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Ask Andy: Library Poos and Future Uncertainty

Dear Andy,

It’s deadline season, and I’ve been spending my days grinding away in main lib. The one perk of this otherwise soul-destroying experience is that I’ve developed a library crush. Occasionally locking eyes with the beautiful man who sits at the desk opposite me on the top floor is really the only highlight of my day. Unfortunately, however, all my dreams of our bright future together have recently — quite literally — been flushed down the drain. Yesterday, I went to the loo in the library. I needed a number two so, wanting peace and quiet (and being a terrible person), I used the disabled loo. Well, Andy, my morning coffee had done its trick and she was a pretty stinky one; but when I opened the door, my library crush was standing there waiting to use the very same loo! I’m so embarrassed that he’ll have gone in and been subjected to the horrifying smell of my number two. How do I come back from this?

Love, Pungent Pamela

Dear Pungent Pamela,

Oh dear. It’s hard to chalk-up the stench of your poo as aphrodisiac-inducing pheromones — unless your library crush has a fetish in that department (in which case, perhaps you’ve dodged a bullet). That being said, I think you’ve got a few options of how you respond to ‘poo gate’. The first is to completely ignore the situation, accept that your dreams of three children and a chateau in the south of France with Mr Library Hunk are over, and relent to your crush being a mere library fantasy. Or, you could use the experience to forge a connection between the two of you. Perhaps you could introduce yourself as ‘the smelly poo girl’. He might regard your good-humour as a mark of self-confidence, and accept a date as an apology for the gross imposition on his senses. Alternatively, next time you find yourself waiting for the loo and he passes by, you could try, “God! Did you smell that poo in there the other day?! Atrocious!”. Either way, I wish you the best of luck…but perhaps limit the morning coffee going forward.

Love, Andy x

Dear Andy,

I’m in fourth year, so I’ll be graduating in June. I know I should be excited (and, admittedly, the thought of never having to step foot ever again in the brutalist monstrosity that is the main library does fill me with glee), but honestly I’m really scared. I have no idea what I want to do with my life, and no plans for the future. Everyone else around me seems to know what they’re doing. They’re all going on to further study, or exciting jobs in the city and around the world. Meanwhile, I don’t have a clue. St Andrews is a bubble, and it does seem claustrophobic at times, but in many ways I feel protected by it. I haven’t had to think about the future for four years, and now I’m really worried! What on earth do I do with my life?

Love, At-A-Loss Alice 

Dear At-A-Loss Alice

I’m sorry you feel this way, but, honestly, you really shouldn’t. It might seem as though everyone has their lives put together, but they don’t. You’re seeing only a very small slice of St Andrews — lots of people are in the same position. Besides, I’m yet to meet anyone with an actually interesting job lined up. Why is it that the only future prospect seems to be ‘going into consulting’?! I’m still no clearer on what consulting actually is, and, for that matter neither seem to be those pursuing a career in it. There’s too much pressure in this town to know exactly what you want to do by your early 20s. Instead of looking at the near future as an indefinite period of insecurity, treat it as a time to develop and learn about yourself. Perhaps you’ll have a life epiphany on a silent retreat in Thailand, or an ashram in Croatia. If you don’t have the funds for travel right now, you can always take a part-time job in the meantime. Unlike university essays, there’s no deadline on ‘knowing what you want to do’ — and, guess what, it’s liberating! So cut yourself some slack, and take it one step at a time.

Love, Andy x

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