‘Dear Nicole’: An Advice Column


Victoria Levy

Nicole Neil ’18, Advice Columnist.

Q: Sometimes it feels like I don’t have any real friends. I have tons of people I talk to and stuff, but lately it feels like they only talk to me because I’m there, not because they’re genuinely interested. What should I do?

A: I think the first thing you should is tell your friends how you feel. Tell them that you feel distanced from them and their lives, and that you would like to get closer. However, if they continue to make you feel like this, even after you’ve spoken with them, then it might be time to branch out and make some new friends. Join a club that interests you so that you can find new people with similar hobbies. Of course you shouldn’t stop trying to connect with your old friends, but there’s nothing wrong with a few fresh faces. 

Q: I love my best friend, but lately it’s been hard to hang out with her. For instance, every time I try to plan something, she’s too busy. Should I keep trying or just give up?

A: If you really value your friendship with this person, then definitely don’t give up. You should try talking to her and explain how you’ve been feeling.  The only way to maintain a healthy relationship is to communicate with one another, and you have to be clear about what’s bothering you. It doesn’t seem like she’s trying to hurt you, so she might not even realize what she’s doing and how it’s been affecting you. Also try asking her when she’s free, and make her choose a date that she knows she’ll be available. That way she can’t say that she’s too busy as she set the date.

Q: How can I fight procrastination? 

A: Procrastination is a black hole of failure, and once it becomes a habit, it can be very difficult to get back on track. As someone who was a big procrastinator last year, I know first hand the stress that comes with it. However, just like all bad habits, this one is very possible to break. One way to fight it is to do your work right when you get home and not go on your phone. While most would like to take a ‘break’ after a long day of school, it is much more effective to just get off Facebook and get your work done. Another way to help fight procrastination is to reward yourself for getting work done. For example, only let yourself have dessert if you have finished all of your homework for the night, or don’t hang out with your friends if you haven’t finished that big paper. It can be tempting to procrastinate, and it will take practice and willpower to overcome it, but the rewards will be worth it! 

Q: How do you manage schoolwork with more than three Advanced Placement courses and extracurriculars such as teams? 

A: The most important thing to do is manage your time well. Go to the library and do homework before your practice starts. Also make good use of your weekends. If you have any work that will be due later in the week, then do it over the weekend. Additionally, never wait until the last minute, because that will just stress you out and you’ll be kicking yourself for procrastinating. However, it’s important to remember to still have fun, so don’t feel like you have to go home and study everyday! 

Q: How do you bounce back from failing exams in a proactive manner? 

A: Doing poorly on tests can really stress a student out. The grade goes on Pupilpath, then your average drops, and it may get you down. But it’s important to remember that it’s only a grade. Chances are you’ll have at least five other tests to help pull your grades up, or you could always talk to your teacher about doing some extra credit. You can’t change what has already happened, so just be sure to study harder for the next test and maybe start preparing earlier. SGI is also a great resource if there is something you don’t understand in class. Just keep in mind that a few bad grades aren’t very insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and that you have a long and successful future ahead of you!