DEAR ABBY: I have been having trouble in a lot of areas lately. Traveling for sports, trying to find a new church, dealing with the loss of a loved one, and school. I think I’m about to go insane. How am I supposed to actually stay sane through all of it? –INSANE
DEAR INSANE: First of all, I am so sorry that you feel this way right now. My prayer for you is that you hold on to the promise that God has given us that says He will never leave you or forsake you. Know that this is just a season and that this will pass. This time will not last forever. Having said that, there are some things you can do to help you on a daily basis. Find someone who can be a mentor and a confident to you. You need to have someone you trust that you can talk to about the loss of your loved one. You can not make yourself feel better just by wishing, or by trying to ignore it. You need to talk about it and deal with it. As for finding a new church, don’t give up. Pray for guidance and be proactive about getting involved. Being plugged in is so important. As a student, grades and sports are your jobs. You are learning life skills right now about balancing and prioritizing. No one can tell you how to manage your time in those areas. You can get guidance and advice- but ultimately the decision is yours as to how you are going to divide your hours up. You may decide you need to say no to some things; focus on what is important and what is going to have an impact on your future. Finally, you may need to take a break and focus on you. Take a day and just relax and seek God. Ask Him for his peace. Spend time doing something that makes you happy. You are not the best version of you if you are exhausted. I will also be praying for you. You’re stronger than you think!
DEAR ABBY: Hi, I have a friend that likes me like a lot and I really don’t like him that way. I want us to be friends because we get along really well together and I fell like if we dated it would ruin our friendship. Abby please help me! I don’t want to hurt his feelings. -HELPLESS GIRL
DEAR HELPLESS GIRL: Sometimes real friendships require difficult conversations. Difficult conversations require the truth spoken in love. You need to be honest with your friend. Let him know all the things that you admire and like about him. But also let him know that you don’t have feelings for him in that way. Let him know why you want to just stay friends. And you’re going to have to accept that it might be hard for him to hang out with you for a while. He may need some time to get over his feelings for you. But if there is real friendship, eventually you will find a way to stay friends.
DEAR ABBY: I have a problem with being loud and talking when I’m not supposed to be and I sometimes get in trouble for it. What should I do with my loudness? LOUD MOUTH MARY
DEAR LOUD MOUTH MARY: First, remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. He created you exactly like He wanted you to be. He has a plan and a purpose for you, and you will need that boldness to fulfill that plan. However, you will need to learn that there is a time and place for everything. In school, you have to keep your voice at an appropriate inside level. Get in the habit of whispering. It takes 30 days to form a new habit, so for the next 30 days- really focus on speaking softly! I know you can do this.
DEAR ABBY: Me and my friend are struggling with balancing sports and homework at the same time. What could we do to stay organized and get through the week with good grades? BEST FRIENDS
DEAR BEST FRIENDS: It’s wonderful that you and your best friend are into the same hobbies. Use your common interests to help each other. Start encouraging each other to study and work hard. Use your time together to study together. I know it’s not always what you would want to do for fun, but instead of just hanging out, plan a study session! Hold each other accountable- remind each other about upcoming assignments and tests. you can even use the time in a vehicle traveling to different sport events to ask each other review questions. The bible says that where 1 is weak, 2 are stronger. Be the type of best friends that makes the other one better!
DEAR ABBY: I find it very uncomfortable in the classrooms. Some of the classrooms are cold, and some are very hot. None of the classrooms are ever a comfortable temperature. Is this ever going to get fixed? –UNCOMFORTABLE
DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: I understand your frustration. I too find the rooms to range from freezing to sweltering. I know the administration is working on getting this fixed. Unfortunately, because of the age of the building, it’s not a simple fix. Please continue to endure the temperature changes as they continue to work to improve this. The desire is for a comfortable temperature in all the classrooms!
DEAR ABBY: This school year for me is really hard because there is homework every night. Juggling school and sports is hard with homework in the way! What should I do to juggle all of these thing? – JUGGLING ACH STUDENT
DEAR JUGGLING ACH STUDENT: You may need to limit your sports to just the one or two you’re really passionate, and good at! Life is all about making choices. You can’t do it all and be successful! Make good use of your time. Do homework and studying before any Netflix or YouTube or social media. Everyone is given 24 hours each day- you get to choose what to fill those hours with! Fill them with the important things that will benefit your life in the long run!
DEAR ABBY: Could you hang out with me sometime? You sound like a nice person. I gotta start hanging out with girls outside my family. Maybe we can get a cheeseburger or something. –MR. FRIENDLY
DEAR MR. FRIENDLY: Thank you for the sweet compliment! You sound like an amazing person. And while I do love a good cheeseburger, I am happily married. I would agree that you need to hang out with lots of people! Having friends is one of the greatest gifts in life! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! I hope you have an amazing year!!
DEAR ABBY: I have been stressed out about school lately. Can you give me some tips on how to complete school work without being stressed out about class, tests and projects? — STRESSED OUT KID
DEAR STRESSED OUT KID: You need to prioritize. Decide what are the most important things! I also find that an old fashioned, paper calendar planner helps you to visualize what you have to do and when it has to be done by! Write down everything you have to do and write down every assignment’s due date! That way you can see what all you have in a week at one glance! Do what you can early, and don’t get behind. You’ll do great!
