Ask Natalie: I'm thinking of taking a break from UBC

“Dear Natalie,

I’m now in my final year and just don’t feel like doing courses anymore. It’s not like my courses are difficult but the interest seems to be seriously lacking. Should I go for a break for a term in order to reignite my passion again? I’m just afraid if this idleness persists my grades will eventually suffer.”

It’s my last year too, and trust me, the desire to sleep through all my classes is very real. Take a break if you can afford to, but know this is probably more to do with being able to see the finish line rather than this particular term.

I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t really want to go to grad school right away so I’ve hit the new issue of realizing that most of my grades won’t matter. But focus on the fact that this is the last time you’ll be getting ready for the holidays while in school. This could be your last rainy fall at UBC.

Plus if you fail out of your classes now, you’re really not going to like having to take another term.

“Dear Natalie,

I have been getting calls in which no one is speaking at the other end of the line. This happened even more than once per day. Should I get suspicious? How do I make sure that other people are not cutting into our own phone line?”

When I first read this question, the first thing I wondered was if anyone actually had a landline anymore. The second thing I wondered was if you could check your phone bill to see what number is calling you so much. Then I was worried that only my phone company offered that and I asked around to see if my co-workers could see their phone bill.

My co-workers were immediately concerned about a stalker.

So your problem probably falls somewhere in between a cold-calling marketing firm getting their lines mixed up and a stalker. I do think one is more likely than the other.

First things first, try to find out who’s calling you through your bill or by calling your phone company. If it seems like a random number, plug it into Google and that might point you to the right company.

If it’s a company, see if you can block the number or try calling them to get on their no-call list. If it’s someone you know, still see if you can block the number.

I wouldn’t worry too much. Chances are some marketing firm is trying to sell you a heater or something and they’re having just as much trouble as you. But remember: if you ever fear for your safety, the police are a much better resource than the student newspaper.

“Hey Natalie,

I identify as an asexual. I find it extremely hard to make connections with people (in a romantic sense), and when I do get attention, I always suspect that it will ultimately have to end with sex. Is there any place where I can meet fellow asexuals, where I can genuinely meet people and form connections without having to get physical?”

I’m not asexual myself, although I think it’s a spectrum, much like the rest of sexuality. No two people will be alike in their experience, even if they are both ace. Some people who identify as ace also identify as aromantic and aren’t even interested in a romantic relationship without anything sexual. Some love the romance.

Unfortunately, asexuality isn’t very well known or represented (see: Riverdale’s Jughead), even within Queer communities — and some ace people don’t consider themselves “Queer” — so people who are asexual can sometimes feel excluded from “traditional” Queer meet-ups.

That also has the double-edged sword of meaning asexual folks often have to explain what that means to people who aren’t familiar with Queer terminology. The best thing you can do is be open and honest with your partners — if you feel comfortable with that person. Don’t ever feel like you have to justify who you are to other people, just because asexuality isn’t as well known as being gay doesn’t mean it’s any less of who you are.

If you’ve tried UBC Pride and find it’s not really your taste, and both have local meet-ups specifically for those who consider themselves ace.

I know I’m not being overly helpful, but I’m not very familiar with the ace community in Vancouver and I don’t want to point you in the wrong direction. Try to find online communities you’re comfortable with because many meet up in real life, especially in big cities like Vancouver.

Need advice? Contact Natalie anonymously at or at and have your questions answered!