I got in trouble with SJP. How do I break the news to my parents?

Merri: For better or worse, this isn’t third grade anymore, and you’re not sent to the principal’s office to call home to explain to your parents that you kicked a kid on the playground. Assuming you’re not a minor, you are an adult responsible for your own decisions, and this includes the whether, when and how to tell your parents if you’re involved in a disciplinary issue — or any major incident that happens in your time at Rice.

You’re the expert on the relationship between you and your parents, so you’ll have to carefully evaluate how they might react, whether it’ll change your relationship, whether you need their support or advice while you’re interacting with SJP, and so on. If you’ve already decided to tell them, you generally can’t go wrong telling your side of what happened, taking responsibility for any consequences, letting them know that it doesn’t mean your life is completely ruined and reassuring them it won’t happen again.

Webster: SJP can’t tell your parents what’s going on, so you have options depending on how you screwed up. If you’re being dinged for pissing on Will Rice, drop the news over brunch and share a laugh about it. If you were snorting coke out of your roommate’s ass ... well, it’s probably best for everyone if you keep your mouth shut.

“Ask Merri and Webster” is an advice column authored by two Thresher editorial staff members. Readers can email their inquiries to thresher@rice.edu.