Q&A Advice Column

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Dear Q&A,

I have a lot of friends, but I always feel lonely.

Q: Hello! I’m very sorry you feel lonely. Feeling lonely is very normal. I have experienced loneliness before, so I understand how you are feeling. It’s important you know what’s making you feel lonely. This way, you can recognize what is going on and make things better. It really helps to vent your feelings with someone you feel safe with. Not being able to get out feelings can definitely be a source of loneliness. If you are feeling lonely because you don’t think you can really share true feelings with your friends, find someone you can talk to. This could be a parent/guardian, a teacher of yours, Dr. Decker, or your deans. These people are here to support and guide you. If you are feeling lonely because you have many friends, yet none of them are particularly close, I would make sure to find out which of your friends are your true, close friends. This way, you can build on those more meaningful relationships. Invite people out on the weekends! You can start by inviting the person/people you feel closest to and make the relationship stronger. Go see a movie, invite them over, or maybe just go out to dinner. Being able to talk and share feelings is very important in a friendship, especially in one you’d like to feel closer in. Have a great day!

A: Hey! The first step to feeling less lonely is to figure out why you’re feeling lonely. It’s really important that your friends are people that really care about you and that always include you. If you feel left out often, it might be a reason as to why you’re feeling lonely. Leaving a group of friends is a really hard thing to do, so I encourage you to try and talk to one of your friends about how you feel left out, and then see if things change. Another reason why you feel lonely might be because you might have isolated yourself. I totally understand being lazy on the weekend can seem like the best way to spend your time, but if you often find yourself saying “no” when people invite you somewhere, that might be one of the factors contributing to your loneliness. If you feel like people are excluding you, it might be important to invite them to hang out to send the message that you still want to be their friend. Another reason why many people feel lonely is because they feel like they can’t talk to their friends about personal matters. One reason why this occurs is because we don’t feel comfortable or because they aren’t close enough of friends Oftentimes when we don’t have anyone to talk about serious topics with, we feel lonely. If this is the case for you, I certainly encourage you to talk to Dr. Decker about any personal matter you are dealing with, so you feel less alone. You could also talk to her about how to make closer friends. If you still are having a hard time evaluating why you’re are feeling lonely and you don’t want to talk to anyone suggested, I recommend you journal out your feelings and events that affect those feelings to find the source of the problem yourself. I hope this could help!

Dear Q&A,

How do I manage my time better and prioritize my homework time?

Q: Hi there! Managing your time can be challenging and is crucial to your success as a student. Something that can help is writing out a list of all the work you need to do and, next to each marker write how much time you think it will take you. Then, plan out your day and write down from what time you’ll start to what time you’ll end each piece of work. What I do is write out on Google Keep a checklist of my day. As an example, I will write:

Math Homework: 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Packet 4.4 30 mins

This gives me a clear plan for me to keep with me and refer to then check off when I’m done with each assignment. However, I know that sometimes I procrastinate and veer off of my agenda. For that reason, I also include breaks. I will write out in between work periods a fifteen minute break. Another thing you should do is to do as much homework as you can during the school day. This way, when you get home, you’ll have less work to do because you’ll have spent your time at school efficiently. If you need to study, also add that into your day. Spend one of your frees studying for a test that is in a few days. That way, when you get home, you can do your homework and, if you have any time, study some more! Keep away from your phone if it will be a distraction. For some people, listening to music doesn’t affect their work productivity. However, I know if I listen to music, I’m just gonna want to sing and dance. I hope you can use these tips!

A: Hi! Time management and prioritization is probably one of the hardest thing to be efficient in, but at the same time, it’s what makes a great student. Make sure to write down what you need to do and when you can do it so when it does come time to do your homework or study for a test, it’s easy to start. Once you have plan, it’s super important that you maximize the time you do have when you’re not in class or at practice to get as much work done as possible. This means putting your phone in your backpack and not playing games on your computer. This also means going to the library for frees and keeping socializing to a minimum. If you find yourself staying up late doing homework, than you might be getting distracted and not maximizing your time. If you want to prioritize your homework time, that might mean sacrificing social time, and that can be a hard thing to do, however, depending on the way you look at it, it could be in your best interest. If you’re still struggling with this, the deans and Ms. Gabriel, the school’s learning specialist, are both great resources to help you with time management, too!

Dear Q&A,

How can I be friends with someone who I really like but who doesn’t respect my political views and make fun of me for them?

Q: Hello! I am very sorry that someone is disrespectful of your political views. I can relate to what you’ve experienced because I have had many moments like these. So I know how rough this is and how uncomfortable you may feel. There are times when my really good friends have discussed their political views in front of me and I may disagree with them. During these times, I feel it is best not to talk about my views because it could create unnecessary and unwanted conflict. In this moment, if the friend is pushing their own views on you and/or criticizing your views, I would say something to them. Let them know each person is allowed their own opinion and that if your view doesn’t affect them, that they should leave you alone. People shouldn’t mock someone else’s beliefs. Hopefully, they will listen to what you say and drop the subject. I really hope this helps.

A: Hi there. I’m sorry people aren’t respecting your political views; that’s really hard and unfair. If your friends are making fun of your beliefs and it bothers you, it’s crucial to let them know you don’t like it when they do that. If you’re having a hard time starting that conversation with your friend, you could wait to see if they do it again, and then if they do, then bring it up. I think you could point out, very calmly, that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, and it isn’t okay for them to make fun of your beliefs just because they disagree. It’s important to let them know how them making fun of your political views makes you feel, so then, it makes them more inclined to stop disrespecting your beliefs. You can also suggest that politics shouldn’t be brought up when you are together because of your opposing beliefs in order to avoid conflict. I hope this helps!

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