DEAR ABBY: I am having trouble in math. I do not feel confident in myself while performing this subject. Often times, I become overwhelmed, because I want to get a good grade but believing in myself is a challenge. What can I do to improve? –MATH STUDENT
DEAR MATH STUDENT: Math is one of those subjects that may just require lots of practice and repetition. The math teachers have learning lab each morning- make sure you make good use of that time! They are in their rooms willing to work through homework and extra practice problems with you. It’s a great opportunity to get 1-on-1 help on those really hard math problems that you are struggling with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! There are no dumb questions in math class. The more you practice, the more your confidence will grow. Math is just one of those subjects that you can’t really learn unless you practice, practice, practice!
DEAR ABBY: I’m having trouble balancing extra curricular activities, school, and God. I need advice!!! –TROUBLED ACH STUDENT
DEAR TROUBLED ACH STUDENT: You need to first decide how many extra hours you have each day. Then list everything extra that you want to do and assign them a number in order of importance, starting at 1 and then counting up. Decide how much time each of those activities take, and then start adding them up. Draw a line when you are out of time. Everything that is under that line needs to be cut out of your life. You cannot do everything. In order to be successful, you have to prioritize and focus. What is important to you may not be as important to someone else, and that is okay. It’s important for you to focus on the things that matter to you. You can’t do everything. That is why God gives us all different gifts- so we can all do different things. You will be happier, and better at the things you do decide to do once you cut out the things that should not be on your list.
DEAR ABBY: I’m new to the school, and I don’t know anyone. How do I make friends? — FRIENDLY NEW GIRL
DEAR FRIENDLY NEW GIRL: Welcome to Ascension Christian! I hope you will enjoy your time here and will have many fond memories of your high school career. In order to have friends, you need to be a friend. Put yourself out there. Smile at everyone. Be a good listener. Invest in other people. Plan a get together at your house and invite people over. Be the kind of friend that you want to have. And before you know it, you will have more friends than you can count!
DEAR ABBY: Help! I need advice asking a certain girl to homecoming. I am a fairly shy guy, and she is usually quiet too. I’ve known her forever. I really really don’t want to ask anything too specific. But I really could use some help! Maybe even lots of help.
Thanks! — ONE NERVOUS DUDE
DEAR ONE NERVOUS DUDE: First of all, you have to stay true to who you are. While the elaborate homecoming proposals are fun, they are not for everyone. You don’t want to embarrass her by putting her on the spot in front of a bunch of people. Think back on a special memory that you share with her, and then build from there. Do the two of you share a favorite movie or a favorite joke? Do you know her favorite snack or drink or even her favorite color? Think of something simple that you know she loves, and use that in your proposal. You don’t even have to do it at school. Do you share a favorite spot or restaurant? If so, consider taking her there and ask her.
Then take a deep breath, and confidently ask her. (And remember that it never hurts to throw in a compliment!) Be sincere and I’m sure she will say yes!
DEAR ABBY: I have a confession: I still get crazy nervous about the first day of school. To keep my mind busy, I have done the usual teacher things: updated curriculum; rearranged classroom seating a million times; bought way too many new cool, cutesy items for the classroom; and freshened up my classroom decor. But I am still very nervous about the first day. After years of teaching, I’d thought the nerves would have lessened by now. Why do I still get nervous about the first day of school? And how can I tame these butterflies (no hornets!) in my stomach better than I have in past years? Please help! I don’t want students to see me like this! — BUTTERFLY TEACHER
DEAR BUTTERFLY TEACHER: First of all, I wish I could hug your neck and assure you that you are amazing. I have heard that the ones who are worrying are the ones who are really making a difference. Take a deep breath and know that you are not alone. God is with you. No student is in your room by accident. And it is not an accident that you are their teacher. It’s a brand new year. Instead of focusing on your butterflies, focus on all the opportunities you will have to pour into your students. No school year is perfect, and our mistakes don’t define us. If you have a bad day, rest assured that you will get the chance to make it up the next day. The students are just as nervous about tomorrow, and by the end of the year, will probably remember very few specifics of their first day in your class. They’ll just remember how awesome of a teacher you were the whole school year!
Now- go and knock it out the park!
DEAR ABBY: Walking into senior year, I’m hoping that it will be a very memorable year for me. My favorite part about my school is how the faculty are always there when I need them,usually regarding academics and/or personal life. This year, I want every student to know that I’m always there if they need a friend. I want to be a great leader this year. What advice can you lend me?
Also, I’m hoping that my school can set aside one week towards the end of the year and dedicate it to the seniors. I feel like that will bring our class closer together. How can I express this to administration and make it happen? I’m really looking forward to the chapels and football games on Fridays. And most of all, I’m excited for all the friendships I’ll be able to strengthen during my senior year.
So, what advice can you lend an eager senior to help accomplish these desires during their senior year? –SAVAGE SENIOR
DEAR SAVAGE SENIOR: In regards to you wanting to be an amazing friend and a great leader, I think you have already done the hardest part- which is just being aware! Being there for other people is what I believe we are here for. To be a great leader, you are going to have to be intentional. Hurting people hide. In order to be there for them, you are going to have to intentionally look for them. Intentionally go up to them and ask how they are. Intentionally sit by them at lunch and offer to help them in their classes. You are going to have to make a conscious decision each morning before school to be there for others.
And I love that you are wanting to make life-time memories this school year. I think you need to come up with a list of specific ideas and activities that you would like to do. Before presenting it to the administration, you need to have all the details worked out- like location, date, budget, personal needed for the event, etc. Presenting it in a clear, organized approach will get their attention.
I am excited for your senior year. I know that it is going to be amazing!