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The SOAS Agony Aunt: Your problems, (occasionally) helpful solutions

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Kit King, BA Languages and Cultures and Arabic

The only sounds that can be heard are the turning of pages and the scurrying of the SOAS mouse infestation.

Q. ’Dear Agony Aunt, I must confess – I strongly believe SAaW is scamming us. Let me explain. On the SU page and in a couple of emails from SAaW, there exists an advert of sorts for ‘light-box therapy’ in Room SL48. But that room simply does not exist! It’s present on all the signs and on the SOAS map, but unfortunately remains confined to its written form. 

Since my first week at uni, I have hunted for this room in search of some personal photosynthesis time, but I simply cannot find it. When asked, the staff simply point me in the general direction of the careers office or towards the yellow armchairs in that area. I’m in agony without my daily dose of sunlight between classes. Especially now that the days are shorter. Please help!


Your sad potted friend.’

Dear reader,

The language you’ve used – notably ‘personal photosynthesis time’ and describing  yourself as ‘potted’ – suggests you are a very sentient, literate plant. If you are an actual plant, then your owner needs to put you in a sunnier spot, but, if you are in fact a real human person just seeking some vitamin D, go outside, bathe in the sun and do some self care babe. Supplements are also a good alternative. Long story short, you don’t need a light-box to catch some rays, the sun is free and the days are now getting longer. Stick a warm jacket on and go for a long walk. 


Agony Aunt

Q. ‘Dating international students?’

Dear reader,

Yes, you should.

Q. ‘How does one have a successful dating life at SOAS (preferably via the library)?’

Dear reader, 

Follow these steps to the letter my friend and I can guarantee you will find love. I’m picturing you sitting in an ambiently lit corner of the library. Floor B, to be exact. You’re mysteriously reading an old classic novel in a rarely spoken language that you actually don’t understand, but you read it to look cool. Your hair is softly blowing in the breeze coming from a nearby open window. The only sounds that can be heard are the turning of pages and the scurrying of the SOAS mouse infestation. The partner of your dreams is at the adjacent book shelves, searching for content for an essay that was due six days ago. They pick up a book and reach for their wire-framed glasses, only to find them not there. You see their panicked search from the corner of your eye and notice a pair on the floor. ‘Looking for these?’ you ask as you gently place them in their hands. A wave of relief washes over their face. Your hands briefly touch and a Hotel Transylvania-esque spark moment occurs. You hit it off and end up spending hours together, talking about everything and nothing. You come to find that they are insanely boring and get off with their flatmate that same night in the smoking area of the JCR.

Q. ‘How do we tell university that our deadline extensions still aren’t enough, I am STRUGGLING and am literally so behind and have severe ADHD and soas is like “babe, deal with it ;)” HONEY I THINK I’M HAVING A HEART ATTACK PLEASE HELP’

Dear reader,

I think this is quite a universal SOAS experience, one that I have certainly struggled with so don’t worry, you are not alone amigo. While I can’t give you advice on how to navigate the mitigating circumstances system or how to deal with ADHD because I am in no way a psychologist, I can tell you that one good way to get your essays done quickly is to simply get someone else to do them for you.* Alternatively, we could do what SOAS students do best and stage a massive protest outside on the steps against management and the unsatisfactory level of student support they provide. Either way, I wish you well and hope things start looking up. <3

*This is plagiarism, please do not genuinely do this.

To see your question, query, quandary, or qualm answered in the next issue of the SOAS Spirit, scan the QR code and complete the anonymous Google Form!

Love and Peace,
Agony Aunt

Photo Caption: Agony Aunt and in the form of Kit King. (Credit: Millie Weighton Glaister)

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