Ask Becky: Cheaters and English Majors

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Hello, hello, and welcome to another edition of Ask Becky. We’re getting spookier by the week here at UNBSJ; how many of you will be going as Becky for Halloween? I’d recommend something black as part of the ensemble.

This week, the questions have only gotten more intense. I’ve got another two that need answering, and they’re doozies.

For our first question, L452 asks, “I think my boyfriend is cheating on me with my sister. How do I confront them?”

This question immediately strikes me as one that doesn’t have an easy answer. On the surface, if you confront them and you’re wrong, that’s not going to turn out well – but if you confront them and you’re right, that’s not going to be a good time, either. But there is a direction that I think you should take.

First, you need to ask yourself, “am I sure?” Absolutely, 100%, no-doubt-about-it, you have to be SURE. Don’t confront them on a feeling, or rely on intuition, no matter how tempting that might be, because that’s evidence of a deeper trust issue that doesn’t necessarily hold weight all the time. If you have evidence or witnesses, then you’ll be able to stand more strongly; having something more than a feeling or an anxiety is important.

Think about who you’d like to confront first, and if you’d want to speak to them separately or together. My advice is to pick the person who is more likely to tell you the truth, and try to get to the root of the problem that way. Whether you’re right or wrong, your boyfriend and sister are likely to team up together in their guilt or innocence and be defensive, which can cause deterioration, so by speaking to one or the other you may be able to avoid that. Don’t end the conversation until you’re sure you’ve aired everything out, because you’ll only have the element of surprise once, and you’d be astounded at how much of the truth comes out that way.

That being said, don’t kick their door(s) in and immediately start screaming, no matter how much you may want to. People don’t respond to that (not even guilty people). Calm, even, and measured speech is important. You can swear up a storm on the phone with your best friend later.

If you’ve gathered the evidence and confronted one of them, and you find out that you are right, whatever you do, don’t go full-on Carrie Underwood and start destroying cars; carving your name into his leather seats is, in fact, super illegal. Don’t let bad people get the best of you. It’s tempting, especially when you’re angry and you feel betrayed, but you’re definitely stronger than you know, and far better than anyone who would treat you so poorly. At the end of the day, if you’re right, do what you have to do to keep yourself safe, and remove unsafe people accordingly.

Best of luck, friend.

Becky

For our second question of the week, Anonymous asks, “I’m a high school student looking to attend UNBSJ next year. I’ve been following The Baron as I’m interested in writing for it some day. My issue is, all my current teachers say I’ll never make it as an English major, as I’ve never taken a level 1 English course…. is it really that difficult to do, and if so… why do so many people belittle an Arts degree?”

Okay, Becky just needs to rant for two minutes:

First of all, you don’t need to be an English major to write for the Baron; we’re staffed with multiple students from every faculty on campus, all of whom are brilliant, intelligent, and capable writers. When you apply to write for the Baron, your degree doesn’t matter; all that matters is the quality of your writing, which will only improve as time goes on. We’re more than willing to show new staff members the best ways to get better.

Second of all, I know you can’t necessarily tell your teachers to fuck off, but my first piece of advice is to send one out silently into the universe to float up into the sky and explode, raining down on your teachers like the shimmering sparkle of a firework while you walk past them and slay the game. You don’t have to take level one English classes in high school to become an English major; you just need to be passionate about English.

Whenever anyone tells you that you can’t do something that you’re passionate about, you have to understand that those people are small, and their minds aren’t in the right place. It doesn’t matter to me if you’re the worst writer in the world right now, your teachers (and anyone else in your life) should be supporting you and lifting you up. Writing is a learned skill, and not an inherent talent, and it is not even CLOSE to being all it takes to be an English major.

English degrees are hard. They involve a ton of reading, writing, and critical thought. You’re going to be digging into the meaning of things in ways that you’d never considered, and while that can be outrageously fun, it’s also hard to get your head around sometimes. It’s a lot of work, but that shouldn’t discourage you any more than your teachers should. You can walk into an English degree never having taken an upper level English course or IB or any of that bullshit and be on the Dean’s List. I know because I know people who have done it. It helps, but it’s not necessary.

Here’s the thing: high school doesn’t matter in the long run. It’s a four year stepping stone, and you can pull as much or as little from it as you want. For me, it was a waystation in hell, and I haven’t thought about it much since. But I did what needed to get done, and I devoted myself to what mattered to me after that.

For every person who tells you that you can’t do something, just work harder and do it better than the rest. Work your ass off, prove to yourself that you can do it, and understand that you can do it well. And then photocopy that diploma and send it to every motherfucker who told you that you couldn’t.

Xoxoxo,

Becky

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