! 

If this sounds familiar to you, go crawl under the covers and come out when you understand the meaning of a good night’s sleep. Maybe then you’ll be able to stay awake long enough during the day to get your work done in a timely fashion. 

If you’re one of those weirdos with a coffee fixation, you’re not absolved from my rage either. If you can’t make it through a day on campus without spending $6 on an oat milk latte, I would like to inquire about openings at your workplace. How are you able to budget for that, especially in this economy? You can’t even pay less than $10 for milk and eggs these days. 

Don’t come around these parts complaining about the bills you dropped at Balzac’s this month to afford your large caramel macchiatos. Caffeine is a drug, you know. Your addiction is hurting your ability to socialize normally without making self-deprecating remarks about how much coffee you consume. I suggest buying a water bottle instead. Water is free, hydrating and maybe it’ll help regulate your bowels after all that caffeine consumption. Besides, with all the money you’ll save, maybe you can buy a new personality.

Listen, at the end of the day, we are all victims of procrastination. Girl, I procrastinated writing this response! We’ve all dropped a cheeky comment about how late we are on an assignment because of whatever weekend rave or the fact that the Love Is Blind finale came up and swept our attention away. I just know more than half of us have responded to a comment like that with “Oh, well I’m twice as late as you on three more assignments!” 

I’m pretty sure if that’s the only thing you have to say when someone asks you how school is going, you should consider re-evaluating your academic standing. What are you paying tuition for? Mama, are you on probation? Do you do ANY work? I’m pretty sure the school has resources if you need a tutor or something. Also, no one will judge you for studying a bit. We are in school after all. 

Finally, absolutely nothing sucks more than having to work and go to school. This lifestyle is a pretty popular option if you look at the downtown rent prices and see how many students choose to commute. I’d be surprised to see anyone who lives a walking distance from campus and doesn’t work three jobs. So if I’m in my 10 a.m. class yawning every other minute, you don’t need to butt in about how late you got home from your shift last night. The economy sucks, there are basically no paid internships. I would be surprised if people aren’t working during every spare moment that they don’t have a class, internship or some sort of responsibility to worry about. 

We all have moments where we feel the need to boast about how hard we have it. I’m sure no one is free of that sin. What I implore you to do is this: reconsider yapping the next time you feel the urge to mention that you stayed up three hours later than your friend or that you worked two more weekend shifts than someone else. I’m pretty sure if you keep that up, there will be no one around for you to one-up, if you catch my drift. All us students struggle, and there’s nothing wrong with a good vent. Just try to become more of a support system and less of a competitor when it comes to sharing your shortcomings. 

Yours always, 


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