Ask Edgar: Tacky sweaters, finals and the 'burbs


Dear Eddie,

I’ve been invited to two tacky Christmas sweater parties already. What is that all about? I wish I had known about these events during break — I could’ve raided my mom’s closet. Alas, what should I do? Where can I find a tacky Christmas sweater?

Wacky & Tacky

Dear Wacky,

I will ignore my indignation about not being invited and move right onto the tips. You’re in luck. There’s a place, a magical place that holds more ugly sweaters than even your mom’s closet: Goodwill! Charlottesville has an abundance of thrift stores, and Goodwill is your cheapest and surest bet. If you’d rather not leave the house, eBay will also have what you need. Whatever Christmas sweater you can get your hands on will probably do the trick. Christmas sweaters are by definition festively hideous, so you don’t need to worry about picking something too classy here. Fair Isle sweaters work in a pinch, but you really want to go as flashy as possible: extra points for sequins, pom poms and miniature jingle bells.

Joyeux Noël,

Dear Mr. Poe,

I’m struggling about what to do about the impending finals season. I’m a first year, and if we’re being honest — which you know we are — I got a little too caught up in the Rugby Road scene and not enough in the library scene (if there even is one, I wouldn’t know). Now I have a semester worth of “important knowledge” to learn for three of my classes. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Any advice to keep me from failing out?

Where’s Ackerman Library?

Dear Where’s Ackerman Library,

Everyone from the late night Club Clem regulars to the frattiest of the frat stars feels the impending fear of finals season, but almost everyone survives. The end of Thanksgiving break signifies the beginning of three weeks of hell. It’s hard to focus on finals with Christmas music blasting and holiday festivities everywhere you turn, but if there is any time in the semester to remember you are actually enrolled in classes, it’s now. Finals often count for a significant portion of your grade, so the last weeks of the semester can either make or break you. For a first-year finals virgin, it can be a scary time. You’ve never spent 14 straight hours in the library before and the madness that ensues can sometimes be overwhelming. Before you know it, however, you’ll be a finals veteran — pulling all nighters like a champ and drinking more coffee than seems humanly possible. The most important thing to remember is that the end is near. Work hard now, and come Dec. 18, all students will be home, free to spend the next month forgetting everything they learned this semester.

Time to nerd up,

Heyo Ed,

I had a great time at home during Thanksgiving break — when I was with my friends that is. Hanging with my parents was different. We fought about everything from curfew (I’m an adult, yet I have a curfew?), the dishes (please, I get enough of that from my roommate), and what we were having for dinner, though anything beats N2. But I’m worried about how I’ll survive an entire month of this during winter break.

Stuck in the Suburbs

Dear Stuck in the Suburbs,

Going home after a semester of college is a difficult transition for many first years who have had their first tastes of freedom. After months of eating whatever you want, sleeping whenever you want and having complete control over whether you want to actually attend any of your morning classes, it’s hard to revert to living under your parent’s rules. At home, you can’t come home at 3 a.m. covered in beer and frat sludge and then sleep until 2 o’clock the next afternoon. Winter break is a special time, however, and it’s important not to forget what you love about being home. No more swiping into meals and wishing you could swipe right back out. No more watching TV in a creepy dungeon in the basement of your dorm, sharing a bathroom with 20 other people or depending on your student ID card for your life. Instead you get to sleep in your bed, eat home-cooked food and get into your house without swiping in. There will undoubtedly be a few adjustments to transition back into life at home, but don’t let that stop you from appreciating how much your life at home and your family means to you.

Keep rockin’ the suburbs,

Disclaimer: Edgar is not a medical professional nor a psychiatrist. Edgar listens to your problems and offers what he hopes are constructive comments. By taking his advice, however, you accept full responsibility for your own actions.

related stories