Need Advice?

by Elizabeth Illiano and Samantha Nasti

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This time, we decided to write our regular advice column a little differently. Rather than featuring one of the many questions we receive via our e-mail (TowerReview@gmail.com, should you have any more concerns!), we’re going to discuss what’s bothering you-yes, all of you! We talked to you guys throughout the day and found out what really bothers you. These were the most common problem:

We asked: Relationship problems?

You said: “Boys, they’re all jerks!”

Our solution: First of all, we have to agree with you. Sometimes high school boys can be jerks, but then again so can high school girls! We’ve all been in the position where we feel awful because of a significant other; heartbreaks sometimes seem to be a graduation requirement for high school!  Whether it was the boy who didn’t call when he said he would or the girl who flirts with you one day and ignores you the next, we’re all going to encounter a similar situation eventually. Relationship problems seem to be ubiquitous in the halls of any high school, especially RFH. The thing to remember is that this is just high school. Chances are you’re not going to find your soul mate, especially if he’s that jerky guy from Algebra. You have the rest of your life to meet new people, so getting stuck on a relationship isn’t worth your time. And if you do meet someone you can one day call your “high school sweet heart,” remember that you’re still young and you have plenty of time to work out the relationship. For now, just have fun with it. High school is supposed to be a learning experience, so this is a perfect time to learn how the game is played.

We asked: What about social life?

You said: “There’s a lot of peer pressure!”

Our solution: Remember back in eighth grade when all of our teachers tried to prepare us for the huge transition to high school? They would stress how terrible the peer pressure will be, making it seem like there would be parties in the hallways between classes and people slipping Who Knows What into your book bag. We’d get those horrifying statistics like “Only one person in this class will NOT succumb to peer pressure at some point in high school.” We got to freshman year shaking in our boots, afraid that every upper classman was going to force us to break the rules. I hope we’re not that scary, and I hope these dramatizations aren’t anyone’s reality, but should you encounter a situation as such, the solution is easy and clichéd and I’m sure you already know what it is:

Say No! Yes, you’ve been told this a million times by just about every adult you’ve ever met. But it really is effective. There are over a thousand kids in this school; someone has to have the same interests (or lack there of) as you. Just because one of your friends decides to take a certain path doesn’t mean you need to follow. High school isn’t only about finding yourself, it’s about finding your friends and a lifestyle that works for you. So don’t be shy to accept or deny something, even if your best friend does the opposite. Live the life you want to live and don’t let peer pressure get in your way.

We asked: What about schoolwork issues?

You said: “I feel tempted to cheat!”

Our solution: Cheating… is it really worth it? Think about it. When you get caught cheating, there are a number of consequences. In fact, other than receiving a zero on your assignment, you can potentially lose certain privileges that other high school students have. Is the possibility of being recognized by all teachers as a cheater better than receiving a 70% on your quiz? Trust me, that 70% is a lot more helpful to your grade than a zero, and won’t harm your grade or reputation a noticeable amount if you do well on most other assignments. There are other ways to improve your grades rather than relying on notecards hidden in your lap… such as improving your study habits. Just pay attention to the specific dates of your tests and quizzes, and begin studying a few days before if necessary.

We asked: What are some issues you have within the school building?

You said: “I hate awkward encounters in the hallway, especially with my ex.”

Our solution: Of course nobody wants to deal with the horrors of seeing his or her ex-significant other or ex-best friend in the hallway after a huge catastrophe – especially not when alone. But instead of staring straight at them, making rude remarks, or freaking out, there are ways to tone down the severity of the situation. The first thing to do, if worried about what he or she are thinking, is to avoid the person (no matter what he or she says or does), even act distracted if necessary. Do not feed into the awkwardness by acting entirely rude or making sarcastic remarks – this will only make the situation worse! Try not to pay attention to the person, and pretend he or she isn’t even there. You don’t want this person killing your mood. And if this really becomes an issue for you, try to work things out with that person. Of course you don’t have to get together or become best friends again (especially if he or she hurt you badly), but you could address your discomfort or just try to be on “decent terms.”  You could just ask the other person if you two could tolerate each other and try to put the past behind you both.

Until next time, enjoy the summer!  We will be back to answer your questions next fall!

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*Images from: http://lolasgoodcleanfun.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/no_jerks.jpg, http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_65fJY6BlFC0/SxMDOzDZPcI/AAAAAAAAAf4/IM9a2qJaYD8/s400/peerpressure-1.jpg,  http://heleniee.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/cheating.jpg, and http://hissweetheart.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/angry_face.jpg

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