Valentine’s Day Edition
Q: I’m really close friends with my crush, but I don’t know if they feel the same way. What can I get them that shows that I like them, but not too lovey-dovey that it feels like we’re in a relationship?
If you wanted to give them something that shows that you’re into them, but not enough to completely freak them out, I would say give them some homemade baked goods. Or maybe something related to an inside joke, something only you two know. Like for instance, my friend got me a pineapple one year…. long story, but it made me laugh my head off. The extra effort that it takes to bake something yourself, or think of an original present directly related to your relationship shows that you care (more than a friend) and that you’re interested. It’s not something so blatantly lovey-dovey that it’ll turn them away. If you wanted to go with something a little safer, chocolates or food. I mean obviously, food is always a safe back up. With chocolate, be careful that it’s not something really cheesy and corny (like those chocolate shaped roses). I would recommend no hearts or flowery stuff if you want to keep it casual. Just remember not to get your hopes up too far and think that they’ll fall in love with you. And if they do decide that they only want friendship, respect their opinions and move on. There are lots of other people out there, you will find a good one, I promise. (Yes, I know I’m being cheesy)
Q: A few months ago, I told a girl who I was good friends with that I liked her. She turned me down, but she promised me that this wouldn’t affect our friendship. But ever since then, we haven’t interacted as much as we used to. I never expected for things to go back to the way they were, but I didn’t think it would be this different. I told her about my concerns and she said that she wasn’t treating me differently and that she was just stressed. How do I get our friendship back on track?
First things first, it’s going to take some time to get your friendship back on track and the process to get there is going to be more than a little awkward. But once you accept that, and BOTH of you want to go back to the way things were before, restoring your friendship should be completely possible. You said that you voiced your concerns to your friend(that’s great! I mean no one would get anywhere without communication.) and that she said she was “just stressed.” Depending on the truth of her answer, your actions could go two different ways. The first case is if she’s actually telling the truth. If this girl that you like really is just stressed, and that’s the reason you guys aren’t talking as much, I would just wait it out. I mean it’s still going to be awkward any way you go. You can’t avoid that. But if the reason you guys aren’t interacting has more to do with her personal stress rather than the whole rejection thing, then things are going to get better soon. However, if this girl’s reason for putting some distance between you guys are your feelings, then things will have to go differently. In the beginning, prepare to take some time away from each other. Don’t completely disconnect, but know that a majorly awkward event has just happened and that the BOTH of you need some time to think and recuperate. I know that this period of space isn’t necessarily what you want, but it’s going to be vital to restoring a healthy friendship. Once both of you feel ready, don’t be afraid to take the first step. Make sure that she knows that you’re there for her in her times of need, and to support her. And when you’re with her, it may be hard but you’ll have to hide any remaining feelings. If restoring this friendship is really what you want, then you’ll have to fake it till you make it. After something like this, your relationship can’t help but be altered, no matter what each of you promises. But a big, grand gesture to symbolize your everlasting friendship won’t work. In fact, it might make things worse. I would just recommend that you stay by her side and support her through anything that happens (even if there’s another person that she happens to like). Trying to hide your feelings will be difficult, but the friendship that you gain back from this will make it worth it. And who knows? Maybe this whole incident will just draw you two together and maybe your relationship will come out even stronger.
Q: Dear Anne,
I am single and proud of it…well sometimes. It is obvious that high school relationships don’t last very long, especially with the boys in this school 🙂 But it still pains me to see cute couples in the hallway, getting valentines from loved ones. How can I be proud of my single-pringle lifestyle?
Your very right, typically high school relationships don’t last long. I mean don’t get me wrong there are those very few people who end up marrying their “high school sweetheart,” but the majority of the odds point to that not happening. I think that’s something you have to keep in mind; the couples you see in the halls, sure they may be cute and all but most likely it’s not gonna last. So, if you end up not having a special Valentine, don’t worry about it. You are 15 or 16 years old, you have plenty of time and plenty of more Valentine’s Days to spend with someone as you get older. You are bound to find someone as you grow up, and most likely you will be happier because there is a better chance of the relationship lasting. So for now, just focus on getting through high school, meeting good people, and having as many incredible experiences as possible so that when you do meet that special person, you’re ready to show them the best you possible. Also, I think you can be slightly relieved that you don’t have to deal with all the petty stress and sometimes heartbreak that comes with a high school relationship.
