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Ask the Mago

Ask the Mago
Posted By: Elynor Moss on October 02, 2013

I want to start a business selling music on campus. What tips can you offer?

Forgetaboutit! In today’s age your best bet is to get paid gigging, that is to say, performing live. If your music really has a global or at least national appeal, consider uploading it to Amazon.com or iTunes. The days of selling CD’s out of your trunk are over. CD’s are going the way of the 8-track and cassette. Have you noticed? The new laptops aren’t even coming with CD or DVD players anyway! If you want to sell your music to the world, put it online. If you want to sell music locally, get a local bar or club owner to pay you to perform. If he (she) won’t pay…what does that tell you?


What do you do when you can't understand your professor because of his accent, and he is the only one who teaches the course subject?

Wow, I had this problem in an accounting class. I know exactly what you mean. More often than not though, it is not your professor, but some hapless grad student who is just trying to make his or her own way through the same struggle you are, they are just further along in a different chapter, so to speak. Back in my day, I suffered through the class but left a message on the student feedback form at the end of the course. First, schedule a conference with the teacher to see if he or she can give you some extra guidance. Second, seek tutoring or even consider transferring to a different lecturer offering the same class, if available. Also, consider bringing your concerns to the department dean in a professional way, without making it into an ad-hominem issue.


My roommate and I do not enjoy being around each other because we are so different. I don't want to move to another room. How do I cope?

Wow bruh, I even had this same problem too. My ex roommate complained that I never slept. Well, that’s what engineering classes do. Anyway the key to solving this problem is direct and civil communication. You guys (or gals) may not end up being pals or homies but you can work together to try to find common ground and establish policies and procedures between yourselves for your own room. This is one of the secret values of college – learning how to coexist in the adult world.



You will have countless situations like this…Not just in the workplace, but with neighbors, everywhere you go, really. Learning how to go along and get along is a key life skill, and now is the time to learn it.


At our college there are many companies offering us Credit Cards. I really want one. Should I apply?

Well, that depends. Do you want to have bad credit going into your first professional job? Actually, they may not always be a bad deal, but the biggest factor in the equation is you. Remember, discipline is the gift you give yourself. What is it you will do with the card? If your desire is to buy stuff, remember, you are not making any more money, you are going into debt. In most cases, the proper way to use a credit card is to pay off the entire balance every month. Credit card companies (banks, usually) make money two ways. They make money off of the transaction fees they charge merchants every time you use the card, and when you carry a balance, they make money off of the (often exorbitant) interest they charge you on a month to month basis. Do you have a debit card now attached to your bank account? How do you handle it? If you find yourself constantly with a zero or negative balance, or bouncing checks and charges, a credit card is probably not for you. If you have comfortable cash balance and consistently bring in more than you spend, it may not be a bad idea.

One last point, don’t run up charges and then figure you will pay them off with student loans. You will end up financing shoes, clothes, or even worse, meals and entertainment, over the next several decades of your adult life! Do you really want to be paying for a meal or concert you went to today with the income that you are making in the year 2025?


My secret crush slept with my best friend. My best friend knew she was my crush. Should I stay friends with my best friend?

Ummm #WTF? How did you get to college? Your “best friend” is not even your “friend!” Bro, they need to put a common sense section on the SATs and ACTs if you think someone who would do this is your friend. Get a new set of friends…oh and by the way, another lesson you should take, is that if a crush is secret, you aren’t doing your job. You better step up!
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