Ask ARL is a print and online monthly segment of Arlingtonian. Submit your questions at to receive advice on all corners of life. Questions are edited for length and clarity.

Q: Any tips to keep the Monday scares away? I always dread coming back to school after a nice weekend.

A: Monday is a bummer, as the classic school week anthem “The Friday Song” goes. The best way to ease into a new school week is to make your weekend as productive as possible. This will alleviate some of your anxieties like getting behind on your school work. By getting work done early in the weekend, you should be able to get to bed at a reasonable time Sunday night, and more rest leads to less stress. Pack your backpack and lunch box, grab your instrument or your sports duffle bag and pick out some comfortable attire Sunday night, then organize these belongings so that you can snag them as you leave for school. Make sure to wake up with enough time to eat breakfast and get ready so you won’t have to run out the door Monday morning. Plan to hang out with your friends Friday night, too: this will give you something to look forward to as you start the weekly academic cycle over again. Sleep, time and organization will help you start Monday on the right foot, even if you typically enter school with your left.

Q: Why is school lunch so expensive? Servings are extremely small and not enough for the busy student athlete.

A: I would say the price hike is due in part to the increased variety of fresh fruits and veggies and less processed meats. The most cost-effective method for having lunch at school would be to pack. While it’s less convenient, it’s ultimately cheaper. To save time, you should do your meal prep for the week on Sunday and pack your lunch box for school the night before you plan to bring it. An ice pack will ensure your items stay cool in your locker. You’ll benefit not just by saving money but also by knowing what’s going into your food. As an athlete, you should also be sure to bring a snack so you have enough energy to make it through practice. However, if you plan to continue buying food from the school, you can always talk to your guidance counselor if it’s too expensive for you and your parents. They’re here to help you, and they definitely want you to eat!

Q: Which side of the hallway do I walk on? All of the upperclassmen stay on the right in the hallway, but all of my friends and I walk on the left.

A: Go with the flow! It’s common hallway courtesy to walk on the right side. This includes the stairs too. If not, you’ll just get tousled about, or worse, accidentally stabbed with a pencil or the binding of a spiral notebook. While you’re at it, don’t stop in the middle of the hall to have a conversation or you’ll just be adding to class change congestion.

Q: I don’t have a waffle iron and want to make waffles. Am I able to do this?

A: Through research, I have discovered that it is indeed possible to make waffles with a grill pan: (1) Prepare your preferred waffle batter recipe as directed, then dollop the batter onto the hot griddle. (2) Flip when the side facing down has browned. (3) When the second side has browned, place onto a plate and repeat steps 2 and 3 until all batter has been used. Top pan-waffles with butter and syrup or jam if you’re feeling a bit saucy. Worst case scenario: make pancakes. They’re basically the same.