Q: I really like this person and know they like me, too. I want to officially ask them out, but they are going through a tough time. I want to be there for them and wait to mention going out, but it’s kind of annoying and taking a little bit of a toll on me. They are a really amazing person who can’t see how much of a positive impact they make on the ones around them and how much they matter.
Okay, in a situation like this, I would recommend some kind of gesture to show how much they matter to everyone around them. Normally when a friend seems down and they’re just having a hard time, I would say that you just have to stick it through with them. But I feel like the situation is kind of different this time around. The feeling of like is mutual between you two, right? And the thing that’s stopping you guys from going out is this kind of mental slump the person has gotten into. But it’s not like this person is completely alone in the world, they have people (like you) who care about them deeply and whose lives are made better by their presence. You just have to help them see that. And I feel like the best way to do so is by creating/organizing a really sweet(maybe even romantic) surprise that will, not only help them to remember how much they matter, help your relationship get started. I know that you just want to be there with them and wait as long as it takes, but you’re human too. And tough situations like these where your relationship is at a standstill and you feel helpless to do anything, can’t help but take a toll on you. So I feel like if you show up to school with a really thoughtful present, and it doesn’t have to be anything complicated, it could really just be a box of cookies and a meaningful note, it’ll really end up helping both of you get back on track.
Q: My parents got divorced when I was 5 years old, so growing up, I never really had a relationship of pure love to look up to. How can someone understand what love looks like when they’ve never really seen it?
Man, that’s a tough one and I’m sorry that you had to go through something like that at such a young age. But I think you experience love in your day to day life even if your parents may not have shown it. There may be great examples of love that your other family members share with each other. Maybe between your grandparents or between your aunts and uncles? Also, you can personally experience love in the relationships you have with your friends and family. Granted it may not be the romantic kind of love, but I love really is just caring deeply for another person and you can see that in any type of relationship. Also, regarding your possible personal romantic relationships, I feel like you will know when it happens. It’s the feeling of pure joy of being with a person and appreciating them for who they are, no matter how annoying they may get at times. Please note that there is no such thing as perfect love. If all it ever is is hearts and flowers and giddy smiles, is it really love? Love is something that’s messy and confusing and sometimes hurtful, but worth fighting for because you care so deeply about that person. So even though you’ve never really had a great example of love shown in your parents, love is something that’s all around us at all times. And even if your parents were to have a perfect relationship, love isn’t something that can be understood from watching others. You just have to feel it for yourself, and when you know, you know.
November 9, 2018
Q: So one of my closest friends just starting dating this guy. She has liked him for so long now, they have been friends for a while before dating, and he is honestly such a nice guy. I just feel like she is already choosing him over me and our other friends. I can’t say anything to her because I know how happy she is. I don’t want to make her choose between us and him. I just feel like she is already becoming more and more distant from us and I worry it will get worse. I know I’m not the only one friend who feels this. I just don’t know what to do, I don’t want to hurt her and I don’t want to make her choose. Please help me in any way you can!
A: I don’t think that your friend is growing apart from you guys, and I don’t think that it’ll ever come to the point where you have to ask your friend to choose between you and her boyfriend. Right now your friend might want to spend all her time with him, but that’s only natural. I mean she’s liked this guy for a while and now she finally has the chance to be with him. So, of course, she’s excited and happy and all lovey-dovey, it’s the honeymoon stage. But give the relationship some time and things will balance out. Your friend will realize that she also needs to spend time with her friends and find a way to care for everyone in her life. It might take more effort on your part as well. Try to invite her to hang out more often and actively try to include her into fun activities. Fair warning, you’ll be the one to reach out first most of the time. Not because she has forgotten about you, but because she has less time on her hands now. But remember that your happiness is also important. So if things don’t get better over time, talk to your friend. Don’t ask her to choose between you guys and her boyfriend, but tell her how you’re feeling and ask her to spend some time with you as well. If she gets upset at this or doesn’t change how she acts, just give her some space for a while. It’s clear then that she thinks her boyfriend is more important than you guys, and it may take some time for her to realize that’s false. If things don’t ever change, then think of your own self and stop concerning yourself with her. You deserve better than a one-sided relationship.
