March-ing Forward with Advice for the Spring

Q: How do I make the most of my senior spring?

A: Enjoy the little time that you have left with your friends and family before you’re thrust into the world of adulthood and have to do your own taxes. For the rest of your life, you’ll do nothing but eat, sleep, work, and age. Eventually, you’ll die. Basically, we’re just telling you to let loose a little bit. Ask for that extension so that you can go driving with your friends late at night. Do the bare minimum for your homework assignments so that you can enjoy the other aspects of high school for the last few months of it.

Q: How can I structure my time better?

A: I always take a break when I get home from school (or go do some exercise if I’m feeling up for it) to relax after such a long period of working and staying focused. That way, after about an hour, I feel more prepared to crank out my assignments for a few hours. I’ve heard of some people trying the Pomodoro Method—25 minutes of work and then a five-minute break—but personally I like to just take a longer break whenever I finish an assignment as a reward. Try to do as much work as you can in the afternoon and early evening. Personally, my drive and ability to concentrate severely deteriorate after around 8:30 p.m., so I try to complete as much work as I can before then; that way, I can do other tasks that require less focus later in the evening and night, like talking to friends.

Q: What keeps you going? What motivates you? 

A: We honestly don’t know. At this point, close to nothing besides the need for constant academic validation. 

Q: How can I get past the “pre-break” period when teachers slam on work?

A: I don’t know. Actually, I’m not sure why we are answering this question. We need just as much help as you do. Make sure you go with the tried-and-true method of having multiple caffeinated drinks during the day and then a melatonin pill at night. Eat lots of comfort food. Take care of yourself. You got this!

Q: How do I ask someone to the spring fling? They’re my friend and I don’t want to make it awkward if they say no even though I’m not asking them on a date date.

A: First off, you can ask them as part of a group. If you’re in the same friend group, you can ask the whole group if they’d like to go together. Once you get to the dance, maybe you can pull them aside for a little while and split off from the group! If  that didn’t work for you, you could try framing your question as a joke: Wouldn’t it be funny/cool if we went to Spring Fling together? If they say no, then it won’t be as awkward if they don’t think you’re completely serious. If they say yes, then it all works out, except you would probably need to clarify your feelings for them at some point. You can use that first joke-y ask as a way to gauge their interest.

Q: How do I deal with the paranoid feeling that no one actually likes me and everyone is just constantly dealing with me?

A: Ah, yes: A dollop of imposter syndrome with a light sprinkling of catastrophic thinking. It is so easy to pick up on little things and turn them into something bigger. Am I not my best friend’s best friend? The hard but relieving truth that people don’t think about you as much as you’d expect. Nobody is thinking about your every move and still judging you for that one time you spilled chocolate milk on yourself. While you still remember that moment in April of 2021 when you made an awkward joke, they’ve probably forgotten all about it. Your friends are your friends because they want to be. If they wanted to leave you, they would, and since they didn’t, they don’t! Lastly, therapy.  Or post-midnight phone calls and trauma dumps. Whatever floats your boat.

Q: How should I tell my parents I want to go to therapy?

A: I (Lucy) remember going through the same thing. What if they think I’m crazy? What if I am crazy? I assure you, you are not. The truth is, you just need to be honest with them. Tell them that you are struggling and that it would be beneficial to have a therapist to talk to. You can also start out by talking to your doctor or a social worker. It may be difficult for them to hear you or understand you, but they may also be extremely perceptive to how you are feeling. And remember, you do not owe them an explanation. Therapy is for you, not them. Talking to the counselors is a great way to formulate a plan to start that conversation.

Q: I am part of a community where everyone has basically the same views. Because I have different views, I feel excluded and othered. How do I make sure my views are heard even though everybody else doesn’t want to hear my contributions because they are different?

A: Hopefully you’re friends with people who would be respectful and appreciative of you no matter your views, but if not, you have to do a risk-benefit analysis. Is it worth it to be honest about my beliefs with a person if it risks jeopardizing the relationship with them? The answer will probably be different for different people depending on your closeness and how you think they would react. You could introduce your differing beliefs gradually to “test the waters.” While it could be helpful for you to find others who share your beliefs (so that you can elevate your voices together) it also is important for everyone to encounter opinions different from their own. Assuming you’re talking about political beliefs, there are a lot of assumptions that come with any political ideology. The very idea of a concrete ideology is assuming a lot about many people! As long as neither side’s opinions are disrespectful or offensive to the other, people shouldn’t have a huge problem with a little bit of debate or discussion, but if you’re worried about those assumptions, you can say whatever you need to say to prove them wrong or show it through your actions and personality. In general, keep it light; keep it civil. Treat people with respect, everyone!