Dear Lone Pining

By Andres Smith | 4/27/16 10:37am

Life at Dartmouth can be hard, what with the harsh winters, D-Plan and limited social scene working against you. “Dear Lone Pining,” Dartbeat’s premier student advice column, is here to help! Anonymously submit your questions here and our lifestyle expert, Lone Pining, will help tackle your problems. Here’s what Lone Pining had to say this week:

Dear Lone Pining: I am not photogenic. I look like a troll in every photo taken of me. Help!PhotosNotBomb

I wish I could help, but I haven’t been able to appear in photos since 1871. I was studying abroad in Romania when I was invited to a castle rave. One thing led to another, and now I am an immortal creature of the night who mostly lives off of squirrel blood. But I digress.

While this is probably the worst time in history to not be photogenic (considering we now see each other more through social media than in person), I don’t think this is the end of the world. If the worst thing people can say about you is that you don’t look great in pictures, you’re not doing all that bad. As far as improving how you look in pictures, try standing up straight, smiling naturally and perhaps avoiding the cameras when you’ve crossed to the other side of the River Keystone.

Or, you could always go on that Transylvania FSP and not have to worry about it.

-Lone Pining

Dear Lone Pining: I spend a great deal of time in the KAF line. What’s the best way to be productive while I wait? –Kaffeinated&Motivated

You have a lot of time on the KAF line, and there are all sorts of things you can do while waiting: catch up on your emails, forge a priceless art piece, put a decades-long revenge plan into action, chart a course for the lost city of Atlantis or listen to a podcast. My personal favorite is mulling over my most recent, regretful life choices and deciding what overpriced pastry I should eat to drown out the memory, but that’s just me.

One word of caution, though: take thee care not to get so distracted by whatever you are doing that you don’t move up in line exactly when the person in front of you does. If there is a space between you and that person for even half a second, you will get so many dirty looks from the people behind you that your face is liable to melt right off – “Raiders of the Lost Ark” style.

-Lone Pining

Dear Lone Pining: I am a freshman. How do I get an upperclassman to invite me to a semi or formal?SingleButHowDoIMingle

Go to the BEMA at midnight on the eve of Homecoming, Winter Carnival or Green Key. Come alone and bring a 30-rack of Keystone. Shotgun every beer, one after the other, while singing the Alma Mater in its entirety between each one. If you finish the case, the bronze statue of Robert Frost above the BEMA will come to life and challenge you to a bare-knuckle fight to the death. In the unlikely event that you do not fall to the Frost as so many brave souls have before you, the ghosts of AD and SAE will descend from the wood and grant you the combined social capital of their historic brotherhoods. Then, and only then, will you maybe get an invite to a semi or formal as a freshman. No promises.

Honestly, there’s no big secret. If you’re close to people in Greek houses, they’ll probably invite you to semi or formal. There isn’t a social capital bouncer at the door turning away anyone who isn’t “high up enough on the X” or whatever social mythology helps you sleep at night. They are exclusive parties in an exclusive system, and people are going to invite their friends. Sometimes those friends are freshmen, but a lot of times (either because they’ve had more time to get to know people their age or because they buy into silly social norms that dictate at what age certain people become cool) those friends are going to be older. All I can say is chin up, enjoy your Russell Sage pregame and understand that not going to formal is very much not the end of the world.

-Lone Pining

Andres Smith