Q: My friends always make fun of my forehead and call me bread since my forehead looks like a loaf of bread. At first, I thought it was pretty funny but now its kind of annoying and I don’t know how to ask them to stop, and like they are really bringing down my self-esteem right when I was starting to like myself but now I hate everything about me. I don’t know what to do about this. Do you have any advice or anything to help?
A: That feeling you get when your friends (jokingly) make fun of something you’re secretly insecure about and it breaks you down a little, but you can’t tell them to stop because you don’t want to seem hypersensitive, yeah that feeling ain’t good. And I know that it may be hard, but I think you should try asking them to stop. Tell them what you told me. Explain to them that although it was funny for a little bit, it began to get upsetting. Often times people don’t realize that their jokes are hurtful. I think if you tell them, they will be receptive and understanding. If they are your true friends, then they will stop when you ask them too. If they don’t stop, then keep that in the back of your mind. How good of a friend are they if they don’t respect your feelings? Not very good in my opinion. And yes this does sound cheesy, but if they are pointing out something that they may classify as a flaw, it’s only because they are insecure about themselves. They don’t want the attention on themselves so they pin it on someone else. And finally, remember to love you for you. Everyone is beautiful in their own way (even if their forehead may look like a loaf of bread). No one looks the same, no one acts the same, no one is the same! Everyone is unique and should be proud of their differences because that is what makes the world interesting. If everyone was the same what fun would that be?
Q: Can I ask out the cute football player in my bio class even though I don’t know very much about him and I am not a cheerleader?
A: I say go for it. I mean you should try to get to know him first. Don’t just go up to him and ask him out if he doesn’t even know your name. Reach out to him. Talk about what you do or don’t like, anything really, just get to know the details that make him, him. Make sure you know him well and that he is still the type of person that you would want to go out with. If you already know what kind of person he is, and still like him, go for it! It doesn’t matter if he is a football player or if you aren’t a cheerleader if your relationship is more than something platonic then reach for something more. Also, I think that it’s pretty darn cool that you’re planning on asking him out. Look at you breaking those gender standards! But use common sense and don’t set yourself up to be rejected. If he obviously isn’t interested in anything more or expresses a dislike towards you, then protect your feeling sweetheart and let him go. Otherwise, forget about social norms and gender norms, be brave and take a chance.
October 25, 2018
Q: Like many others, I am feeling stressed about time management. I feel that I am pretty good at using my time wisely, however, the homework load definitely increases from middle school to high school. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the homework being assigned, and I need to find a way to get all of it done and study for tests efficiently- not just the night before a test. This has been slightly difficult for me especially with all of the commitments I have, like several of the clubs here at school and athletics after school. I know many others are experiencing the same thing, so I was wondering if you had any suggestions for better study habits, time management, and relieving stress? Thanks!
A: Oh my gosh, it really seems that you’ve got a lot going on. And I can definitely see how balancing your school work, multiple clubs AND a sport can be difficult. I feel that the best thing I can tell you to do is to plan ahead. If you know that you have a week filled with projects and tests coming up, do a little of the studying before. I know that forcing yourself to do school work when you have the option to relax can be extremely difficult, but I guarantee you that it will be greatly beneficial. Although this may sound unpleasing, aim to do something productive every day, even when you have nothing due for a while. Don’t get me wrong, giving yourself a chance to rest and recuperate is completely fine and vital to your health, but just remember to be smart in how you manage your work. As for suggestions, I talked to the guidance counselor on what the best study habits are and ways to relieve stress, and we came up with a quite a few. Here are some of my favorites.
- I would suggest taking breaks while you’re studying. Studies show that you can only focus on a certain amount of time. Your best work is done within the first 50 minutes of studying. After that, it becomes pretty difficult. So every 50 minutes, eat a little snack, watch a short Youtube video, or do what I do and frantically move your arms and legs around while calling it “dance”. This break allows for your brain to recuperate, and take a break from the stress that school work can cause.
