Campus Life advice

Slippery and confused

Auntie Matter on discarded lube and a disorganized future

If you have questions for Auntie Matter, please submit them at


Dear Auntie Matter,

I'm struggling to figure out what I want to do with my life. I know most people don't have that figured out yet, but I need to do something, or the next two and a half years will pass by before I get anything done. How should I go about deciding what I want to do with my life, or at least, a temporary goal so I at least have something done?

— Lost and Confused


Dear Lost,

Auntie Matter assumes from the fact that you referenced “two and a half years” that you’re a sophomore. So, never fear! I know it’s a cliche, but you still have plenty of time to learn more about what you like and don’t like.

Even if you’re a second-semester senior, you still have time. In fact, you have your whole life to keep changing your mind about what you want to do.

In the meantime, to shore up the existential dread (yes, Auntie Matter knows this feeling well), why don’t you sit down and think for a little about what you’ve been doing? Are there any classes, UROPs, projects, clubs, or other activities that you’ve enjoyed so far? If so, you can seek out similar opportunities. If not, amazing! That means you’ve discovered a bunch of things you don’t like doing. So try something completely new! It’s more important that you do anything than that you do the “right” thing. Anything you do will build skills you can use in your life and give you friends, memories, and experiences.

If you’re worried about your resume, don’t be. You are going to MIT. You will probably be able to get a job. If you follow your interests and push yourself, the resume should come naturally. If you are indeed a sophomore, the most juicy internships are often more available to juniors, so if you are unable to secure your dream internship this summer, don’t panic. You have time. Using your summers to explore is valuable.

You talk about “getting something done.” What is it exactly that you are in a rush to “get done”? A good life isn’t measured in how quickly you decide on a career or even how many accomplishments you have. Perhaps you can reconsider this mentality.

Lastly, you are not alone. At this age, most of us don’t know what we want to do, and many of us who have already chosen a career path will change their minds. Everyone went through being a young person, including all of the settled adults you know. They muddled through, and so can we.


Dear Auntie Matter,

I am really concerned that my boyfriend and his roommate are secretly hooking up when I’m not there. They say that nothing’s going on, but I just can’t shake the feeling that something’s happening. When we do it, we never use lube but I found five used packets in his trash last night. What should I do?

— Slippery Character


Dear Slippery,

I worry about the health of your relationship, which, much like your supposed evidence of his infidelity, seems to be in the garbage. You don’t trust your boyfriend’s word, you are snooping around his room, and you “can’t shake the feeling” that he is cheating on you. Regardless of whether he is cheating on you, it seems like you don’t trust your boyfriend, which is a problem in itself. Has he betrayed your trust before? Is he a relatively new boyfriend? Are you generally untrusting? I think you should examine your mistrust and have a chat with your partner.

But what should you do? First, you should not assume the worst. There are a couple of ways that lube could have appeared without your boyfriend cheating on you. Two that come to mind: your boyfriend masturbated, or your boyfriend’s roommate had sex with someone (not your man) and used lube. Second, you should talk to him, perhaps without waving the empty lube packets in his face, and ask whether he is cheating on you.

There are two basic ways that conversation could play out. Either he will say “of course I’m not cheating on you,” in which case you can either trust him, or tell him why it is so hard for you to trust him, or break up with him... or he will admit to cheating. If he cheated on you and y’all are really serious, you could either stay or go. Auntie has a hunch that this is a new relationship. If your boyfriend of two months cheats on you, Auntie’s advice is to dump him.

Finally, dear writer, Auntie is confused by your question. Maybe this is a heterosexual relationship, but if 1) he’s supposedly sleeping with his roommate, who is 2) presumably also a man, and 3) statistically most people are cisgender… are you and your boyfriend two cis men sleeping together without lube? Auntie is a lady, and she admittedly has never had gay male sex, but she’s a little confused as to how this whole thing is working out.