Editor's Note: Ask Eric is an advice column published every Tuesday. Anonymous questions are taken from this Google form. Questions are also taken from both The Collegian's Instagram, @thecollegianur, and via email, collegianaskeric@gmail.com. 

Hello all,

In a follow-up to a question I received last week, I have been eating different sandwiches at Passport. Here is my review for three of them. 

The Caprese: Amazing, would take as a bribe, 10/10. 

The Cuban: It is just a ham sandwich, a reasonably good ham sandwich, but a ham sandwich nonetheless, 6/10. 

The Turkey Caprese: Somehow it is always cold in the middle, not my favorite, 4/10. 

Thank you to the person who posed that question to me last week -- if you want my wholly objective opinion on anything else, let me know. Now, let us get to the questions.

I always get very intimidated when 8:15 [at Boatwright] baristas ask for my drink order, how should I get myself to order with more tenacity and fearing nobody?

As someone who is an avid consumer of caffeine, I do have a couple of tips for ordering and being heard at 8:15. One piece of advice I would give is to know your order ahead of time. I always get the same thing -- a large iced coffee -- and honestly, that routine helps me feel a little better shouting my order across the line. 

Additionally, think of giving your order as if it's a normal conversation. Do not rush. You would not talk to a friend by word vomiting at them. Finally, speak loudly and clearly. It sounds cliché, but pretending to be confident does make one feel more sure of oneself. These are all the things that help me order when everything is hectic in the morning.

What is your least favorite thing about Richmond?

I will do you one better and give two things. One, the geese. They haunt my dreams and attack me regularly. One hissed at me -- who knew birds hissed? Not me until then. Horrifying. 

Second, on the more severe side of things, I am not fond of the “work hard, play hard” mentality on this campus. This outlook, in my opinion, is a recipe for disaster and is something that people do not address nearly often enough. Working to the point of unbearable stress and then letting it all out by partying all weekend is the way many students on campus cope, including myself at certain times. I worry that how students burn the candle at both ends is extremely unhealthy, and it is almost every week, or multiple times a week, that I see someone who was in the library on Thursday, drunkenly stumble home from lodges on Friday. 

I have also noticed that the days people are “playing hard” has increased since my time at the University of Richmond. I would be delighted if the campus had a serious discussion of why this pattern of behavior is happening and what can be done to alleviate some of the stress and suggest safer alternatives to letting off steam.

What’s your best tip for a long-distance relationship?

I have been with my current girlfriend for four years now, and since my freshman year of college, we have been long distance. I will start by being blunt and saying that if you are not wholly committed to your significant other, do not start a long-distance relationship. 

Long-distance relationships are hard -- things that are easy to address when face-to-face become difficult when you are hundreds of miles away. The best thing to do is to be honest with yourself and your significant other. If long-distance is too hard, it may be best to go your separate ways. For those who are entirely committed, my number one rule is to talk, a lot. Stay up to speed on the events happening in each other’s lives. Nothing feels worse than being disconnected from the one you love. Talking with each other helps to keep that from happening. 

Secondly, make time for them and stay romantic. It is easy to allow your relationship to become a secondary concern when you are far away. Plan Skype dates, visit each other now and then and keep the cute things you do together. Those are some of the things that I do to keep my relationship healthy, and I am very happy. Hopefully this will make you happy, too.

Well, that is all for this week folks. I would love to talk more, but I cannot make the editors stay up all night to correct my atrocious grammar. Again, remember that I am not an expert, and if you are having a severe problem, you should contact CAPS. That being said, I am always here on Tuesdays to give a little advice. Thanks for reading.

Sincerely,

Eric Bossert

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