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

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.  

I’m going to be taking some summer classes at UTD but all of my friends will be gone!!! What should I do??

-Sad and Lonely


Mo: We’ve both spent a summer semester on campus while most of our friends were gone and we can tell you: Bad things can happen when you don’t have your people on campus.

Jo: Make sure that you spend time with people, even if that means getting out of your comfort zone and making new friends. Use the resources available to you!

Mo: Try to set up recurring events, like structured volunteer time, or a sports team. I climbed at the rock wall in the Activity Center a few times a week over my summer on campus.  

Jo: Campus during the summer is really, really different than during the school year. But, you usually have the pools to yourself, so that’s a bonus!

My mom is the greatest person ever, and her birthday is coming up in a month. She deserves the finest jewels, but I’m flat broke. What should I do to let her know how much I appreciate her?

-Penniless Penny

Jo: OK, we are definitely going to use this as a way to talk about how great moms are. Moms are so great, right?

Mo: Moms are great! (See, Mother, I do appreciate you!)

Jo: I cannot emphasize enough how much a nice, handwritten note will probably mean to your momma. Probably plus something else, but still.

Mo: Or something slightly less expensive than jewels, like a small bouquet of flowers. You could even invest in a handmade gift for your ma, like a home-cooked meal or breakfast in bed.

Jo: You know how when you were little, you could just make some terrible craft and your mummy would still love it? I’m pretty sure that mentality doesn’t really change. As long as it’s done with love, she’ll love it.

I broke up with my last boyfriend because he had some serious character flaws. He has a new girlfriend now, and I wish them the best, but recently I’ve been wondering if I should warn her or at least ask how their relationship is going. We were friends before any of us dated each other, but obviously they’re closer now. Do I trust that he’s grown as a person since then? Do I just guess she’s fine with everything and move on? Is this even really my business??? Pls help.

-Probably Over-Concerned Ex-Girlfriend

Jo: I think a lot of this depends on what you mean by character flaws and how willing you are to jeopardize your friendships.

Mo: There isn’t really a good way to bring that up… You either look like you’re still interested and want to pry yourself into the situation or like you are jealous and want to break them up. If you think that her life and well-being aren’t in danger, I would avoid it.

Jo: OR you can sit them both down in a very public place and start listing all of the reasons why he’s a terrible person and she’s better off without him. Then, you and her can team up and form a John Tucker Must Die kind of situation and get your revenge.

Mo: Aunt pro-tips: Bring a loooong list of issues, pop a box of tissues out of your bag and repeatedly offer them to him, regardless of if he needs them, and get increasingly louder with each critique.

Jo: I think this is gonna end really well.

UTD’s no tobacco policy starting June 1st could possibly limit my ability to blow some wicked O’s. How am I going to cope with the inability to be a Vape God on campus?

-Tom Smokehaw

Jo: You should get a hobby.

Mo: That is a hobby.

Jo: It’s a dumb hobby.

Mo: Word on the street is that UTD will have difficulty enforcing the policy… but you didn’t hear it from us.

Jo: AUNT MO! We are anti-destructive behaviors here at Ill-Advised, and I think vaping is a destructive decision. At least for your social life, ayyyy.

Mo: Be smart, don’t start (looking at you, wannabe rebellious freshmen).

Jo: Just say no.

Mo: Hang tough, don’t puff.

Jo: Put down the drugs and give Jesus a hug.

Mo: You know what I always say, put that stash in the trash.

Jo: Say nope to dope.

Mo: I’d rather eat breakfast-in-bed than be called a pothead.

Jo: Do math, not meth (I SAY DO NEITHER).

Mo: Aunt Jo, we can advocate for healthy lifestyles and STEM education.

Jo: Shout-out to Google for helping us to educate the masses. Drug abuse is over. We did it, Aunt Mo!

So yesterday, I was so excited to eat avocado toast. To my utter dismay when I cut open an avocado it was overripe. I cut open another, and the same problem arose. A third avocado was also browned. Is this a bad omen for finals?

-Avocado Enthusiast

Jo: This is a really hard situation to be in, and I want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Mo: Yes. Plan to add an extra semester to your graduation plan.

Jo: Wanna be a doctor? An engineer? A lawyer? That dream is dead. You can blame the avocado gods.

So my roommate is incredibly messy. He leaves the sink piled full with dishes, doesn’t take out the trash, and has left rotten food in our fridge for months. Our apartment smells horrible. He’s a really nice person so I don’t want to make things awkward by confronting him, but our apartment is in a ridiculous state of disarray. I know my other roommates are equally irritated. Should I just stick it out until we all move out?

-Frustrated with Filth

Jo: I am continually concerned that I am this roommate.

Mo: I am that roommate.

Jo: I’m just a naturally messy person and if people don’t tell me, I assume that they’re OK with my mess.

Mo: The real concern is that we are living together soon.

Jo: We are equal levels of messy, though. We’ll be fine. I would so much rather people tell me that they’re not OK with it than get increasingly irritated with me.

Mo: At this point, you have two weeks left, just stick it out and study for your finals.

Jo: If you do talk to him, do it calmly and give him specific complaints so that he can work to make a change in the future.

Mo: In research for this answer my roommate outed me as a bad dishwasher.

Jo: That was in research for this answer??? I thought she just felt like you were a bad dishwasher.

There are a few professors who have written multiple letters of rec for me or went above and beyond to help me out with something. After a couple times, a thank you note doesn’t seem to cut it, but buying a gift seems awkward and even inappropriate. What’s the appropriate way to thank a professor?!

-Presents for Profs

Jo: Heartfelt thank you notes and baked goods work on moms and professors!

Mo: I have given both and no one has called it inappropriate.

Jo: Some of this depends on your relationship with your professors. But you should remember that they are people too, and it’s totally valid to tell them how much you appreciate their help and support.

I think I’m falling in love with someone again and basically don’t know what to do. We ended things almost a year ago on fairly good terms, but were recently reconnected and it seems like sparks are flying. Maybe it’s just me though, so I don’t want to say anything and ruin what could be a good friendship?

-More Problems than Meredith Grey

Mo: I think you really need to look into why you ended things a year ago. If it was on good terms, why did you feel the need to break up?

Jo: Do you think you’re really having these feelings naturally, or do you think it’s because you want to be having those feelings?

Mo: Or because you miss having those feelings. Sometimes the missing is the hardest part of staying broken up.

Jo: I think Aunt Mo is right. Think about why you want this and do your best to assess where the person is.

Mo: Try to be friends and try to remember what happened a year ago.



MoJo: Jointly 39, aunt, UTD.