Dear Old Owl, My mental health has been pretty bad recently and I’m looking for ways to improve my mood. I have tried changing my eating, exercise, and sleeping habits but none seem to affect my mood. Is there anything I can do to get out of this slump?

Dear Owlet, you have likely heard many suggestions from friends and families, but really my expertise is unparalleled in this area having spent more than 25 consecutive years down in the dumps myself. It is important to create a calming and restorative home environment that relieves stress and starts each day off well. If you truly seek to improve your mental health the only way to go about it is by investing in suite livestock. Having chickens on your beanbag is not only exciting, but also economical. This way you get fresh eggs, a passion project, and a lovely bucolic ambience for the low price of a half-dozen hens. Similarly, acquiring a goat allows you to externalize your issues by feeding printouts of your angsty poetry to your pet and seeing it disappear alongside your rug and running shoes. If you are extra ambitious you could start a small-scale tilapia farm in your sink, but that could bother your suitemates so probably best to ask first.

Dear Old Owl, I am trying to balance self-care with staying on top of my academics and extracurriculars. I would love some tips on staying mentally and physically healthy during such a busy semester.

Dear Owlet, This is not the first time I’ve heard this problem, especially from your generation. While I understand your concern, you are approaching this from entirely the wrong direction. Focusing on self-care is inherently selfish (it’s even in the name!). People get tricked by modern media into thinking that it’s okay to set aside time to indulge in slothful or gluttonous habits and leech off the productivity of others. In reality, that is entirely unjustifiable. There is no space in our society for inaction, let alone the meaningless consumption of resources! You want to do a face mask? You could have been doing ground breaking research on synthesizing artificial faces. You want to watch Netflix? How about you write a biting exposé on how all your devices are actually watching you. “Making time for yourself” is just “making time to be a lazy sack of shit.” 

Dear Old Owl, I have been trying to make a therapy appointment with Yale Health, but I keep getting pushed back. How do I get them to prioritize my time?

Dear Owlet, It is a very busy program and I understand that it can be difficult to schedule an appointment. Luckily, there is one failsafe way to make it to the top of their list ASAP. Start by applying to an on-campus job–ideally something administrative or admissions–and be sure to forge some meaningful workplace connections with your employers. After you graduate you can leverage those relationships (nice networking!) to get an intro level job in the Yale administration. Over the course of a few years, you can work your way up to eventually overseeing the Mental Health and Counseling department. By now, you should be able to schedule a meeting with whichever counsellor you’d like and get prompt results. Of course, you could always just wait to be onboarded, but only if you have a lot of time to spare.

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