Advice Column, No. 3

Answering your pressing questions, Volume 3
Posted on 09/15/2022
Letters in a basket





by Keely Walker, opinion editor

“Hey, my boyfriend is leaving to college and I’m a senior this year. Advice on how to best move forward and keep our relationship strong when we’re not able to see each other every day?”


I happen to be in a long-distance relationship myself. I would be lying if I said it was easy to be in a relationship with someone across the country, but nonetheless, the right people make everything worth it. What is important is first and foremost, recognizing your own boundaries. It is perfectly fine and normal to require certain things in a relationship, and honestly, not all requirements are able to be met with a long-distance one. Even if acknowledging insecurities and boundaries make you upset, it is easier to communicate effectively once you figure out what you truly need. Once you set your boundaries, I recommend creating an activity you can still do together to keep you connected. Play multiplayer games together, engage in Netflix Party, or set up a date where you do the same things, like go to Starbucks and sit on a call together. Even if you are far apart in distance, these types of “dates” will ensure you still feel connected. Set up times and schedules where it is guaranteed you will talk. The main requirement in a long-distance relationship is making time for each other, because if you don’t do that, you won’t get any. No matter what, stick to that schedule! If you follow these things, there is a decent chance your relationship will stay strong with all the distance. Best wishes.


“I’m a senior this year and scared of what the future holds. I’m unsure about how to take on all these new responsibilities and I don’t think I’m ready to go out into the ‘real world’.”


There is no doubt that the future is scary. There is uncertainty and instability, and unfortunately, nobody can technically guarantee anything – except for “taxes and death,” as Benjamin Franklin once said. While I know that sounds far from reassuring, there is one thing that can put you at ease: everybody is in the same boat. Our senior class is made up of over 310 students. I can promise you that kids all over the world share the same worries about our soon-to-be newfound freedom and opportunities. The fear of the unknown is not uncommon, and I know that at least for me, I am not in the minority. Part of the worry and fear though is simply that it is inevitable. Time will go on, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. This, of course, begs the question of, “do we relish what time we have left not to worry about anything, or do we worry now so we don’t have to be so stressed later?” There is no right answer. I recommend taking this time to evaluate what is important in life to you now. What brings you joy? Family? Friends? Spending time with absolutely nobody but yourself? There is no shame in any of that. The great part about this time in our lives is that it leaves space to figure out what you value most. You might be thinking: “well, I don’t know what’s important to me right now,” but that is okay. You do not need to have all the answers, contrary to what you might think. You do not have to be ready to move on to adulthood. Time will, as always, eventually catch up with us, and all we can do in the meantime is figure out what brings us happiness and incorporate that into our future. Outline your values, and with time, things will fall into place.


“I’m currently going to school for veterinary medicine because that’s what I’ve wanted to do my whole life, but now I’m having second thoughts and am thinking about a different career. Should I give up on my childhood dreams and pursue something else or stay with vet med?”


Of course, as time goes on, we move forward into the work field. Situations like these are extremely common, so please, do not feel alone. If you have started going to school for this and realize you strongly dislike it, then feel no pressure to continue it. Whatever career path you pursue is likely one you will end up sticking with for a long time. If this makes you miserable, it is okay to pick something else. You also might feel a bit guilty for wanting something other than what you’ve planned on for so long, but please do not. You do not owe any career loyalty to anyone, nor are you betraying anyone by changing your mind about a decision that strictly affects your life. That being said, if you are not disliking your current path and are just experiencing doubts, along with not having another plan should vet med fail to work out, I would not change your path. Doubts are normal and part of life. If you are just a bit doubtful, I would not give up on this dream. I hope this helped, and good luck!


“I’m not doing great with my homework, I always end up turning some of it in late or just completely forgetting about it. I need advice on how to get better about doing it on time.”


Well, first and foremost, motivation is the most important factor. Nobody else can motivate you to do your work except for you, which is the hardest part. I could tell you that using the agenda you get at the start of the school year is going to turn you into valedictorian, but truth be told, tools are only useful if you know how to use them and feel the need to. Once you find the motivation to do homework, then the agenda or schedule becomes useful. If you find yourself totally forgetting, invest in a good agenda or calendar! Romanticizing the chore-type things in your life genuinely creates motivation and encourages you to do them. Make these annoying assignments into something you can feel good about getting done: set up rewards for yourself like going on a shopping trip for not forgetting assignments for a week. Getting someone like a parent or friend to hold you accountable is a good step, too. Good luck, you got this!


“Hey! I’m a Freshman and I was wondering how do you guys balance homework and clubs and everything else you do at home (Like chores and just trying to do things that make you happy) because I personally have been having a really hard time balancing it all out and have been feeling discouraged after. Thank you!”


I’m so happy to hear you are getting involved early in your high school career! However, I am sorry you are having a hard time balancing everything. I know it can be difficult keeping things in moderation and making sure you also keep yourself happy. I would recommend first starting and asking yourself what your boundaries are, and knowing that it is okay to not go overboard in activities. Nobody can do it all. Once you establish what is too much for yourself, do not feel guilty for stepping out of whatever activity is putting your schedule over the top. With this new time, create a better balance for yourself and do more things that will make you happy. Communicate whatever is making you feel overloaded with the people around you and find a good support system. This should open your life up to better management.


“How do I become more confrontational with situations where your safety depends on it? (ex. Self-defense)”


One way to increase your feeling of safety and become more confrontational is having the tools to defend yourself. Getting pepper spray or some sort of defense weapon (off school campus, as they are not allowed on) can help with feeling more in control. Once you have the proper methods to defend yourself, then you might feel more comfortable sticking up for yourself. Invest in some self-defense classes in order to build confidence if you are able. I hope this helps.


“I am late to school a lot, but I have only gotten 1 tardy for it. How can I be on time? Should I wake up at 5:30am to have an hour and a half to get ready until I have to leave? Also, how do I not be a slow eater?”


This school year, tardies are more severe than they have been before. I would recommend getting up earlier to avoid being late. Or, you could skip breakfast at home to eat the free breakfast provided from the school. Don’t just fully skip the meal, though, because eating breakfast is important. Overall, you should probably just wake up at 5:30, even though it might be annoying, because sometimes we all require longer amounts of time to get ready. Slow eating is not bad for you. It helps to slow your metabolism and your stomach senses how full you are at the same pace, regardless of how much you eat. Please do not feel like you need to change this. Slow eating is healthier than eating quickly. Hope this helps!