Ask Amanda: Socializing, self-worth and serious doubting of Amanda’s qualifications to run this advice column

Amanda Su, Editor-in-Chief

Everyone, Thank you to everyone who submitted questions this issue! Based on the questions I received, it seems like March has been kind of a rough month for a lot of people. So hang in there everyone! Unfortunately, I was not able to answer all of the questions submitted due to lack of space. If your question wasn’t answered, stay tuned for next issue! Submit more questions for the April issue via:

Q: How do you know if a girl likes you or flirts with you? — Nathan

A: Oh dear. I asked many, many girls of all grade levels, and here are some of the things they said: — She teases and playfully makes fun of you, but not in a way that’s mean. — You catch her glancing at you, and she immediately looks away when she sees you notice. — Her friends act kind of weird when you’re around (especially as you leave). — She smiles A LOT when she talks with you, even when what you’re saying isn’t remotely interesting or funny. — If you bring up other girls and you notice her act differently (i.e., get a little uncomfortable). — She tries to be physically close to you. Good luck my friend! — Amanda


Q: Why should I ask you for advice? — :ok_hand:

A: You really shouldn’t ask me for advice haha. Luckily, the answers that I provide in this advice column are almost always based on lots of crowdsourcing and interviews with people far more qualified than I am. So rest assured, you are (hopefully) in good hands. — Amanda


Q: How do you deal with “exclusive” friend groups? — Awkward Turtle

A: You need a new friend group. Never surround yourself with people who don’t want to include you. You don’t need that negativity in your life! There are so many other friend groups out there who would be willing to accept you. To take that difficult step and actually leave the exclusive group, start talking more with people you talk to in class but don’t usually hang out with outside of class. Casually ask them if you can sit with them during lunch and gradually begin hanging out with them more and more. If you’re going to join a new friend group, do it quickly! Because the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to integrate yourself. Good luck! — Amanda


Q: How can you deal with depression? — [name omitted]

A: For the sake of protecting your privacy, I decided to omit the name you submitted from my column since it is the name of a real student on campus. I am so sorry if depression is something that you’re struggling with right now. I think the best advice I can offer is to seek help from people like your doctor; Mr. Matt Newton and Ms. Lindsay Walker, our school psychologists and Mr. Joseph Ianora, our student support counselor, who all can get to know you better and find the root cause of your depression, since it’s different for every person. Surround yourself with people who you know care about you, make sure your parents are always aware of how you’re feeling and confide in a teacher that you’re close to so that there’s always an adult on campus that you trust and knows what’s going on in your life. Unfortunately, there’s no way for me to provide an answer that’s foolproof and works for everyone. But I truly wish all the best for you, and please know that there are people who support you and can help. — Amanda


Q: Hey this isn’t a question but i think you’re really cool for answering random questions from random people you’ve probably never even met at school. Thanks for that! You’re a great person. May fate wish you well in college or your future endeavors and I hope you get a cat at least 1 point in your life because those dipsh**s are cute asf 🙂 — its ok

A: Whoever you are, I love you and appreciate this so much! — Amanda


Q: Why do you have an advice column? — Just wondering

A: That’s a good question! — Amanda


Q: I sit in my house and play video-games even when invited somewhere else because I’m scared of talking to people. How do I develop social skills? — socially dead

A: Tag along with an extroverted friend to social situations just to take the first step to get out of the house. Have them help you ease into conversations and meet new people you’ve never met before. Once you’ve gotten more comfortable having conversations with people, force yourself into uncomfortable situations without your friend as a safety net. You should also join clubs on campus and meet new people that share common interests. For example, join a video game club! So instead of playing video games by yourself at home, you can play video games with other people. It’s so much easier to get past the mental block that keeps you from initiating conversations if you and the other person have common interests to have conversations about. Also know that people are usually just as scared of talking to you as you are of talking to them. Shortly after a conversation, most people you interact with will completely forget whatever immediate judgements they made of you. And 99.9 percent of the time, people are thinking more about how awkward they think they are than how awkward you are. So don’t be afraid to talk to people! Good luck! — Amanda


Q: For over a year, one of my friends has been verbally harassed on a daily basis by classmates. The admin won’t do anything about it, so s/he is just forced to sit there and take it all in. However, ignoring the classmates only encourages them to keep going. What do I do?? — Worried

A: I decided to reach out to Principal Kravitz to ask him your question. This is what he said: “The first step is we need to be informed. So whether a student who feels they are being bullied or a friend of a student who knows they are being bullied, they need to inform an administrator. The more specific information given, the better. Because there is a definition of bullying. It’s a pretty cut and dry definition; however, bullying is not cut and dry. So the more specific the information, the better. Because the bottom line is, ‘is this something that is systemic, that it is repetitive?’ That’s one of the key elements of the definition of bullying. Sometimes people report to us those kinds of situations that we can address with the person who is doing the bullying and there could be a wide range of results: a warning, consequences, etc. But we can’t do anything unless … there is specific information. Because sometimes people bring information to us that is unclear or hard to prove. So you know, pictures of, posts on social media or texts. That specific information is helpful for us in attempting to cease the bullying. But what we’re always trying to figure out is it this is a one-time thing or a multiple-time thing and if so, that could be categorized as bullying and we can certainly step in and set some parameters, expectations and consequences if needed … The last thing we want is for anyone to feel intimidated, harassed, afraid on this campus in any way, shape or form.” — Amanda


Q: [I] am always seeking validation from … people I like. Like if I’m smart enough, act like everyone else enough, am attractive enough, then maybe I’ll get their validation … What should I do? I don’t want to stop trying to get them to like me back, but sometimes it feels tiring to get their validation, but my brain keeps telling me if I don’t, then they won’t ever like me, because who I really am can’t be good enough if they never noticed me in the first place. — sorry for the weird wording

A: I completely understand how you feel. Even beyond just seeking validation from people I like “romantically,” I find that my self-worth is ALWAYS based on others’ impressions of me. But ultimately, if the person doesn’t like you how you are, then their validation isn’t worth it. You just have to remind yourself that. My mentality has always been to just do my own thing and know that others’ validation will come once I’ve become confident in myself. And if their validation doesn’t, then who cares? It’s an admittedly naive mentality, but it has definitely worked for me! — Amanda


Q: What do you do if you need to pass gas in the middle of class with people sitting all around you? — Pressured

A: According to several dear friends of mine who will not be named, you could: — Stand up to go get a tissue. As you blow your nose, slowly let it out. — Lean forward (That supposedly makes the farting sensation go away.) — Ask to use the restroom and let it out there — Let it out and own up to it or blame it on your classmate (or your teacher!) — Amanda