Etiquette Squirrel

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

Any suggestion on how I could make my dorm room more homey? It still doesn’t feel quite right sleeping there, and I want to spruce it up a little bit. 

— Not an Interior Designer

Dear Designer,

You most certainly could be! Don’t let your inhibitions keep you from expressing yourself in your room; do whatever you feel is right. I have self-portraits, a photo of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, a set of fine china, and acorns. Lots of them.

Your space should express who you are, display your interests , and help you feel relaxed. It’s important to customize your dorm room, so you can feel as comfortable as possible and escape the daily stress of university. First, check out top houseplant picks on page 8, then make a list of your interests, and then come up with ways to embody them throughout your space.

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I’m in first year and my mother keeps asking me to come home on the weekends, even though I live on residence. I knew this would be a problem when I chose a university near home, but I didn’t think it would be this bad. She’s nuts! She even downloaded Snapchat to see what I’m doing on my weekends. Help me, Etiquette Squirrel — how do I avoid my mother’s nosiness? 

— Overprotected and Overworked

Dear Overworked,

Oh, I’ve been there; all squirrels have overbearing mothers. Probably a result of being prey. Anyways, when we leave home, our mothers sometimes don’t know what to do. They’ve spent so long taking care of us that they feel like something’s missing and they don’t want to hibernate; they try to hold on to you so you’ll never leave. Remember how lucky you are that you have a mother who loves you and that you’re able to go home whenever you want. There are some students who can’t go home for numerous reasons and I bet they get homesick. Be happy you’ll never lose touch with your mother, because she won’t let you!

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I love where I live. It’s a nice neighbourhood and my roommates are friendly, but I do have one complaint: my landlord. She’s quite involved in the day-to-day comings and goings of the tenants, and I don’t know how to tell her that it’s a little weird! She has a key to my room and sometimes I get worried that one day I might not wake up in my bed. Etiquette Squirrel, in all your wisdom, what should I do?

— Scared I’ll Lose My Kidneys

Dear Kidney-Loser,

Don’t get squirrelly! I will admit, this is really odd. I’ve never quite heard of a landlord acting like this, but what I can tell you is that maybe you could try and —

No, forget it, I can’t consciously tell you this is okay! If your roommates start to go missing, you could be next! Let’s just hope you aren’t first, but my advice is to get out of there as soon as possible. I’ve got a futon you could stay on, but you might not fit.