A beach in the daytime overlooking a sparkling ocean. There is a bright umbrella and kite at the center of the scene.
Design by Kim Ly.

Stirring the Pot with Giselle is The Michigan Daily’s biweekly advice column.


I’m going on spring break with this girl I love but she doesn’t know it. We’ve been best friends since freshman year and spend almost every day together but I’ve never confessed my feelings. This will be our second trip together but this is our first one where we’re both finally single. Do I confess my feelings to her before we go or do I wait to confess when we’re on the beach? -J

Dear J, 

Not to make your pain into my entertainment, but I wish this was a movie. Sandy beach towels, a big sun umbrella, devastating rejection of friendship and the love of your life with the moon rising over the ocean? Picture me sighing wistfully and adding a heart on my Letterboxd account. 

I’m just kidding about the rejection part — I can’t guess how she feels. That being said, I think you should drop some hints. Do some classic “I love you” things on the beach. You could buy a kite and fly it with her (lose it with her, too). Find some crabs or a beached jellyfish and call her over only to say “You look like that.” So flirty! So fun! Being in love on the beach is so on-trend and very young and beautiful of you.

You will inevitably have more time to be alone together and that means more time for you to lay down some groundwork. Show her you’re in love, don’t tell her until you think she might return your feelings for the sake of your friendship and the trip. Or, you could just get down on one knee and propose during a pretty sunset! That would be super cool and confident. It’s up to you: cautious and indirect, or bold and risky.

Your song recommendations are: West Coast Love by Emotional Oranges and June 9th Nighttime by Florist. The former for if all goes well, the latter if not. 

I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed by my class work and extracurriculars. I have trouble getting enough sleep because I have early classes and my extracurriculars meet late at night, which makes my busy schedule harder to cope with. I don’t want to quit anything — have any advice? -R

Dear R,

Oh no! Unfortunately, if you’re not able to give your all to each responsibility, you either need to quit the thing you care the least about or start prioritizing your time. If there is something that requires less of your attention or effort, or can be picked back up when you are able to commit energy to it, put it at the bottom of your to-do list. Right now, it sounds like your sleep is at the bottom — if that’s okay with you, then work through it until the end of the semester. If your sleep is a higher priority, then you will need to switch it out with something else on the list. 

That was me being nice. Now I will be direct. If you overcommitted yourself at the beginning of the semester and you are suffering because of it, you have to quit something. Sure, sometimes the semester gets difficult and we all work through it, coming out on the other end happy that we completed what we set out to do. Other times, we may reflect and wonder, “Why did I do that to myself? What was the point of being miserable?” No matter what, be decisive. You either stick with everything and be okay with the unfortunate reality of your lost sleep and increased stress, or you drop the one thing you care the least about. 

Wake up! Smell the coming spring roses and realize it’s time for some active change if you’re unhappy! For lack of any other options, I really would advise you to quit something.

Your song recommendation is: Got To Give It Up – Pt. 1 by Marvin Gaye.

One of my neighbors in my apartment building put their laundry in the machine with mine (we have a communal laundry area) without asking, and then knocked on my door to say that his laundry was mixed in with mine and asked if he could look for his things in my laundry basket. He never had my permission and I barely know him. How do I approach him to say that he can’t do that? -G

Dear G, 

You have a few options: start washing your clothes the old-fashioned way (in the tub or at a river with some rocks) or play a really good prank on this guy. If you don’t have the time or energy to devote to either, try to occasionally monitor the machines during their washing and drying. If you prefer direct confrontation, you could knock on his door and initiate a conversation to set him straight. Be direct and explain why he made you uncomfortable and overstepped boundaries. And if he doesn’t see the problem with his weird invasion of laundry, maybe it’s time to reach out to your landlord and see if they can do anything about it. 

As for the prank, you could keep a close eye on the machines throughout the week and wait until your neighbor is putting in a load of laundry. It sounds like your washing machines are similar to mine — they don’t have lid locks. This means that you could, hypothetically of course, take his clothing out and put yours in during a dry cycle and then replace them again right at the end. You would then cackle to yourself, imagining him taking out wet clothes after an hour of waiting. To diminish chance encounters, you could also just cancel the dry cycle after he leaves the room. 

I get why you’re upset. I felt super yucky when a similar thing happened to me. Maybe it would be best to move on and decide that you’re better off not thinking about it too much. But, if you feel like seething and concocting evil plans, take a nap and eat something before committing yourself to an act of tomfoolery. I won’t judge you either way!

Your song recommendation is: Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae.

Please send some silly little questions. I’m begging. You could submit graduation dress links and I would eat it right up and spend an hour flipping back and forth between the options. I would do anything for you.

PS: I have recently been reflecting on how much I loved the “Les Misérables” movie when I was a kid. I remain positively impacted by Hugh Jackman’s singing and I truly believe that Russell Crowe was born to play Javert. Sue me!

Staring deeply into your eyes and not blinking, 

Gean Valgean and Gavert (I am both of them within this signoff)


Giselle Mills, a columnist for The Michigan Daily, writes “Stirring the Pot,” a big-sister, passive aggressive, “bad advice” column and can be reached at gimills@umich.edu.