ILL-ADVISED with Aunt Mo and Aunt Jo (March)

Aunt Mo and Aunt Jo are not aunts and are in no way actually qualified to answer your questions. However, they have a lot of opinions and want you to follow them. This column aims to satisfy our need to give unsolicited advice.  


How do I address everyone at UTD who tells me I will not have a career/future/life if I don’t major in STEM and sell my soul to a lab? 

-Really Tired of Hearing “Political Science is not a Science” in Richardson

Mo: Have a career/future/life not in STEM. That’ll show ‘em!

Jo: I struggle with this a lot. I mostly just tell myself that I’m a different kind of smart than those people and that my kind of smart is really valuable in other fields. I also continually make a joke out of the fact that I don’t understand STEM in any capacity.

Mo: As a STEM major (mechanical engineering), I find myself sometimes harassing non-STEM majors too…

Jo: Do you wanna fight me, Aunt Mo?

Mo: It isn’t that I don’t take non-STEM majors seriously, I just feel like I have to be killing myself in school for a reason. Engineers are told that we will have better job prospects and pay if we keep our heads down and constantly study for four years, regardless of how true it is. We just feel bad about our life choices and lash out.

Jo: Just think about it, reader, when you’re in law school (if you go to law school?) you’ll be killing yourself in school for your job prospects. Here, we are just completely surrounded by STEM people, but in the end it’ll work out for you too! You will find your place in this world! I believe in you! There’s no telling how far you’ll go!

Mo: Don’t let STEM students’ superiority complexes get in your way of being happy.

I really like my best friend, but I’m afraid that if I tell her how I feel it would ruin our friendship. What should I do? -The Unrequited Engineer

Jo: Aunt Mo, any insights?

Mo: Your best friend could take it well…or not so well.

Jo: Are you getting any signals that your friend might like you too?

Mo: You need to evaluate what you might be losing by telling your best friend. Would your best friend feel uncomfortable? Would your friendship be threatened?

Jo: I think it really comes down to how you think she would react in either case. Is your friendship strong enough that you would both want to work through this, no matter what the outcome?

Mo: How long do you think you would date? Is this a hear-the-wedding-bells kind of crush, or a hooking-up-would-be-fun kind?

What’s the best way to passive aggressively tell your roommate they need to be quieter? -Sleep Deprived

Mo: I am always the loud and aggressive roommate, so I can’t help you there.

Jo: Yeah, I tend to go for outright aggression. Last year I used to bang on the wall and yell “SHUT UP I NEED TO SLEEP” but I’m not sure that it was entirely successful.

Mo: Things that my roommates have tried on me include dramatically leaving the room to do homework elsewhere (worked), texting me politely to turn down the volume (worked), or yelling from her opened bedroom door (didn’t work).

Jo: I listen to a white noise app literally all the time, so that’s a good way to block out noise if you decide not to use our highly effective methods.

My boyfriend doesn’t like Harry Potter, what should I do? -A Grumpy Gryffindor

Jo: DUMP HIS ASS. Or relentlessly expose him to Harry Potter so he’s forced to like it.

Mo: Uhhhh, Aunt Jo, I have something to confess.

Jo: Merlin’s Beard! Tell me this isn’t actually happening.

Mo: It isn’t that I don’t like Harry Potter.

Jo: Are you Sirius?

Mo: But I only read the first two, and was not interested in the rest. I am sorry I didn’t tell you sooner.

Jo: I can’t believe this is happening to me right now. I’m writing an advice column with a Muggle.

Mo: From my limited understanding of Harry Potter that primarily comes from movies, you’re a muggle, too, right?

Jo: Did you just come here to insult me?

Mo: Good luck, Grumpy Gryffindor.

How do I nicely reject the nerd who asked me out? -Not interested, like at all

Mo: I pretend I am always busy. One time I convinced a boy to push back a possible date for a month. It really helps to have a detailed planner so you can pretend like your days are full.

Jo: Okay, yeah, I do that too. But there’s a nice way to actually respond! One time, a boy asked me out over email. I think I told him that I liked him as a friend but wasn’t interested in a relationship. That’s a pretty standard answer, right?

Mo: Once, over Facebook, I just sent that I was not interested, but it took me a full day to come up with that.

Jo: Tell them you’re transferring and then spend the next few years avoiding them.

What is the best way to cover up the smell of unwashed clothes? -2 lazy 2 wa$h

Jo: Let me tell you about the magic that is Downy spray. This stuff is meant for de-wrinkling, which it does beautifully, but it also masks unwanted smells.

Mo: I can confirm.  This stuff is also magic if you are traveling and need wrinkle free and non-suitcase smelling clothes.

Jo: But also, like, please wash your clothes. The world will thank you.

I feel like I’m failing at everything I do and I keep making stupid mistakes. How do I know I’m on the right path? -Clueless Wanderer

Jo: Did you steal my journal to come up with this question?

Mo: If you want to know if you are on the right path you have to ask yourself if you still enjoy what you are doing when everything else fades away. Failure can complicate this, but you just have to keep asking yourself if it’s worth it.

Jo: I think it’s really hard to reassure yourself that you’re doing okay when you feel like you’re not doing anything right. It’s helpful to have external reassurance from friends, a therapist, parents, professors, etc., but it’s also good to remind yourself of the little victories.

Mo: Just as a plug for resources on campus: the Student Counseling Center and the Galerstein Women’s Center both offer counseling for UTD students. Places like the Career Center and the Industrial Practice Programs (for ECS students) can help you decide which careers would be best for you.

Jo: Also, this is literally what I use my journal for. Journaling is the best.

How do I remove my UTD goggles? -Worried

Jo: Start seeing every human for who they are on the inside, not just who they are on the outside. We are all beautiful in our own way!

Mo: Or, take a day trip to SMU.

Jo: Or that.

How do I increase my confidence when talking to girls? -George

Jo: When you find out, you tell me. Trying to talk to literally anyone when you want them to like you is tricky. It’s like a job interview but ALL THE TIME.

Mo: Stand up straight! It’ll make you feel and look more confident.

Jo: Try to talk about things that you both have an interest in because you’ll both be more enthusiastic and more comfortable.

Mo: Ask them questions! It gives you all the benefits of having a conversation without doing any of the work.

Jo: A lot of this depends on the context in which you’re talking to them.

Mo: Pro tip: Do not randomly compliment them without ever speaking to them before. In my experience it just comes off as creepy.

Jo: Remember that they’re people too. They might be nervous too, but the more confident and comfortable you seem, the more confident and comfortable you’ll both feel.

People keep coming to me for advice on their life problems and I feel really unqualified to help them out… what do I do?? -Uncle Sam

Mo: Start an advice column with your best friend.

Jo: Then, tell everyone that you’ll no longer be giving advice through any other medium. Problem solved!


Have questions for Aunt Mo and Aunt Jo? Submit them here!