Dear Jessica,

My roommate is great — he’s nice, clean and respectful. The only problem I have with him is that he seems to never leave the room! He has a much lighter schedule than I do, and I am the first one to leave in the morning and the last one to get back in the afternoon. I know he has every right to be there, it’s just that sometimes I wish I had one hour of privacy in the room. I’ve tried to ask him if he is interested in joining any clubs or extracurriculars, but to no avail. What should I do?

One thing you can do to get time alone is figure out your roommate’s eating or shower schedule. If you know he goes to dinner every night at 6:30 p.m. like clockwork, then you can eat a little earlier or a little later and enjoy a bit of solitude while he’s out. Similarly, if you know he showers as soon as he gets up in the morning, you know you’ll have 20 minutes to yourself then as well. It might also help to take a look at your schedules and see if you can rearrange your routine to catch some alone time. For example, if you usually do some work in the library for a couple hours between classes, but you see that your roommate has class at that time, it might be worth heading back to your dorm for a bit. Finally, I’m glad you acknowledge that he does have every right to be there, but it can’t hurt to talk to him. The direct route is often the best route. If you explain to him that sometimes you need a little time alone during the week to decompress, he might be understanding and decide to join a club, or study in the lounge for an hour in the evenings. He might not, but it can’t hurt to ask.

Dear Jessica,

What is a quick and easy dish to make on the weekends with simple ingredients that can be found on campus?

My idea for you is a simple pasta and chicken dish! You’ll need:

One serving of pasta (found at the Hinman and College-in-the-Woods C-Stores)

One chicken breast (found at the Simple Servings stations in the dining halls)

1 cup of vegetables (found at the salad stations in the dining halls)

Just boil the pasta as directed on the box. Slice the already-cooked chicken breast into small strips or chunks. You can either saute the vegetables in a frying pan with a little bit of butter or oil (found in the dining hall, of course), or use the new steam station in the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center to steam them. You can even get some cheese from the salad bar to sprinkle on top. It might be worth checking out sites like BuzzFeed, which post recipes for microwave meals you can make in your dorm room, though their ingredients might require a trip off campus.