It’s November, which means one thing: Everyone’s life is in shambles! If you or someone you know needs help sorting through something, send your questions to Your shitshows will be considered on a confidential, case-by-case basis. The TLC Tip appears on alternate Fridays.

Q. What do you do when you spill hot tea all over your computer and lose 2,500 words of a paper OMFG?

A. Here’s what I would do in an ideal world: Shake my fist at the sky, walk to a computer cluster, rewrite as much as I can from memory before I forget. Edit later. Eat a peach, drink 64 ounces of water, go for a jog. Floss. Call my dean for help, if necessary.

Here’s what I would actually do: Sit down on the ground, cry so hard I start to pass out a little, stress eat a Snickers, run to a computer cluster, put on the Pixies really loud, rewrite from memory. Edit later. Call my dean and cry and ask for help (I love you Dean L, never change).

Q. My mom thinks I’m on drugs. How should I convince her that I’m not?

A. Did you know that if you’re financially independent from your parents, it doesn’t matter what the fuck they think, and you can do all the drugs you want?

Alternatively, you might ask why it is that your mother — the woman whose body you ruined 20 years ago, and every day since — thinks you’re on drugs. She probably doesn’t want to believe that her own child would do something as awful as “drugs.”

Which “drugs” does she think you’re doing? If she thinks you’re smoking a lot of weed, it might be because you’re acting lethargic, gaining weight and wearing a lot of ponchos. From here, it gets dicier: If she thinks you’re on cocaine, are you reading a lot of Bret Easton Ellis?

If you want her to stop accusing of you of drug use, you’ll need to have a real conversation with your mom. Ask why she’s so worried. Is she afraid you’ll fuck up your future, or afraid she’s fucking something up? Is there a history of addiction in your family you might not know about? Is she keeping something from you? Does SHE have a drug problem? Is this an episode of “Felicity”?

Q. Say you’re in a long distance relastionship and you can’t spell good and you develop a crush on someone and it’s like a serious chemistry crush thing and you’ve been with this person forever but like, you’re young, whatever, what to do!? (Disclaimer: This question was asked via Gchat and has not been edited because lololol.)

A. My freshman year, three of the six women in my suite were in long-distance relationships. One of the unattached suitemates invited us to dinner at BAR with her mother during Camp Yale. The mom asked us about our love lives over lots of pizzas.

“OMG SO BOYS RIGHT,” she yelled over the dim roar of bros and beer. I’m not sure if she was checking to make sure we were all straight or what, but yes, we nodded, boys. Boys boys boys. We all liked them and half of us (!) had boyfriends. Yes, already. Yes, they were back home. Hahaha? Why are you laughing, Mrs. Mom?

“You girls,” she lawled, “will all be single by Christmas.”

And she was right.

Long distance relationships are the cat’s pajamas: No one’s really sure what that means or if they’ve ever even seen them before.

Of course you want to have sex with someone who’s in your zip code. It’s really hard to sustain desire for someone using only good memories — especially when there’s a real, friendly person staring you in the face. (That’s what I’m assuming you mean by “serious chemistry crush thing.” If you’re talking about someone you like in your chemistry class, I still want to help you but I admittedly give way fewer fucks.)

Don’t beat yourself up because you can’t make monogamy work remotely. Either ask your partner if he or she is okay with opening the relationship, or get ready to break up via Skype. Just make sure your speakers don’t break halfway through so you don’t have to watch your boyfriend cry and throw pillows at his computer as he soundlessly shouts “BUT I LOVE YOU.”