Concerning You: Q&A

By Simone Schenkel (Science & Technology Editor, Columnist) [?]

Published: April 20, 2009 and Updated: April 28, 2009
Reprinted From The Windward Bridge

For this edition of Concerning You, I thought long and hard about the pressing topics of our adolescent community. I have to admit, I have been having some pretty bad writersí block, and when I came up blank, I decided to get some of the Windward public involved. After much thought and discussion, I was convinced by a friend that an advice column would be a productive way of addressing the burning topics that surround us. So, after consulting some of the student body about a sort of ďdear AbbyĒ type deal, I received some e-mails with questions that I will now endeavor to answer.

Dear H&S,

Iím not sure how this is supposed to work, but I need some help. Ever since school started, work has me drowning, and my stress level has separated me from my friends. I feel so alone, and I canít talk to friends about it because they donít really talk to me anymore. What do I do?

Please help,

Only the lonely

Dear only the lonely,

Iíd like to start off by saying that I appreciate you writing into the newspaper; thatís an extremely brave thing to do, and I applaud you. I see that you have also gone ahead with one of the steps that I think is critical to the process of solving a problem: acknowledging that you need help. Now, letís recognize the question at hand here. Work, I know for a fact, is a serious alienator. In my experience, work becomes so overwhelming that everything in your life somehow seems so insignificant in comparison. It really does complicate things, doesnít it? Well, in your case, or at least from what I can tell, your work has got you so engulfed that friendships have become neglected. Now I may be way off here, but if your work is tearing your friendships apart, you really need to assess at least some aspects of your work that can be altered so as to not impinge on your social life. Yes, I know that some courses, and potentially all of them, can be extremely time consuming, but there are solutions to give you a sort of ďleg upĒ on the classes that are getting you down. For one thing, tutors are Godís gift to students. And donít think that by getting a tutor you are somehow a dumbass, because youíre not. In fact, youíre way ahead of the game for getting the help needed for your success. But, hey, tutors arenít for everyone, and if itís not your thing, try talking to your teachers. They are there for you, and they want to understand the trouble(s) youíre having so they can fix them. If this doesnít relieve the pressure quite like youíd hoped, or you feel weird talking to a teacher, talk to some classmates and see if they can explain things a bit better or give you some helpful studying tips. I canít stress enough that work isnít, and shouldnít be everything. You need to do whatís good for you, and losing friendships just isnít worth it. So, once youíve figured out a good rhythm, those friendships need to be addressed. Invite them all over for a sleepover, or go out to lunch or whatever, and tell them whatís been going on in your life thatís made you estranged. I guarantee at least one of them is going through that homework hiatus, and by telling them whatís what, theyíll get a better understanding of why you havenít been as social. I really do hope Iím not completely off base here, and sincerely trust that things will improve with time.

I hope that I havenít been blabbering complete nonsense, and I do hope to make this a feature of my Concerning You column. Thanks to everyone for sending in the questions; there will be more answers to come.

Editor's Note: Sorry about the late posting, The final article of the series will be posted WednesdayRead more stories in Advice


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