Anonymous said: what is your advice for yung witches just starting college?
Witch the First: Part of me wishes to tell thee only to Amuse thyself! Ensnare thyself not with Worries. Hop astride your broomstick and ride it to graduation!
And part of me wishes to tell you to go into your dormitory Bedchamber, pull shut the door, throw the lock, and don’t come out until you’re six and twenty.
Now, I myself have never attended “”“college””“. No. I have the strength of ten mountains, yet not fortitude of Spirit enough to endure close quarters with laxbros.
However, I did strike up an acquaintance with a young Sightless undergrad some moons ago on the basis of her willingness to provide me with a wide variety of very specific nail clippings (virgin, Virgo, know-it-all, Francophone, Francophobe, know-it-all Francophones, the dormitories teem with such creatures). From observing her many Trials over the course of those four solar years, I can advise you of the following:
Acquaint thyself well with the line between a hilarious story for the Feasting Hall the next morrow and a genuinely perilous affair.
Your compatriots will want to dick around in the Library, not really do work. Join them in so dicking, but only after you have found an isolated sea-cave in which you can complete your Labours with Quicknesse.
Your fresh, juicy liver (don’t worry, I will not steal it), may well be ready for several grueling Trials. Juices of the Jungle, “”“Natty Light”“”“, and, if you are invited to the Bedchamber of a Fratbro with an Elder Brother who is Of Age, perhaps “”“”Goldschlager,”“” presented as a very precious Gift of which you are most likely undeserving (you are not). Drink of them all if you wish. Drink of them all in a row! But. Decide ahead of time what you truly Do Not Want To Do. Tell your most reliable Sister. Tell the Sister within yourself. Try not to do them, allow yourself to be halted if you do try.
Revel in your feather-light hangovers.
Abstractly pity but do not forgive your TAs.
Many and various Assholes will pretend to be in possession of cryptic and important Secrets/Mysteries. They are not. No, not that one either. Especially not that one. I am, they are not.
You really are allowed to just make an argument in a paper. You don’t have to be right.
Most professors with cults of personality are basically like on the spectrum of very full of Excrement to actually dangerous.
Do most of thy Homework and stay not awake all night. Stay up very late, but do not stay up all night. Cement for thyself a reasonable sleep schedule while your brain is still malleable and delicious. I’m sorry. Just malleable. Just malleable!! Old habits. My apologiesssss.
Learn how to wait tables. Marinate in chef-related terror until it cures your tender outermost layer of skin.
Figure out how people Really make you feel. Some electric shocks are good, others not so much.
And lastly, do whatever you like with your hair at any time. Oh and get in at least one fight you think you can win.
Witch the Third: How touched I am you turn to us. It has been so Long since I was a student of any human teacher, can I recall what Served me and did not?
Let us see.
As always, watch out for Mongols who, while they have their good points (halberds), are not as patient with institutions of higher learning as it might behoove them to be.
With great power come great languor, as we know. And lo, I shun effort absolutely. Do the Yali of Karnataka detach from their posts to curl about my legs? Do the continental plates groan against each other beneath my foot? If they do, it’s because I have a way with pets and not because of rigors I put myself or my companions through.
For an Age, though, I believed falsely that doing things I was “”“bad at”“” was the same as effort. And so I shunned human math early and often, and into college, which yes, I have attended, several times, a few of them simultaneously. In retrospect, of course I was bad at math, that is why I was in math CLASS. CLASS. You can already do the things you are good at, why do them more?
I am Here, and Fine, but I am Bad at Math. Seriously it was a CLASS. Would that I had lazily engaged things I was bad at, seen what of statistics could seep in through my skin.
Also petroleum engineering is the only safe bet career-wise. I mean, aside from Chrysopoeia, and that’s more of a hobby than a career.
Witch the Second: Ahhh, yes, “””college”””. Though I try to forget my Sightless days — mired as they were in self-consciousness, “”””work””””, and an unflagging, deeply unfortunate desire for the Sightless male — wandering on the moor this morning I was grazed by a breeze of generosity, and so I will excavate that memory pit.
What I find most urgent to tell you is that you may be thrust into situations in which it will be very easy to be cruel to people. This is a time of immense social freedom: your behavior will not be monitored as it once was. Perhaps you are feeling popular, or desirable, for the first time. Perhaps you want to throw these new powers around by testing them on your classmates and friends. With whom could I flirt for attention this fortnight? you may wonder. I am here to tell you: don’t be wantonly cruel. It’s not a good look, and you will surely come to regret it.
That said — neither must you accept the wanton cruelty of others, simply because you feel capable! For example: “difficult” friends are not always worthwhile. Sometimes they are just mean! If you Witness your difficult friend be unpleasant to others with frequency, know that this unpleasantness will some day be thrust upon you, like a belated Friggs’ Day gift. It is NOT your duty to accept it, no matter how your difficult friend protests.
And if you Lie with another — but especially a boy because let’s be real, they are without question the most Satanic (i.e. the most romantically attached to their own bad behavior, b-o-r-i-n-ggggggggg) — anyway if you Lie with another and she or he will not make eye contact with you in the dining hall the following morn, do not respond to their late night booty moth emissary! (Are ye still using moth emissaries? Are swallows more en vogue now? I do not care to keep up.) Be heartened: there will always be more carnal pleasure to be had. College is a gross cesspit, much like the La Brea tar pits once were. (What a foul, glorious time we had.)
You will make new friends and shed some just as fast. Especially during your freshman year, this is Normal and Okay. It is just what Happens.
Do not be afraid to speak up in class. And if you object to a piece of work because of its treatment of witches and/or other similarly marginalized groups — if it rubs you the wrong way and you decry it during a seminar, or a frat party — and a boy says to you any variation of: you are too sensitive, stop politicizing art, I unlike you see this clearly because I am a “”””writer”””” and a male, take your emotions out of the equation, etc. etc. etc., this boy is surely an Idiot, and you need not heed his boring monologue, no matter how confident he sounds.
Learn many skills and do many jobs. Though the party line is of course that Witches Hate Work, most of us enjoy a task or two. I hear “””””computer””””” work of some kind is valuable today; perhaps consider.
Sleep a lot, eat vegetables, get outside. Go on many Walks.
With some regularity, call your parents. Do not explain to them your nascent understanding of Marxism, lest they specifically ask. Odds are they do not want to hear it.
letters to a yung witchlet