{shortcode-769d72c2f8338c2eaeac7bc60c9de541bf32e7d3}Are you stressed, overwhelmed, and lost in a sea of section sign-ups and scheduling conflicts? Fear not: your comfort character is here to help. Now, you might be asking, “What is a comfort character?” Great question, Deb. Let’s get into it! (I hope someone else agrees that “Deb” sounds like someone who would ask a lot of questions, perhaps at a PTA — or Parent Teacher Association — conference, perhaps with a hairstyle that looks suspiciously like that of Big Bird. But, I digress.).

Comfort characters! Comfort characters are those characters in your favorite TV show or movie that just, for some inexplicable reason, are so relaxing to watch. It might be a character that reminds you of someone in real life, or it can be someone you feel like you relate to and want to be friends with, or even a character that reminds you of yourself. There are a lot of different reasons why you might have a comfort character, but the bottom line is they are a fictional person that gives you such a strong sense of familiarity that you turn to them when your friend Deb just isn’t cutting it (c’mon Deb!).

For example, my very own personal comfort character is Pam from The Office. Any time I’m feeling super overwhelmed with school work and face the weekly existential crisis of thinking about what I want to do with my life, I turn to trusty ol’ Pam to show me that everything happens for a reason and it’s all gonna work out in the end. You just need to get past your Roy to find your Jim, everyone! In some cases, your Roy might be your lengthy GenEd reading that feels impossible to start, or it may be the person in your breakout room who seems to know all the answers and get annoyed when they have to explain anything to you. Maybe it’s even the long-term significant other who is holding you back — if you would like to go with the straightforward example. Point being, watching Pam stick it out and become a true self-confident, assertive queen who has what she wants is just . . . the best.

So! Let me inspire you — you just must procrastinate more so that you can get out there and find your true comfort character...maybe even use this as an opportunity to spend your Wellness Day well. Perhaps I can provide a few suggestions of such characters, if nothing comes to mind. I think some of the best comfort characters are the ones in long running TV shows that you can watch grow and change as the show progresses. If you’re feeling down in the dumps about ~politics~, maybe you could turn to Leslie and Ben from Parks and Rec for a little bit of positive political spunk. If that breakout room nemesis is making you feel like you don’t really rule the (virtual) school, I’m sure that Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl can assure you otherwise. Of course, a show doesn’t have to have a million seasons to qualify! I mean, if you’re feeling like “Wow, I am always in sweats and always in my dorm and I never look even somewhat presentable,” then Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Hastings will allow you to live vicariously through their highly stylish early 19th century lives.

If you still feel like you have no idea where to look for your comfort character, please allow me to entertain myself by throwing out a **conspiracy theory**. Maybe we occasionally find comfort in characters that look and/or act like us? I’ve been told a few times that I look like Pam from The Office, and I even had someone tell me that “You’re exactly like Pam. Like, why do you look and act like her,” which I will pretend did not come across as having a slightly insulting intention. Anyway, maybe some of the best comfort characters can be the ones that kind of remind us of ourselves! So if you’ve ever had someone tell you that you look like a famous actor or actress, maybe go check them out and see what they’re up to, because one of their roles might just be your comfort character. What I am really trying to say is that I think everyone has, or should have some sort of a comfort character to turn to when you’re stressed, because watching their unrealistic, fictional lives will make you feel a little bit better about your all too real, sadly unfictional assignments that seem to just keep coming.