The Duchess and the Dominatrix: March

DutchessDominatrixI’m smitten with my UOCD teammate. What should I do?
—Senseless Sophomore

Go for it! Team projects can stress relationships, which is why you’re asked to silver-bullet your current significant other during the team-selection process. But in this case there’s no risk of ruining an existing relationship, only the opportunity to begin a new one.
—Duchess of Deportment

Do not start dating during UOCD! It’s great that you found someone you love being around and are on a team with them for a semester. It will give you both a chance to get to know each other a lot better. UOCD can be a really stressful class and the last thing you want is to add the pressure and extra dimension of a relationship to the team dynamic. By the end of the semester you might be so sick of the person you are infatuated with right now. Save yourself and your team mates the hassle and wait until you are done with the class to investigate this area of opportunity. Or at least until after the final project review.
—Captain Dominatrix

My significant other and myself are going to be apart for a semester because of study away. We’re both very dedicated, but I’m afraid the semester could be rocky emotionally. Any advice? —Anxious Abroad

It will undoubtedly be difficult, but many relationships have survived longer periods of separation, so it can definitely be done. Make sure your expectations for each other are clear. Set weekly Skype dates. Send each other care packages and postcards. If possible (and especially if s/he is studying away somewhere particularly interesting), visit him or her at some point in the semester.
—Duchess of Deportment

It’s a good time to have a talk about your relationship and where you see it going. What are your hopes for the semester apart? It can be a great time to solidify a relationship but it can also be really stressful. Make sure your relationship isn’t keeping you from experiencing your new surroundings, making new friends and fully enjoying your study away experience.
—Captain Dominatrix

What are your thoughts on the “my life sucks more than yours” game?
—Curious Carl

It is probably not very psychologically healthy: Focusing on the negatives of life and turning lack of sleep into a virtue tend to encourage more of the same. That said, it’s an unavoidable part of college, especially engineering college. If you find someone playing that game, listen. (It helps people to get grievances off their chests and share them with an attentive audience from time to time.) But try not to escalate it by joining in; save your serious life complaints for heart-to-hearts with your close friends.
—Duchess of Deportment

In all seriousness, playing this game just increases the amount of “life suckiness” that surrounds us. It is really important to focus on the positives here since it is easy to get caught up in this game. This is a game that nobody wins (except me, but when I make people suffer they like it!).
—Captain Dominatrix