Advice Column - January edition

Answering your pressing questions, Volume 4
Posted on 01/26/2023
Letters in a basket





by Keely Walker

“I need help on bullying. There’s a girl who always is telling lies to my friends and everyone in the school. And the lies aren’t true. What should I do?”


I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through a tough time with rumors being spread about you. These situations can be difficult to navigate because the right thing to do is usually just ignore the situation. That’s not to say you shouldn’t speak up, because obviously you should try to speak out against the lies being spread. However, there comes a point where you just have to ignore it all. The person who is telling lies only does this because they want attention, whether it be from you or your friends. The less attention they get, the less joy they get from actually spreading the rumors. If your friends are truly your friends, they should realize quickly how little validity the lies have. The people who know you and your heart will acknowledge how you would not behave the way this other girl says. In short, tell your friends that this person is lying, or even an adult if it keeps going on, but then just ignore her and whatever she says because she’s just seeking attention.



“How do I get people to trust me when I prove that they can, but they still don’t believe me.”



Earning trust can be nearly impossible, especially when it has been broken in the past. There is not much to do when people do not want to open up, regardless of how trustworthy you are or prove to be. I suggest just reminding them that you’re their friend, and whether they want to tell you what is going on, you care about them. Do not try to pressure them into telling you what’s on their mind, just say “Well, I just want you to know I’m here for you and I will listen if you want to talk about it.” Be empathetic to how it could be difficult for them to talk about their problems. Take the aim off of hearing about their troubles and focus more on how you can just be their friend. Sometimes these things just take time. You could also ask them “How can I best show you that I can be trusted?” and see where that takes you. Good luck!



“How do I get my grades to be straight A’s? I want to have all A’s, but I don’t know how.”


I apologize for not getting to this post first semester, but hopefully I can offer some tips that help you achieve this in the second semester, if you didn’t already in the first. Part of getting and keeping A’s is not getting behind on any missing assignments. You need to stay on top of your work in order to keep your grades high. If you notice yourself getting behind, ask a teacher for help on the assignments. I guarantee that most, if not all, teachers want to see their students succeed. If you keep up on your work and instead just get poor grades on the work, ask about retaking or redoing the assignment or test. Put in an effort to study. Preparing for tests and studying genuinely works, but it takes more than spending 30 minutes the night before: trying to refresh a whole unit or semester’s worth of knowledge rarely pans out. Try spreading out the studying instead of cramming it all into one session, that way you feel less pressure to know everything right in that one sitting. If a test is on Friday, try starting Monday and going over different topics throughout the week. You can also ask a teacher what kinds of material you can expect, and how questions might be phrased to get more comfortable with it all. Hope this helps!



“I have a friend that keeps asking me to send her the homework, and it annoys me because while I don’t want to be one of those people to say no, I just feel like she needs to pull her own weight a bit on the assignments. What are your thoughts on this?”


I completely understand how you feel. Truthfully, there is no easy answer. I definitely would encourage you to not send any homework answers because it lets her off without knowing any of the material, but also damages your friendship by making you feel taken advantage of. I would probably ask her “Do you not understand the assignment?” and tell her you can help her with anything she struggles with by walking her through the steps, but that you can’t just give over the answers every time because you want to look out for her best interest. After all, it’s not like you can just give the answers on a test during class. If she claims to still understand it and just not want to do it, just say you “want to be sure” since she doesn’t actually do her work herself. Honestly, just make it look like you’re looking out for her, because otherwise there is destined to be some sort of issue. Don’t continue to send her answers though, because otherwise she will never stop asking. Or, you could just hit her with the “I don’t understand any of it” or “I haven’t even started it.” And she should hopefully give it a rest.



“My situation is I have a lot going on right now. First, my parents found out about my long-term boyfriend. The story is I’ve basically moved here from Washington, and I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 years. My family hates him because I never allowed him to introduce himself cause I live with my father and he’s super against this stuff. So, moving on I’m here now with a big situation. My dad found out about me going to see my boyfriend back in Washington because I go over there to visit my mother and it is a mess but he found out. And he told me I cant see my mother or him again basically and he hates me. What should I do?”


I’m sorry to hear you feel a lack of support coming from your family. That sounds difficult, especially because you feel like you have nowhere to turn with your mom far away along with your boyfriend, and your dad is upset. My best guess is that your dad will eventually get over his frustration and that your mom will definitely not just give up seeing you because he is mad about your boyfriend. As for that part of the equation, try arranging something over video chat so your dad can meet him. I know he is against that stuff like you said, but try to make a way for him to see how the boyfriend is as a person.

  • You get the tarot reading, so here it is: First I’m getting Sagittarius, Cancer, and Aquarius energies along with earth sign energy. Spirit understands that you feel alone, but also wants to demonstrate the give and take of this relationship. Work on trying to make things fair and right, but allow your dad to be upset, because he will chill out and feel more balanced soon. I know there are blocks in your pathway, but remember that progress, little by little, is still progress. Try to ground yourself instead of your mind wandering to the worst places, and just keep moving forward day by day.





“I have a ton of homework, college applications, parents who expect so much from me, and to top it all off, I’m getting about 3-4 hours of sleep a day. I honestly have no idea what to do.”


I know that this time period as a senior is often stressful. I would suggest creating a list of necessities that need to be completed. Getting sleep and taking care of yourself is #1, so take a break when needed so that you don’t become overwhelmed. I know that you’re probably thinking “I’m so busy I literally can’t take a break” but at the end of the day if you take no time for yourself, the work you’ll do will end up bad. Talk to your parents about how you’re feeling, they will hopefully be sympathetic. If they’re not, try to seek comfort in friends or other close adults who can relate and make life easier. Making an agenda also does wonders, which I know probably sounds lame and basic, but truly a good planner puts everything in perspective and helps you feel more capable. Wishing you luck!



“My friends ditched me for plans and hung out with each other. They excluded me completely and I don’t know how to confront them about it”


I’m sorry you’re facing these friendship issues. Honestly, I would first ask yourself if any of them are truly worth keeping as friends. If they’re not, I would not waste time confronting them because chances are they know what they did was wrong and hurtful. If they are friends you want to keep, confront them on an individual basis and tell them what they did was hurtful and what kind of things you want in a friendship. If you go in on a group level to confront them, they might almost gang up on you and you could feel intimidated. Truthfully, I would not count on them changing because if they did this once (which they know is wrong) they will probably do it again. However, these are your friends and you know them best, so decide who is worth keeping around and then go from there on a personal level and talk to them one-on-one about it. Hope