There are only a few constants in this world that we can be completely sure of - the Pope is still a Catholic, Margaret Thatcher is still dead (and arguably more dead than she has ever been before), and I am once again writing the Agony Aunt column for the University Observer.

For anyone who's not up to speed here, my name is Joanne Joanne - UCD drag legend, fifteen-time Oscar winner, general idea of a person. This is my third (third!) year writing this column for the paper, because nothing I've written up until now has been bad enough to immediately send me to jail. Trust me, I've checked - I've handed myself in but they just won't have me!

This column is all about the questions and problems I am sent through my anonymous Tipbox account - throughout the year I'll be taking submissions and telling the good people of University College Dublin how to navigate their lives as college students. Maybe they'll take my advice! Maybe they won't! If you look carefully, there's a bit on our website that says that I personally am not responsible for anything that happens if you listen to me. I'm a 22-year-old drag queen with a Philosophy and Social Justice degree. Do what you want with that information.

Hi Joanne,
There's this guy in my tutorial group who might just be the most attractive man to have ever existed. My issue: I find it hard to see myself as ranking anything better than a 5 on a good day. How can I pump myself up to take a chance on this divine specimen of a man?

I don't know if this is down to me being an extrovert, me being a Capricorn sun, me being a Virgo rising, or me being downright impatient - I have very little time for self-deprecation in my life. Recently, I've been really into saying that abstract concepts and intangible things are so in right now. For example - confidence is really in this season. Bravery is so en vogue at the moment. Completely unwarranted amounts of self-assuredness? ALL the rage.

With this in mind, you have got to have more belief in yourself than you currently do. It's easier said than done, but you should keep in mind that there is nothing to lose here. If you take a chance on this guy, you have to remember that the absolute worst that can happen is that he will say no; you could also get to know each other better and maybe something will develop between you. But that may never happen unless you believe in yourself! You have to believe in yourself! Lizzo didn't die on the cross for this!

Think of it as that one scene from the Incredibles where Elastigirl is crying about her potentially cheating husband, and I am Edna Mode, beating you up with a newspaper that's full of true facts about how you are hotter and sexier and cooler than you think. That newspaper is a copy of the University Observer. I love my job.


Dear Jo Jo, Hello,
My girlfriend keeps liking another girl's thirst traps on Instagram. I didn't originally think anything of it, because up until now I've always felt very secure in our relationship, but since this other girl followed her back she's gotten super secretive about her phone. I've never tried to read her texts or anything, but she's started doing things like pulling her phone away from me when she gets a notification, or standing up from the couch when she opens her DMs. Am I going full crazy jealous girlfriend, or is this something I actually need to talk about with her?


This is a tough one I think! Personally, I'm always really protective over my phone - it's not even because I have anything to hide, I just really value my privacy unless I choose to share parts of my life with people of my own accord. It's nothing personal, but if you touch my phone without an explicit go-ahead from me, I am not responsible for your injuries. Might also be something to do with the fact that I had a pretty strict teenage experience. Introspection needs to be had, perhaps.

It's totally possible that she's genuinely just conscious of her privacy and doesn't like the thought of anyone reading her texts - I can respect that - but I'm also saying that as someone who's not in this relationship. If you've felt secure in your relationship and that has suddenly changed because of this Mystery Instagram Woman, I feel like it's worth having a conversation with your girlfriend about it. I think an important part of any relationship is in communicating when you are concerned about something - even if you're wrong and it ends up being nothing, it's always a good idea to talk about your feelings with each other. The alternative is keeping it bottled in and worrying about it forever - to paraphrase Paris Hilton; not hot!


My dearest darlingest JoJo,
My friends won't listen to my Taylor Swift theories anymore. All I want to do is theorise about when and where and how she's going to release her next single, and they keep calling me "Gay QAnon". Where do I find better friends?

It's me. I'm friends. This question was sent in by our lovely editor.


That's all for this issue! Throughout the year I'll be taking submissions through my Tipbox, which you can find in either my Linktree (@joannesquared on Instagram x) or in the Observer's Linktree. There is no story too juicy and nothing I can't make myself needlessly invested in, so please do your worst!