Mailbag: Coming Back To School After A Deployment, The “L” Word, Being A Foreigner At An American University

This is a recurring TFM series. Catch up with all installments of Mailbag by visiting the archive.

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Welcome to the TFM Mailbag, wherein I will answer your questions to the best of my ability. Send your questions to No topics are off limits.

Hey Wes,
I need help making the most out of a shit situation. I took a year off and joined the military so I could get through school without going into major debt. The plan was to go back to my current school & fraternity then transfer to a larger school and join our chapter there. However now I’m getting deployed and it’s gonna take another year. Should I go back to my old fraternity or try to get into the other chapter when I return?

A lot of things change in two years, so I would recommend a complete reset. When you return, reevaluate your entire situation and see if joining that house or going to that school still makes sense for you. I think you’ll find that you have a much better idea of things when you get to the end of your deployment. I wish you the best of luck.

Wes, I’ve hung out with this guy quite a few times, and we text everyday. We haven’t slept together but we do other stuff. He’s busy a lot and so am I so we try to hang when we can but it’s hard right now. He asks to hang out during the day sometimes, but sometimes he texts me at midnight to come over,but I don’t. He texts me that he misses me but he canceled our plans yesterday because he was tired and upset about losing his basketball game. My question is, do you think he’s actually interested or trying to smash? He apologized the next day and made plans for this weekend but idk if he just wants to get laid.
Any advice will help. Thanks!

This is a breakdown of the ideal man:
-Name is Tre
-Has a basketball game tomorrow
-Is a point guard
-Has shoe game

It sounds like this guy fulfills at least some of the above points, and I suggest you lock that down any way you can.


I brought a guy to formal and we had a great time. At the end of the night, when we were pretty much sober, he dropped the “L” word. In front of his roommate, my little, and her date…..but I’ve hardly heard from him since. Did he get scared and jump ship? Or was this some kind of bold move in the games he’s playing?


My immediate hunch is that he knows he done fucked up. Not only because he told you he loved you, but because he did it in front of so many witnesses. I would be cautious if I were you, because if I made that mistake I’d be deciding on which witnesses to dispose of. Out of his roommate, your little, and her date, are any of them especially…chatty? Like, would they be prone to squealing? They’re good as gone, sweetheart.

Sup Wes,

I come to you today because I am and have been concerned of going to college (I’m a HS senior). Ima try and keep it short here, but bear with me. I’m an American citizen, I go to the US every Christmas/Summer (have family there), but I’ve never lived there… Hence, also being a French citizen and having lived in Paris (14 years) and London UK (4 years), I don’t know how well I’ll be able to include myself in the American communities on campus.

I am of course joining a frat, but I’m not sure how brothers/girls will take me not being totally American. To provide context however, I’m super patriotic and am super proud of all the places I come from. But, do I lie about being from across the pond? Should I just downplay it? I’ve gotten a lotta feedback from people saying the “international crowd” in colleges are usually not very liked, and I don’t wanna be part of that crowd.

Anyways, love your Mailbag column, long time fan, appreciate your time,

The Kid From Afar

Dude, you are absolutely going to clean up in college. If you bring that cigarette smoke-tinged aura of faux sophistication that so many western Europeans have mastered, the women will love you. Plus, your background and accent are things that separate you from the crowd. When I was in a fraternity, we had people from Norway, Ukraine, and Pakistan all in the same pledge class. We loved our foreigners, and any good organization will do the same. But I want to bring it back to my original point. Find some sorority girls and tell them about driving on the left side of the road and only having a 30-hour work week. Boom, you’re in.

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WJ Cope

He's the real reason people say "No one likes you when you're 23."

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