“Dear Arum” September Submissions

A monthly column of borderline-unsolicited advice from The Owl's own Arum Jefferson.

Arum Jefferson, Staff Writer

1. Why hasn’t the school expanded the senior lot?


Dear Reader, 

I mean, the way I see it, selling parking passes at a volume that greatly exceeds the number of existing parking slots, which causes people to park illegally, and then ticketing and profiting off those same illegally parked cars definitely sounds like profitable fraud. Hey, maybe the $659,183,642 BVSD receives in revenue annually just isn’t enough for a new lot. 

— Arum


2. How can I not fear my own mortality/pain?


Dear Reader, 

At one point or another, we all must face the inevitable yet crushing truth that our existence is painfully limited. We come to the realization that in spite of all our efforts, death is ever-nearing as our seconds are stripped away. Perhaps to cope you may turn to the enticing belief of an afterlife or the hope that your spirit will live on. 

Unfortunately, I’m here to inform you that as far as I’m concerned, once you die, you will cease to exist in any form. However, never fear, as I have a coping mechanism that I find proves quite effective. 

In retrospect, you will not matter. Your life is insignificant — your part in the broad scope of the universe really only holds meaning to you. In fact, every experience you have and every person you meet is no more than a single blip in a series of flashes that we define as life. The reality is that the timeline of the universe is infinite, and one day, humanity as a whole will cease to be, with no one to remember our existence. 

So take a deep breath, try not to have an existential crisis, and stay with me here. Regardless of your insignificance to the scope of the universe in all its entirety, your life has meaning to you. If nothing really matters and there’s no true answer to the significance of life, then it’s purely up to you to determine the reason for your existence. 

Do what makes you happy. Invest in yourself. Maybe contribute to the lives of those around you. Life, my dear reader, is what you make of it, so allow yourself to relax a little, and find solace in the fact that you are free to do with your life whatever serves to make you happiest. 

— Arum


3. What’s the best way to make new friends if your current friends suck?


Dear Reader, 

I’m sorry you’ve just now come to the realization that those around you are horribly flawed. It’s a better-late-than-never revelation. I’m also sorry that your circumstances have resulted in you selecting “sucky” people as your companions. 

However, never fear, as humans are naturally sociable creatures, and making new friends is easy. 

First, make a quick evaluation of the basic hobbies you partake in; this can become a jumping-off point for meeting potential candidates for new friends. 

If you’re an artist, join the Art Club; if you enjoy arguing, join the Mock Trial team. If you possess no discernible skills or drive in life, just wander the halls until you eventually bump into the other burnouts.

Or maybe you’ve developed a nicotine addiction from a mango-flavored flash drive, in which case I’d advise heading down to one of the many Boulder High vape rooms (commonly referred to as our “bathrooms”). 

Once you’ve established commonalities, try, dear reader, to weed out those people who are unsatisfactory and do not meet your standards.  Unless you’re horribly unsocialized or grotesquely deformed you’ll happily find that most people are far less rigid than you might make them out to be. 

So get out there, start a conversation, make some plans together, or even just outright explain to them the predicament you’ve gotten yourself into and your newfound conquest for new friends. Most people, provided they themselves aren’t socially bitter, will aid you in your escape from the societal ostracization that is being friendless.

If all else fails, I don’t know what to tell you. Making friends isn’t rocket science, guys; most children over the age of three are capable of this minuscule feat. People naturally grow apart, and for every broken friendship, there’s an opening for another. If you’ve exercised all possible routes for new friends and you’ve still turned up empty-handed, just get into a meaningless high school relationship and become the obnoxiously toxic couple that relentlessly sucks into each other until they essentially become conjoined.

— Arum


4. Have you been treated different before like outcasts [sic] by the ones you call friends?


Dear Reader, 

Pretty sure if you’re being treated poorly by the ones you consider friends they were never really your friends to begin with. I’d highly recommend dumping said “friends” and directing your attention to Question #3 for further instruction. 

However, if you feel as though there’s a relationship worth salvaging, be upfront and explain to them how certain behaviors they exhibit have lead you to feel outcasted. Those who care about you will consciously listen, and those who can’t probably have a superiority complex or are indifferent towards your feelings of isolation. 

If feelings of being outcasted persist, perhaps, dear reader — and don’t take this the wrong way — it may be self-induced. Try making a more conscious effort to partake in social activities; the less isolated you make yourself, the less you’ll fall into the tendency to self-ostracize. 

— Arum