- I know this is difficult to do for many people, but make a point to put your phone away while you work. Either leave it in the kitchen or in your room, but it should not be anywhere near you. I know that every time I hear that little “bing!”, I want to pick up my phone and see what’s going on. What normally ends up happening is you answer that one text, and then you end up on Snapchat or scrolling through Instagram. Half an hour of your time passes before you put your phone back down, and imagine if this happens multiple times. It’s a never-ending cycle that leads to you staying up later and later. So I repeat, MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY!
- Another thing I will do is listen to music while I study. However, I only do this for math or subjects that do not require heavy analysis. I try not to listen to music when I’m trying to read things because then you tend to miss details and it gets really difficult to retain information.
Ways to Relieve Stress:
- I feel that the best way to relieve stress is to find a passion, not just a hobby or a simple distraction, but something you absolutely love to do. It can be a sport, playing an instrument, or cooking. Heck, it can even be blowing bubbles. Just something that takes up all your thoughts when you do it and sort of brings you into your own little world. Do that one thing, and not only will your stress disappear, but your mood will improve tenfold, and you will come back ready to work your butt off.
P.S. Make sure to do your stress relieving activities in moderation. Go overboard and you might cause yourself even MORE stress. And no one wants that. I think.
Q: So I have a really good friend that’s been acting really different lately, and I know that’s really vague, but I just don’t know how else to describe it. She’s just been off, I guess. It happens usually around twice or three times during the school week: she’ll just seem really off and sad I guess. She won’t want to participate in our discussions as much, and she’ll send really short one word texts. Also, whenever I ask her what’s wrong, she always says “I don’t know. I just feel kinda sad today,”, or “I just feel off.” And at first, I just disregarded it because everyone goes through a rough patch, right? But it’s gotten to the point where I’m really worried about her, but I don’t know what to do. I’ve encouraged her to go to the guidance office, but I don’t think she feels comfortable. She’s also one of those people who thinks her problems aren’t as bad as other peoples, so she doesn’t want to complain. Any advice on how I should help her would be great!
Thanks so much!
A: I get what you’re feeling. There have been times when a friend of mine, who is normally incredibly bright and outgoing, kind of closed themselves up. It’s not like they were having a mental breakdown or crying their eyes out, but you could tell that something was definitely wrong. Although you may feel helpless, the best thing to do is to just be there for them. I mean you already suggested that they go to the guidance counselor’s office, and if they don’t feel comfortable with that, that’s completely fine. Sometimes, all you can do is try to make them laugh and forget about their problems. Your friend probably thinks that what they’re going through isn’t important enough, or they just don’t want you to drag you into their situation. If this is the case, just let them know that they can trust you and that you won’t judge them, no matter what. You may have to wait a while until your friend is ready to open up, but that’s okay. If they do open up to you, don’t try to analyze their actions or try to give advice unless they ask you to. Just sit there and listen to what they have to say, like their personal therapist. Yeah. Be their personal therapist. But…casual. You know? But also remember that you’re still their friend. So don’t be a normal therapist, be a cool therapist 😉.
*Remember that safety always comes first, and if you suspect that your friend might be harming themselves, tell an adult you trust, please.
Q: How do I push past slow people in the hallway without seeming like a rude peer?
Q: The way all the sophomores crowd the top of the hallways causes freshmen to stress to try to pass or get through them.
*We got multiple questions about the crazy halls of NAI, and these are our two favorites…
A: Ohhhh yeah, getting through those hallways can be such a nightmare. Especially since some of the sophomores are SO TALL. My method is to ask politely once, and then if they don’t move, say “EXCUSE ME” really loudly and plow through those people. That way you know that you’re not being rude, you’re just getting to where you need to be. You can also cough really loudly, and act like you’re slightly salty. I think you just have to not care what the other people think. Oh, but if the people blocking your way are super tall and intimidating, you wear your backpack on the front side so you can use it as a sort of battering ram. If you’re trying to maneuver through the hallway, and can’t get through you, can always follow a tall person. I follow right behind a tall person and let them do all the hard work. The other people will part like the Red Sea when Moses did his powerful, grandpa raising staff thingy. Just make sure to stay behind the tall people and you will be good to go (but be careful, if they stop all of the sudden…honey, you no longer exist.)