Dear Nedlam,

Recently, the people I’m hanging around have gotten me into trouble. I enjoy being friends with them, but I don’t want to get in serious trouble again, what should I do?


Dear Reluctant,

From your pseudonym I can tell that you already know what you believe the right thing to do is but are “reluctant” to do it because sometimes doing what is right is less appealing than doing what you want.  If the trouble you were getting into wasn’t serious than I would have recommended that you just say you have to leave whenever your friends are doing something you don’t agree with or something along the lines of that. However, since the trouble is serious than I suggest you think about your priorities. Is it your health, safety and protection? Is it also the health, safety and protection of your friends? If that is the case then think about the trouble and harm you could be causing yourself physically, mentally, in your health, or in your education if you continue to go along with what they are doing. Unfortunately, as much as we wish we had the ability to change others, we cannot. It is up to your friends if they want to change their lives for the better. But you, on the other hand, recognize that what they are doing is wrong, and have seen the trouble that it can cause. I know it is hard, especially  in high school, to break away from a group of friends. However, depending on the danger you and your life could be in, I believe that it may be necessary.  Measuring up to others expectations just to keep their approval is wrong because while you may have friends they will be untrue, and you will not feel satisfied with yourself because you are not living for yourself. I know its easy for me to sit here and type these words, because even if what I tell you is what you need to do, it will be a hundred times harder for you to act upon it than for me to write this. But high school is a fleeting moment in your life, and when you look back at it won’t you feel glad that you escaped a giant pitfall in your life and kept on a better path? I’m sorry that I can’t make the answers any easier, and I can’t satisfy you with an easy way out to ease your reluctance, but I can tell you the truth and confirm that your conscience is telling you the right things. Of course, if the situation gets even more dangerous for you then I’d suggest immediately contacting a counselor, which sounds like selling out your friends, but getting them and you help now is far better than continuing to spiral downward till you have no hope left of improving. Hope this helps you! Good Luck!

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