"an androgynous, chain-smoking MML-er on their year abroad in Berlin"Iona Boyer

Varsity's resident Agony Aunt answers your burning desires (sorry, questions).

My crush just broke up with their fiancé. How do I seize this chance to make the first move?

Who the hell is getting engaged at university? A crush on a supervisor, hell, a parasocial relationship with your favourite Pret barista, would be understandable, but you, you’re speedrunning that white picket fence! But I won’t judge, and luckily, unlike you, my eyes aren’t clouded by the fuzzy-wuzzy rose-tinted goggles of love (ick!). Let’s forget about the power of seduction and focus on my powers of deduction – I’m going in with cold hard logic, baby. First of all, you’ve got to remember that they initiated the break-up. To make matters worse, with each passing year climate change is pushing hot girl summer (gender non-specific) further and further into the autumn months, and with your beau-to-be in their power right now, any attempts at consolation and chill are largely going to go over their head, or worse, cement you firmly in the friend-zone.

“What you need to keep an eye out for are opportunities to routinely ‘bump into’ them, one-on-one”

Still, with cuffing season fast approaching, you’ve got to move fast. Revenge from a spurned ex-fiancé aside, what you need to keep an eye out for are opportunities to routinely ‘bump into’ them, one-on-one, in places you already see each other – so it’s natural, you know! How about outside the Little Hall lecture theatre on Sidgwick Site? Easily confused with a nuclear fallout bunker from the Cold War and/or an unusually Brutalist public toilet, it’s so hopelessly deserted that any encounter will be just the two of you, albeit against the backdrop of that sweet, sweet stale concrete. Just don’t let things get too hot and heavy – it wouldn’t surprise me if our cash-strapped humanities department built the whole thing from discounted RAAC. Apologies to the STEM students for a lack of recommendations, but let’s not kid ourselves – none of you have the time (or all too often, the demand) for these dangerous liaisons.

To shave or not to shave my head?

Sometimes the pressure of this job really gets to me. It’s both reassuring and exhausting to know the students of Cambridge University have entrusted me with the fate of their lives. The weight of hard-hitting, historic decisions such as these bears down upon my weary shoulders. Forget the futures of the life-saving medics, or, for example, the overzealous HSPS students at the cutting edge of crucial new tax evasion schemes at the heart of Westminster – you only have to glance at the litany of crushbridges salivating over moppy-haired sidgbois to understand that one of the true accomplishments of this student populace is the upkeep of our luscious locks. Heavy is the head, they say, but in your case what appears to be heavier is that flowing crown of hair weighing you down. I guess your dear old Auntie just hopes you’re making this change for all the right reasons, and not simply because you absent-mindedly stumbled across the Instagram reel of an androgynous, chain-smoking MML-er on their year abroad in Berlin. Despite your hopes, a recreation of their sculpted shaven look, along with a hell of a lot of latex, still won’t compensate for the Uncle Frank’s tramp stamp you got in Freshers’ Week as the bouncer clocks you in the Berghain queue.

“The only thing the vast majority of us would die with under our belt are a couple of unfinished essays and a stash of ill-assorted McDonald’s Monopoly stickers”

A shaved head is a lot like applying to Cambridge – a damned good idea at the time, but seemingly a lot more effort than you’d initially thought, and a questionable use of the so-called ‘prime’ years of the only life you’re given on this miserable planet. Perhaps, amidst the cost of living crisis, your flat has been forced to part with all of its worldly possessions, including the furniture, and you’ve rented out the smooth and shiny top of your shaven head as a temporary coffee table. How very noble of you! But what if a large, shelled reptile – or an unseasoned night climber – were to fall from the sky and be so rude as to land smack bang in the centre of your cranium, splitting it open like a big juicy melon? And Aeschylus was one of the lucky ones. I imagine, instead of a few half-decent tragedies (I assume; I’m still yet to read them), the only thing the vast majority of us would die with under our belt are a couple of unfinished essays and a stash of ill-assorted McDonald’s Monopoly stickers we were still desperately holding out on. In that vein, if you truly are strapped for cash, why not custom dye the stubble of your buzzcut and mortgage your head as an advertising billboard? Bar, perhaps, a particularly dire case of headlice, I seldom find anything engaging about the backs of the heads I stare over during lectures. You could be the force that changes all that. The next time I’ve dragged myself out of bed, still half-asleep, for a 9am (scratch that, let’s be realistic, 11am), I’ll wonder why I’m craving a 20 piece chicken bucket from KFC, and I’ll know exactly which razor-happy wannabe-Harry-Hill is to blame.


Mountain View

Aunty Maddy: Freshers' Edition

If you have any questions for Aunty Maddy, submit them via email to lifestyle@varsity.co.uk.