Quite Frankly

Hey Frankie,
How do you tell people to just stop talking, please?
Sincerely, Silence Seeker

Dear Frankie,
I live in a house with very thin walls, and my neighbors are incredibly…noisy. I just want to grow crystals in peace. How do I get some peace and quiet?
Sincerely, Terribly Tired

Dear Seeker and Tired,

Quite frankly, moments of quiet solitude can be difficult to come by, particularly when you live, study, work, socialize and rest all in the same location. Separating those modes of existence becomes a challenge.

If your sole goal is silence, I have very straightforward advice: Make use of quiet spaces on campus, both designated and unofficial. There’s the Quiet Room on the third floor of the library, which hosts meditation sessions and remains open for solo use whenever no official events are taking place. Just remember to take off your shoes. Less officially, many folks don’t use their department lounges, and many of them are quite aesthetic and generally quiet. Some study spaces, even when populated, tend to be quiet (like the Old Bookstore, most of the time).

As for residential peace and quiet for your crystal growing operation, I would recommend trying to keep tabs on what your neighbors’ most active times are— not, like, keep a spreadsheet or anything, but just be aware whether they’re nocturnal, diurnal or crepuscular. Odds are that, for at least one hour per week if not several, there’s a window in which you’re not in class and they are. And that’s prime crystal time.

You could also try direct confrontation. Many people are pretty reasonable if you approach them kindly (not passive-aggressively) and say, “Hey, I would really love to have some designated peaceful time in the week; would you mind keeping volume low for just an hour?” If you’re nice and they don’t respond or change behavior, you can also reach out to your House Advisor to address the issue if their noise is creating problems for you.

Of course, a third option would be investing in some nice earplugs. Then, regardless of the volume of your neighbors, you can enjoy watching molecules accumulate.

Best wishes, Frankie

P.S. Remember that you deserve to have space of your own, and people don’t have the right to encroach on your mental, physical or emotional space!

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