Ask Professor Peak: Week 3

Are you an SFU student or faculty member who needs some relationship, student, or SFU-related advice? In 150 words or less, send your issues anonymously by visiting Your entry could be published in our next issue, along with some helpful advice from Professor Peak!


Help! I want to avoid avoid a high school acquaintance who has moved to town and wants to hang out!

DEAR PROFESSOR PEAK: I’m a student and I moved here from another province a few years ago. After doing so, I was fairly selective with who I stayed in touch with from back home. I still talk to a lot of my friends but I slowly drifted from acquaintances. Now one of those acquaintances lives in Vancouver and she’s keen to hang out but I’m not interested. (It’s not that I actively dislike her or want to totally burn bridges between us; we’re just completely different people now.) ó LONE WOLF

DEAR LONE: Oof, that social awkwardness. Honestly, I think how you handle this depends on how nice you want to be. If you’re really keen to avoid her, you can actively blow her off until she realizes that “Sorry, too busy to hang out” actually means “I have more important/enjoyable things I can be doing.” Or, if you’re willing to put some more time and social grace into the situation, you could meet up with her in a non-committal situation (coffee, anyone?) and let the differences between you two become painfully obvious over the course of your friend-date. Either way, I think this situation will fade. She’s probably eager to meet up with you right now because it’s hard to be new in a strange city, but as she becomes more comfortable she’ll likely gravitate to her new, more kindred-spirited friends.

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My boyfriend and I are struggling and I’m having trouble avoiding him in the Residence we both live in!

DEAR PROFESSOR PEAK: I’m living in a co-ed floor on Residence, and my boyfriend lives down the hall from me. Recently we’ve been in disagreement with each other and our relationship has struggled because of it. This has been super awkward for me whenever I bump into him in the hallways of our residence building. What makes me especially anxious is when we meet up with each other in our floor’s communal kitchen, where we make our meals. Sometimes I wait for him to leave, but this can take forever and it completely throws off my busy schedule. Help? ó ANXIOUS & AWKWARD

DEAR ANXIOUS: Yikes. Having lived — and dated — in residence for multiple years, I’m gonna drop some truth on you: no matter how hard you try, you’re not going to be able to avoid each other. Between the communal kitchen, the communal bathroom, and the one walkway to get to class, you’re going to run into each other, a lot. Because of Murphy’s Law, you’ll probably end up bumping into him more than anyone else. Seriously, Murphy is an asshole. My advice would be to try to make some sort of peace, however tenuous and however temporary. If you can get to a point where you’re okay with seeing each other, even if the underlying problem isn’t fixed, you’ll both be much happier for it. You may not resolve your argument, and you shouldn’t force a solution, but having an honest conversation about the very real situation of still having to share space in the meantime is incredibly necessary. I mean, who wants to feel uncomfortable and anxious in their own home? Try waving the temporary white flag, hard as that may be.