O’Neill Library

Hi, I’m the Answer Wall! I’ve been perched in the O’Neill Library lobby at Boston College since February 2017, except for a year in 2020 when I went fully online. Ask me a question by posting a post-it on me in O’Neill Library. I’ll answer within a day on weekdays. I snooze on the weekends, because answering questions is hard work!

What are your best midterm tips?

What are your best midterm tips?
What are your best midterm tips?

Get enough sleep the night before. Plan out your studying in blocks for each subject and stick to it. Study with a buddy (but make sure they’re serious about it.) Take breaks and give yourself rewards. Attend any review sessions that are offered. Remember that while an exam may look like an overwhelming hurdle, it is not a judgement of you as a person. I have faith in you!

I just switched to English major! I don’t remember any history :(

Russia: A history of Russia, N. V. Riasonovsky (O’Neill Library DK40 .R5 2000) America: A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn (ebook: bit.ly/bcl-zinn-peoples-history) Europe: Europe, A History, Norman Davies (O’Neill Library D57 .D28 1996) Middle East: The Arabs: A History, Eugene Rogan (O’Neill Library DS37.7 .R64 2009), Jerusalem: The Biography, Simon Sebag Montefiore (DS109.9 .S43 2011)

I’m trying to get closer to/get to know a guy better, but I am SO BAD at conversation…

You can practice with friends (of any gender) if you can open up to them about your concerns. You might be able to come up with a physical trigger to stop the laughter like pressing on your jaw. In any case you are very courageous to put yourself out there and I have faith you can do it.

When you set aside your fears & anxieties, talking to guys is just like talking to women. You find some common ground through trial and error, and overlook the awkwardness that’s inevitable when you’re getting to know someone. Oh, and tell your inner voices saying critical or discouraging things that you appreciate their help but don’t need them right now.

As a guy, you just giving us the time of day is more than enough lol we are so scared of being seen as weird or creepy
As a guy, you just giving us the time of day is more than enough lol we are so scared of being seen as weird or creepy

It sounds very challenging!

How do I earn respect?

My advice? Live your life in an ethical manner, be kind to people and treat them with respect. Then, sit back and know you deserve respect, and what other people think is not something you can control. Try try try to worry less about what other people think (I know that is hard!)

how can I be a good therapist?

how can I be a good therapist?
how can I be a good therapist?

Some thoughts: get appropriate training and certification as required for your type of therapy and state in which you work, keep up with advances and new knowledge in the field, be caring, be ethical, set boundaries and take care of yourself as well.

What would you recommend from contemporary Anglo-American literature?

What would you recommend from contemporary Anglo-American literature?
What would you recommend from contemporary Anglo-American literature?

You could do worse than to find everything by the writers in the Lowell series this spring: https://bit.ly/bc-lowell. For more, peruse this New Yorker list of essential reads of 2023. On this list, Paul Murray, Ben Austen, & Ben Lerner all spoke at BC recently, BC’s Min Song introduced Viet Thanh Nguyen in his inaugural Norton Lecture at Harvard, and Jon Fosse was featured in an O’Neill Library book display. A staff favorite is Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead. BC’s own Elizabeth Graver wrote the can’t-miss Kantika.

second sem senior year friendships why so hard?

second sem senior year friendships why so hard?
second sem senior year friendships why so hard?

Whenever people are on the cusp of a major change, there’s added pressure on friendships with all these questions roiling the mind & heart: Where will we all be next year or the year after? Will distance make us drift apart? Who will you & I become? Life is hard: hang on to each other, come what may.