This is the first installment in the weekly series "Nedlam's Corner," an advice column for students at MHS written by Karina Matos. As this is the first week, model questions were written by our staff. In the future, students and staff at MHS may submit questions through twitter, Facebook, a comment on this post, or through an email(all names will be removed at submitter's request). Please contact a Blue&Gold staff member with any questions.
Dear Nedlam, Even though it’s the beginning of the school year I’m super busy. How do I make time for everything, with classes, sports and clubs? I also want to hang out with friends and obviously spend some time with my own family. There isn’t enough time in the day!!! -Busy and Tired
Dear Busy and Tired, I know how you feel! Sometimes life can get too busy, and it’s hard when you want to give your all at everything you do. Luckily there are a lot of things you can do to make this less of an issue. First of all, be organized! A few quick things you can do to stay organized and make your day easier is laying out your school clothes the night before, putting things in the right section of your binder when you get them, or maybe, if you really have a lot you need to do or remember, creating a checklist. Another way to maximize time is to map out a general schedule of your day. Doing this will help you to see when you have some time for yourself, or to spend with your family and friends. If a sport or any other extracurricular is too much for you to handle and gets in the way of your homework, it could be a good decision to stop doing that activity. Another important aspect to staying on top of your schedule and having energy is living a healthy lifestyle. That means eating a healthy breakfast, drinking lots of water, and exercising. If anything in particular is taking a toll on your life, you should also consider seeing a guidance counselor to talk about ways to find and create free time in your life. Try to give yourself a break! Don’t stress yourself out about needing to be a part of tons of extracurriculars to look good on a college applications, and if you get one bad grade on a test, just study harder next time and make up the bad grade. Remember that the past is the past! Do whatever is best for you, not what you feel obligated or pressured to do. Lastly, if it’s just one particular day, or week, you feel especially busy and tired, have a “me” day over the weekend to recharge yourself for the coming week and as a reward for pushing through! Good Luck!
Dear Nedlam, I really like this guy, like a lot, but from what I can tell he just doesn’t see me that way. I’ve only spoken to him a little and I feel like I’m going crazy! So how do I make this boy like me? -in love <3
Dear in love, I’m required to write that if this guy doesn't notice you, he’s not good enough for you, and that someday a guy will come along that’s just right for you. Now here’s what I actually think: all that, “someday my prince will come,” stuff is sweet and everything, but not practical. However, there are some things you can do to help yourself out in this area. But before I can explain what I mean I also am obligated to point out, and this one I actually agree with, that no matter what forces of love draw you to someone we are still in high school (unless you are an adult reading this, in which case skip this part), which means that you shouldn't feel like you need to be dating somebody, and specific person in mind or not, use my advice with some degree of caution. Now, onto the advice! First of all, you can’t wait for someone to come to you. You are not a damsel in distress, and, most people are not potential models or celebrities. If you want a guy, or girl, to notice you, you need to make yourself known to them. That doesn’t mean walk right up to them and blurt out how much you love their eyes, or tell them how you want to spend the rest of your life with them. I mean you could, but I don’t recommend it. What I mean is, for example, if you haven’t formally met either have a mutual friend to introduce you to them or if they are talking about something and it wouldn’t be weird for you to include yourself in the conversation, share your thoughts on the subject. Another important thing is the way you appear to him, and others. Not just dressing nice, or wearing makeup, which can also help a good bit, but the way you act. Do you laugh a lot with people, and have funny inside jokes? From that a guy can see you have a good sense of humor. Do you smile a lot and try to help people? That displays your kindness. If you have become friends by now, or are already friends on some level, then the first thing I suggest is to think about what you could lose. Dating him might seem important now, but if his friendship matters to you, things might not be the same if your relationship ends. However, if you feel like you really want to have a romantic relationship, despite it being threatening to your friendship, then the next thing to do is give him signs. Even if you weren’t friends you could do this. However, I recommend being friends first so you are already comfortable with them and they aren't pretending to be someone they are not while you're dating them. If you want things to progress to a romantic relationship you need to give hints and clues that let the other person know how you feel. From there on, that’s when things need to progress naturally. Like I said in the beginning, you can’t force love, and if you’ve done all you can to “say it” without actually saying it, all you can do is see what happens. If nothing happens, and you’re brave enough and ready to deal with a possible negative response, you can just up and tell him how you feel. I commend anyone brave enough to do that, but hopefully my advice was helpful in someway if you’re not so forward. Good Luck!
Dear Nedlam, I don’t have many friends, and I’m kind of awkward when it comes to this sort of thing. Can you tell me how to make friends? I’m kind of lonely. -sad+alone
Dear Sad and Alone, First of all my heart goes out to you because I’ve felt that way before sometimes. Even if they may not admit it, I think everyone feels lonely sometimes, and I think a lot of people have trouble making friends. Now some people are just extremely bubbly, or outgoing and are able to strike up a conversation with anyone and three seconds later are the best of friends. But a good amount of people are not like that, and feel shy or a little intimidated to strike up a friendship with somebody, or anybody. My first piece of advice would be to join something. Whether it’s a sport, or club, or whatever, if you are around people who love doing the same things that you love, you are more likely to become friends because you have things in common. Another thing is to find the group of people you fit in most with. While here at MHS we don’t necessarily have cliques, we do, however, have groups of people who tend to hang out with each other more often than with other people, and they all seem to be on the same wavelength. A nice thing about high school is that you are pretty much guaranteed to find somebody like you, or similar to you no matter how alone you feel. If you feel awkward talking to people out of the blue, even in a place where people share your interests, then maybe try to do things in smaller steps. Come up with small things you want to accomplish in social situations to work your way up to bigger things. For example, say today you are going to start a conversation with three people, or you are going to do one spontaneous thing today. One of the reasons why it’s hard for people to make friends is because they over-think the situation and psyche themselves out of talking to someone, or convince themselves that it will go horribly wrong. Try to get out of your own head, and act before you think. I know for most people it’s think before you act, and in some cases I wholeheartedly agree, but for people who have to think about what they are going to say, then end up not speaking at all or interacting with anyone, just go for it! However, that does not mean participating in activities or habits other people are doing just to make friends. If you really want to make friends, you should want to make proper friends that care about your opinions, health, and morals. Another good way to make friends is if someone offers for you to go some place with them, or grab a bite to eat, or something of that nature, say yes. Friendships are made stronger by bonding outside of school and doing activities that create memories for you to talk about. A person who is not used to having many friends should also know that friendship takes work and if you truly want a friend, you have to be prepared to do things with them often, not just once, and message them a lot, and be a comfort to them when they need one. For some people, however, the idea of talking to somebody or being afraid of being in a situation with a lot of new people can be a cause for true fear. This is social anxiety, and if you experience true fear of social situations you should go to a counselor. That is also why, I’d like to emphasize to students that there are some kids out there who want to make friends and be friends with somebody. You don’t have to make them your best friend, but if others could take the time to at least be kind to everyone, or go out of their way to talk to someone, it might make a person feel more accepted. Another thing about making friends is that even if you don’t end up clicking with anybody, even if you have trouble initiating a first conversation with someone, high school isn’t the end of the road. Although this expression is overused, high school is a time to “find yourself,” and is a time for growth. As time goes on you may become more confident or end up in a situation in college or your professional life that you are more comfortable in and are able to make friends. Even now, there are plenty of opportunities outside of school to meet people and make friends. No matter what, there are always chances and opportunities to make friends, so keep trying! Good Luck!