Agony Aunt: another ag, another aunt

Image description: A cartoon figure holding a sign saying ‘Agony Aunt’ stood in a green field with a pink flower.

Welcome, welcome one and all to this week’s agony aunt session with yours truly, Bronwyn.

I’m writing this while “tired in upper old bod,”  as I texted my sister, which she thought was a way of me expressing my state of mind or some kind of body dysmorphia, not just a place in the library. I do feel that the upper old bod, if it were a state of mind, would be a much healthier place to be mentally than the lower Gladstone link. But, ah… variety is the spice of life.

So this week I haven’t read the questions yet and neither have you. Let’s see what we’ve got, shall we?


Dear Agony Aunt, I am tired


Hello, this is a good start. I am tired too. Great.

Technically (and… actually), I have chronic fatigue. My dad does as well for reasons completely unrelated to mine, I’m just that lucky. We like to talk about what we would do if we had more energy, and most of it is really boring things like more DIY.

I really envy those people who put in the effort to get up after a good night’s sleep, take their vitamins, and go on a dog walk like I do every day, and it actually helps them. 

I also have a bone to pick with the people who deliberately refuse to eat well or exercise or do anything ‘good,’ but still feel amazing. They are the enemy here, and if you think this is you, tell me your name and I will pidge you dog poo on the way home from one of my early morning dog walks.

 But, as I always say in my agony aunt ramblings, absolutely consider the fact that something isn’t right. Be a Karen on your own body and demand to speak to the manager – why isn’t this working the way it should? Ask for a refund from God, or your parents, or your doctor.

 Although sometimes when it’s not something that requires medical intervention, we can be the problem causing ourselves so much pain. Staying up late, doomscrolling into infinity, having caffeine or alcohol late at night (you really shouldn’t be having caffeine past 3pm, it can have effects for up to 6 hours, dudes), not getting enough exercise, mentally overextending yourself… they can all contribute to making you feel very sleepy when you should feel wide awake.

 Oh, and I do know about sleep cycles – make sure to wake up during the non-deep sleep part of your sleep. Most people have 90 minute cycles and so need to sleep for 7h30m or 9h altogether to wake up feeling rested.

 And, finally, don’t sacrifice sleep for some dumb grade. In first year, I used to stay up all night to get these essays in and my life is no different to the other third years who also passed prelims. It’s not worth it. You can’t retroactively ‘catch up’ on sleep either – that’s a lie Oxford tutors want you to believe.

 Love, Brownyn


I made a bunch of new friends at an event, but I only remember their first names, so can’t look them up on facebook or find any contact details!


This is legit advice from me: go on the Facebook page for the event (ew, Facebook) and look at the organiser’s name, then very kindly ask the organiser of the event to breach GDPR and give you everyone’s bank details. Go into your nearest bank branch and espionage-style roll around in a catsuit, looking for the emails of these new friends you hold so dear, get papped being a strange person doing gymnastics on Cornmarket Street… and voilá. Your new friends will see you in the newspaper and reach out. Thank me later.


My housemates think that my hummus-eating habits are strange. Yes, I eat hummus with oats, but at least I’m not eating anything weird like carrot sticks!


Your housemates are boring. Hummus with grapes is fun. Chocolate spread hummus. Biscoff hummus sounds nasty though, that’s taking it too far.


Oh hummus, hummus my friend,

My housemates hate your oaty blend.

They all do mock me for hours as I eat,

My hearty hummus, it’s for thee that I weep —

With salt of tears the flavours increase;

I contemplate adding nutriti’nal yeast.

They think me strange, so I won’t spare a lick

Of my spread they degrade with plain carrot sticks.


 Not sure what that was, hope this helps xoxox


I feel like I have no actual friends but everyone does, pls help


Oh wow, this hits close to home. I really didn’t have friends in my first or second year. Correction – I had a few individual friendships by the end of first year, but I never got that sense of belonging that I really needed.

I have closer friendships with them now, probably because I lightened up a bit, and got medicated for anxiety. I used to hide away in my room, practically starving myself with noodles and meal deals, crying because I wanted to be in halls so bad at dinner but couldn’t bring myself to walk out of the door. Now, I force myself to face those negative thoughts about what might happen if I do go to halls: “What will happen if everyone laughs at me as I sit alone? Or the card reader doesn’t work and they turn me away? Or I see someone I know and they blank me?” and I think… so what?? If the worst happens, I’ll deal with it. And even then, it’s genuinely always fine. No one laughs at me, people like me for my authenticity and my compassionate-yet-idgaf attitude. And 9/10 times I don’t sit alone, or when I do it’s usually just a choice to have some alone time. Accepting that the bad things my anxiety had convinced me were going to happen have never actually happened is really important.

 So, what I’m trying to say is that not everyone around you has loads of friends. I talked to one friend about this the other day.  In my second year I was really unsure about her because I saw loads of people hyping her up on Facebook (ew, Facebook) and assumed she already had loads of friends and didn’t want to be friends with me. Turns out a lot of those comments were from people like her sister, or friends from school that she hadn’t seen in ages, not a gaggle of adoring fans I imagined she had in Oxford. But negative thoughts like your statement above can easily be proven wrong if you are just honest and open and kind, and don’t give up at all.

Love, your friend Bronwyn


So that’s it for this week. I really wish you all the best, and hope my weird little rambings have brought some happiness into your day. a-BUH-BYE!


Got a problem? Hard to describe? Are you lonely? Filled with regret? Do you lie awake at night, pondering the logical inconsistencies of the 2007 direct-to-dvd movie ‘Bratz: Fashion Pixiez’? Do you really still think about how Olivia didn’t invite you to her birthday party in Year 9, right after you had invited her to yours? Are you constipated? Submit your question HERE! (It’s anonymous, and I promise I won’t laugh).

Image Credit: Brownyn Riani