Posted February 21, 2020

Dear Stella

Our live mascot Stella the Owl debuts her first advice column: For February she addresses relationship issues.

An illustration of two postage stamps, one with Stella the Owl and one that reads Dear Stella.

The missing Waterpik 
Q.  So, I confronted my roommate about using my Waterpik. He denied the allegations. Fine. Took his word for it. Maybe I’m the one misplacing it on his desk. Now, the Waterpik is usually where I leave it, but never properly cleaned. I already confronted him—should I just start hiding my Waterpik instead?

A. I understand the tempting allure of the Waterpik. Flossing with water? Unprecedented. Though, if he really is using it, that’s an invasion of personal space. Way to take the initiative and confront the situation head on. While it may be tempting to play a hide-and-seek game in retaliation, I think it’ll ultimately fuel the problem. 

Did you know there’s a conflict education resource team that offers free coaching? They may be able to give you some more pointers. Chat with them to get to the bottom of this Waterpik conundrum. Innocent until proven guilty, as you humans say. And if this situation is going down in a residence hall, you can always reach out to your resident assistant. RA’s are trained to handle situations like this, and serve as great mediators! Chat with them and plan a time where the three of you can meet.

Speeds his name, it’s not her game
Q.  Sonic the Hedgehog came out in theaters last weekend or whatever, and my boyfriend begged me to see it. We have not had a weekend where we’ve both been off from work in some time, and I thought we could have planned something a bit more special. But to him, Sonic is what’s special. I ended up not going, and he went with his friend instead. It blew up in a fight and now we’re not speaking. And I’m sitting here, thinking about Sonic and how I may now be single because of him.

A. First things first, don’t miss Sonic the Hedgehog because of this; the writing and acting is phenomenal all around, Carrey nails Eggman’s inner struggle of his desire to defeat his nemesis, yet also questioning what other purpose does he really have? But to address your quarrell, there seems to be an underlying issue beyond the furry blue icon. It sounds like you’re both struggling to find time to spend with one another, and when you do, your interests just aren’t aligning. 

What’s key in this situation: communication. Express to him that this fight is not really about Sonic, but about the struggle to compromise. How about you sit down together and make a list of the things you two like to do together? Or maybe next time you both have off from work, incorporate small things throughout the day that appease both your interests.

If you still struggle to communicate, I’d refer to the Wellness Resource Center. It may feel strange to reach out for institutional support in this case, but they’re a great resource! They provide communication workshops that cover a variety of topics in relationships. Visit as a couple, or own your own—whatever works for you.

Writer’s block sparks intern blues 

Q.  I am a public relations major and have a great internship this semester with a really cool agency. However, this intern is swamped with work. I’m buried in heaps of press releases on a weekly basis and there’s no way I can put my full effort into each one. Because of this stress, my creativity is seriously hindered. I want to impress my supervisor but this is getting to be all too much.

A. Intern, this is a great time for a lesson on self-advocacy! Everyone works at their own pace, from interns to CEOs, and your speed is no reflection of your abilities. I believe if you are honest with your supervisor, they’ll respect your candor. Plus, they’ll be very appreciative! I bet they’d prefer to have you at your full potential on a few projects, rather than an overworked version of you on an overload. If you’re hesitant about how to handle that conversation with your supervisor, visit the Career Center for some tips on how to talk with your boss.

And if you’re still concerned about your writing style, head to the Writing Center over at the Student Success Center where trained writing experts will review and edit your work, along with helping you brainstorm some new ideas. Don’t forget your professors are a resource, too! 

Well, I hope that was helpful! What else is on your mind? Email me at with your questions and make sure you follow Temple’s social media channels. You can ask questions there, too.

See you next month in March’s column! And who knows, I may just answer your most pressing question. 

xoxo Stella