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Dear Oppy: November 2021

We are proud to continue our agony advice column, Dear Oppy: B-School Advice for the Everyday Sternie – “real questions, terrible advice.”

The Oppy can be quite Stern at times but is here to answer the queries and qualms of all MBA students so send them his/her/their way at oppy@stern.nyu.edu or fill this out, anonymously.

Dear Oppy,

Why are finals in person?

Sincerely,

Serious

Dear Is this a serious question?

Are you for f*cking real? Eli Manning didn’t win two Super Bowls by sitting on his couch! That’s just how he earns tons of money and gets to be on TV. Get in the game. If the biggest obstacle to you earning your degree is actually showing up to take your exams, this should be a pretty smooth 60 credits for you. Fill out your daily screener, get your butt to KMC and put in the effort. If you don’t try now you’ll never get to watch TV for a living later.

Best,

Oppy

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Dear Oppy,

What is the proper etiquette in handling a fellow student who came to class with a cold? I don’t think so honey! Just because it is not Covid (hope you got tested) does not mean that whatever other card-carrying virus you have is socially acceptable to spread around to your peers. Or am I crazy? I am a graduate student. I have ambitions of remaining cough free, of traveling with friends during winter break, of embracing my family during the holidays, and a fellow student wants to jeopardize all of that and give a live performance of Contagion. Oppy, gurl….what should I do?

Dear, well, you didn’t leave a name, so we’re going with “Cold Shoulder,”

First, know that Dear Oppy has no problem with you being totally shameless in telling these sick jabronies to stay home. Back when Dear Oppy first entered the work world, we went to the office once with a legitimate, body-numbing case of the flu because we thought our corporate overseers would be super impressed by our work ethic. This was back when we thought news organizations actually rewarded people for working hard. All we got for our trouble was a miserable night at the office and a scornful look from our boss when we suggested it would be unwise for us to participate in a newsroom Chinese food night. Dear Oppy has zero remaining patience for proliferated snot sniffles, flouting of mask mandates or “doing your own research.”

No one is impressed (as if we ever were) and they should take that General Tso’s chicken in their living room and watch the Zoom recording later, participation grades be damned.

Second, and more importantly, let’s talk Contagion. Call Dear Oppy crazy, but this is one of our favorite and most rewatchable movies. We actually made the bold decision to watch Contagion on a plane flight last February, inspired by the soon-to-be-corrected opinion that all these other folks with masks on were being a little silly. Our bad. Big time. Anyways, our potentially unconventional opinion: Watching Contagion actually made us feel a little better about Covid. Some of the movie, in particular Jude Law’s storyline, is remarkably true to life. But the thing I eventually noticed (and this is not to underscore the tragedy of Covid, which has been horrible and life-altering) is that the virus in Contagion is WAY WORSE! The virus in Contagion has a 30% mortality rate and kills 26 million people! Eek! Also, man does Kate Winslet’s character get a raw deal. Yeash.

Best,

Oppy

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Dear Oppy,

It’s getting to that time of year where people get “the sniffles”. Whether it’s allergies, traveling from the cold outdoors to a warm classroom, a little cold, etc. It is SO GROSS listening to people suck back their snot for three hours rather than just blow their nose. How do I tell someone to stop making such a nauseating noise and find a tissue already? Is there a polite way to do this?

Sincerely,

Snot going great

Dear Snot,

No. There is not. But who cares? Constantly managing your mucus sniffle is one of the worst noises known to man, surpassed only by nails on a chalkboard and Montreal Canadiens great Guy LaFleur’s bizarre venture into disco music. Also, should we remind this person that there’s a pandemic going on? For reals, bro. We’re all living on the edge right now and any snot sound, sniffle or cough is like yelling “Fire” in a crowded theatre.

The next time a mucus volcano waiting to happen sits down next to you, brazenly slam that packet of pocket kleenex on the desk, stare them in the eyes, and say what we’re all thinking: “And don’t forget to wash your hands, too.”

Best,

Oppy

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Dear Oppy,

I am not in FT or Langone where you get nicely slotted into color blocks to make lifelong friends. With yacht week looming in the near horizons, how do I ensure I actually get to network (booze up with the right crew) before it is too late?

Sincerely,

Blockless & Friendless

Dear Blockless,

You didn’t get divided into arbitrary family-like blocks? Sucks to be you! (For real though HashtagSpring2020BlueBlock4Lyfe)

Anyways, this is business school. How hard can it be to find someone to drink and network with? This was literally a part of our orientation. I feel like if you managed to navigate Stern’s application and the GMAT, this part should be easy. Just follow the crowds when you’re leaving class and pretend you belong. And if they all disappear before you get the chance, you can always network with the halal cart on East 4th Street. There’s a compelling argument to be made that there is more to be gained from that relationship than any other you’ll make here.

Best,

Oppy

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