Dear Molly: An Introduction to the New

Advice Column

Though the neon green fertilizer which signals the true start of spring on Harvard’s campus is still far away, at least one change at The Crimson has signaled an earlier arrival of spring: Dear Molly has taken the advice reins from Nikki. The faithful readers of the Crimson have grown to know and trust Nikki, so it is only fitting that I tell you a bit about me before I can ask you to send me your most puzzling inquiries.

One of my most trusted sources of wisdom during the past three and a half years of college has been my high school friend, Lindsey. I do not turn to Lindsey simply because she has listened to my life’s dramas for years, but mainly because she resides 3000 miles away from the situations I get myself into in Massachusetts. Due to her distance, she has a unique, objective perspective that is invaluable: she gives me honest advice that I do not think I could get from someone who is intimately connected to my social life. I aspire to act as this impartial—and seemingly distant—voice of reason for all the dilemmas, quandaries and awkward moments you can throw my way.

When my candid friend has no advice to offer, I have used pop culture as my back-up well of wisdom. I can assure you that I have seen an episode of Friends that is analogous to your issues (seriously, if you watch enough episodes, almost anything can be related). This semester, I will make use of the extensive hours I’ve wasted laughing along with sitcoms, watching movies and listening to songs (I have playlists based on what current situations I’m wrapped up in) to impart upon you the wisdom I have gleaned from the “deep” media. If all else fails, my grandmother has generously offered her assistance with the column, for she has advertised that she’s experienced everything… or at least thought about it.

Long story short, pitch me your fiercest curve ball and I will try to hit it out of the park. Or at least I’ll sacrifice fly so that you can make it home safely. Team before self.

Anyone who has seen the cinematic masterpiece, “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective,” will agree that if Dan Marino had simply followed the crucial advice of “laces out!” during his football game, the two-hour-long saga would not have ensued. I may not be intimately associated with all the particular details of your dilemmas, but I will hopefully be able to give “laces out” on-the-ball advice.

Or at least I tricked The Crimson into believing I could do this, since they have given me space in their paper each Monday morning for the next few months. Some say that free advice is only worth what you pay for it. I don’t have all the answers, sadly. Certain times of my life would be a whole lot less of a gong show if I did. I cannot promise that I will give the “right” answer to every question or that I will be able to solve every situation that comes through my inbox. I think I have gotten far enough away from my perfectionist tendencies that got me into Harvard to admit—with humility (gasp!)—that my advice will not be perfect.

I promise to be a benevolent realist: we all need someone to tell us the blunt truth in a caring manner, even when it is not what we want to hear, and especially when we deny our acknowledgement of what we really need to do. Even when we know what the best course of action should be, it is amazing how much more effective it is to hear that advice from another person—the role I hope to play.

Whether my advice is followed or not, I hope that the questioner will be more confident in whatever decision he or she makes after reading my column. Just remember to take all advice with a grain of salt, preferably one gracing the rim of a margarita.