Agony Aunt: it’s been a long term coming

Hi there, I hope you are doing well at the end of term. I’ll repeat some of the wonderfully unhelpful advice I have received in the past: take it easy, but not too easy; relax, but don’t let your guard down; don’t overwork yourself, just try as hard as you can.

And now for the actual advice from me, the Strange Advice Lady From The Student Newspaper That You Only Remember Cause You Used It That One Time When You Ran Out of Loo Roll (official title):

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I have an addiction to sending in essays with rainbow lettering. My tutor said if I do it again, she’ll fail me, but I just can’t stop myself. My point looks so much better in pride colours.

Hello, fellow rainbow fanatic.

I think you’re very dedicated. I’m imagining that you’re either using a multi-coloured pencil (used to love those bad boys in primary school, perfect for bubble writing), a rainbow gel pen (always more disappointing in practice than they look in the adverts) or, as I would like to imagine, writing out each letter by hand by quickly changing pens/using a 10-colour pen switcheroo situation. I personally think that your tutor needs to fully understand how you have a dedication to your craft… Any student who would sacrifice a grade rather than lose their integrity? That’s what Oxford is about. And you support the NHS so much. She should be able to tell how truly proud of key workers you are simply from how many pairs of sunglasses she has to wear to even walk into the same room as an essay of yours.

Next time, use a blue and red pen together and pass her the classic 3D Glasses for the full interactive tute experience.

We’ll see how it goes!

Bronwyn

 

Hello Aunty, I have loved my time at Oxford so far. Especially exploring my identity and wearing makeup. But I am a guy so my family is not quite accepting of this. How can I keep my expression without upsetting my family when I return home? Thanks

Hi, thank you so much for sharing this, most of my questions are just people pooping themselves and eating biscoff spread out of the jar, so this makes a nice change.

I have volunteered for LGBTQ+ charity Just Like Us this past year, and talked to lots of different people with differing degrees of rejection from their families.

People agree on one thing – that every single person’s experience is different. You can express your gender in one way, and it can be totally unlinked to your sexuality. And choosing whether or not to speak to your family is entirely personal, based on how you assess the risks of the situation – your safety and happiness comes first, always.

I believe in small acts of rebellion. If you can, wear clear nail polish, or lip balm, or a fun perfume that isn’t “traditional” for men to wear (whatever that means – nice smells are for everyone!). Wear a bracelet, or a brightly coloured top in a shade you like. Try to survive it, and make the life you have that they make you hide still a part of you, even if only you can taste the raspberry chapstick.

But also, make sure you can get in contact with a local (or international/online) LGBT organisation that can link you up with other people who feel alone. Chat to the welfare reps from the LGBTQ+ Society, or someone from your college who you know is out and friendly. I really hope things get better for you, and I hope to see you in Oxford again soon!

All my love,

Bronwyn

 

Dear auntie I keep walking into things and I’m constantly covered in bruises how can I stop being so clumsy??????

Hello, you bruised little peach, you!

Wish I could change, cause I’m like this too.

Worst bit is, you always see it after you’ve walked into it. Sometimes it would be less cruel just to not know that you whacked your shins off your bike pedals for the fourth day running. Like, “ouchie, oh well!” Not “Aaghh [email protected]*K!!! Bloody stupid bike god every single time I do this ow ow ow”. I really hope the other people at my college getting their bikes out aren’t scared of me – they definitely aren’t intimated by me, a five-foot-four chubby girl wearing a woolen husky hat, but fear can come from other places.

Maybe the only real piece of advice I can truly give here is something I recently read in Time Surfing by Paul Loomans (there’s a few copies left in The Bookstop for £3 – not spon, just like a bargain) which is – when you start a new activity, however small, name it in your head. Like, ‘I am walking down the stairs… I am walking to the bike racks… I am unlocking my bike,’ etc etc. I sometimes have the tendency to be so stuck in my own world that I don’t notice the vast, rich world around me, deathly bike pedals and all. It’s worth a try to be a little more aware of our surroundings, if only to save ourselves from a few bruises.

Love, Bronwyn

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That’s it for this week, a bit shorter than usual as both I and all my mates have deadlines, so I’m just keeping us all on-track. Speaking of on-track – what are you doing, still reading this little bit at the end? Get on with that thing you’re meant to be doing. No, not checking your emails, or sending over the pictures from last week’s bop. That thing, with the big ‘X’ on the calendar, and the big bunch of academics you imagine are sat behind a table, impatiently tapping their feet and checking their watches, waiting for your work? Go on, then, back to it.

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! Or if you’re seeing this in print, you can’t click the link. Just yell your question out your window at 3am on a Thursday. I will hear it in my dreams, and send you a dream-message back.