Advice Column 18-19: Week 1 (Part I)

Hello DV students!

Thank you for submitting to the Wildcat Tribune’s Rapid Response advice column! We’ve tried our best to answer your questions. Because of the amount of questions we received and the length of our responses, Week 1 had been divided into two posts. Many of you seemed to be dealing with high school stress and workload management this week, so we tried to provide varied coping strategies that you will hopefully be able to apply in your routines.

Want to ask some anonymous questions and get advice? Our form opens every Monday and closes on Friday at 11:59 pm. Responses are always posted on Sundays on this website. Week 2’s responses will be available on Sunday, September 30.

Week 2 form:

Q: How can I deal with the stress that high school causes?

– Purple Princess

A: Dear Purple Princess,

Stress management is different for everyone, but I’ll try my best to provide you with strategies and advice that I’ve used in my years at DVHS.

  1. Planning and organization: Find a method of tracking your school work and extracurriculars so you can manage your time effectively and prioritize your work. I have a planner on my computer that displays two weeks of work along with a list of important deadlines for projects and tests, but I know others who have physical planners or whiteboards where they plan out their week. When you find a system that works for you, stick to it and keep all your homework and other plans in an easily accessible place. Look at your planner often – you’ll be reminded of what you need to accomplish for the next day, as well as any larger projects you’ll need to allot time for during the week. Being organized and feeling like you’re on top of your workload will give you more confidence and prevent you from being overwhelmed.
  2. Find time for yourself (yes, it is possible!): Identify what you need to relieve your stress, whether it’s extra sleep, going out with friends, socializing, cleaning your desk, playing video games, or talking a walk. Allow yourself time for the things you enjoy, either during the weekends or for short periods during the week. You’ll burn out fast if you don’t allow yourself to decompress!
  3. Study . . . but not too much: Identify your learning style and tailor your study methods to fit your needs. You can use flashcards, study groups, or graphic organizers to help yourself understand and remember material. It’s also a good idea to keep your study materials in one place so they’ll be accessible when you need to review them or when you begin studying for finals. However, studying can generate a lot of stress. Gathering and preparing materials to study can also take a lot of time, which will delay other work (ultimately resulting in even more stress). Study until you are assured in what you know and you feel confident about the material. Studying too much can sometimes be counterintuitive by overwhelming you and taking up time that can be used for other work. In other words, do everything in moderation! You should take every opportunity you can to reduce your stress for upcoming tests, but don’t take it too far and lose sleep and time.
  4. Be involved (but know your limits): Investing time in your interests with your clubs and extracurriculars can be a very effective way to reduce stress (and meet new people). You might also find that you need to spend time with friends to relieve your stress. Social interactions and extracurricular involvement are extremely valuable, but be aware of how much time they take from your life. If you are falling behind in other realms of your life, take a step back from these activities. Practice being aware of when something is taking up too much of your time, and know when you should prioritize other areas.

Best of luck this year!



Q: How can I manage my time while keeping my grades up, sleeping, extracurriculars, existing, AND having a social life?

– curious child

A: Hey Curious Child!

In such a time, planners are your best friend. Every Sunday evening, create a schedule for the following week (i.e upcoming tests, projects, games, etc) so that you know what to do, this helps you see what timings you are free to socialize or have some recreational time. All in all, the best way to organize your time is by creating an organized schedule!



Q: I really like this girl who is my best friend, but idk how to ask her out because she’s really shy and i feel like i might get rejected, How do i ask her out? 

A: Tread carefully. If this girl is both your best friend, you run the risk of creating tension in your friendship or ruining it altogether. You also described the object of your affections as being shy – for her sake, make sure she has other friends who would be there for her if she refuses or if your relationship spoils.

There are two ways to go about the actual asking:

  1. Sit down with her and just discuss your friendship. Once you reach a good point in your conversation, ask her what would happen in your friendship if one of you were to have feelings for the other. If she responds positively, let her know that you like her and ask her if she would go out with you.
  2. Ask some of your mutual friends or her friends if she likes you back. Try to catch anything in her body language or conversations that may indicate that she likes you. Hopefully, she’ll find out that you like her in the process (no one is too particularly great at keeping secrets) so see if the way she acts around you changes. If you find that she may return your feelings, bite the bullet and ask her out in person. Don’t text her or have someone tell her indirectly. Also, definitely don’t spring it upon her (blurting out your ask out in the beginning of the conversation). Instead, make sure you emphasize your feelings for her and the fact that nothing will change between you even if she refuses or if you break up.

I wish you the best of luck!



Q: Didn’t Amanda graduate last year? 

– Oceisthisyou

A: Dear Oceisthisyou,

Amanda Su did graduate last year, and the Tribune staff misses her very much. Because her column was enjoyed by many students, the Rapid Response team decided to continue providing advice to the student body. The RR Advice Column differs in that it’s run by Oce Bohra, Sarah Kim, Harshita Neralla, and myself. Its content is also exclusive to the Wildcat Tribune website because we publish our responses on a weekly basis (instead of in the physical issues of the Tribune).

Thank you for your question!

– Taylor


Q: I do so many sports inside and outside of school, and I get home at 7-8 in the night and do homework and then sleep. How do I manage it all while getting at least 8-9 hours of sleep each night??? 

– A half-asleep freshman

A: Hi A Half-Asleep Freshman!

I’m afraid the answer to your question is pretty unforgiving: if you can’t handle your workload now, then you have to cut down on something to accommodate it. I know forfeiting one activity or another sounds like admitting failure, but acknowledging when you’ve bitten off more than you can chew is a practice that you have to learn sooner or later in high school. I’ll tell you from first hand experience that it’s better sooner than later.

Your workload is only going to increase as you progress through your high school years, and you’ll doubtless have more activities you need to or want to participate in. Managing your time wisely is going to be your key to success. So, in short, you need to find a balance between your sports activities, your homework, and your freetime, not to mention everything else in between such as eating and sleeping.

You said you do many sports inside and outside of school, but how many of those are strictly necessary? I know it may be tough, but you need to set your priorities carefully, which means cutting out the things that aren’t included in that list of priorities. Don’t overestimate your ability to juggle those priorities, because (once again speaking from firsthand experience) that course of action will do nothing but cost you your mental and physical health. Even if other people seem to be able to juggle fifteen different extracurriculars and six AP classes well, it honestly has no bearing on you and your own success, I promise. And sleep, eight to nine hours of it like you said, is ideal and should be one of your highest priorities no matter how much your friends joke about having slept at three a.m. the day before like it’s funny. Trust me, it gets significantly less funny when you’re behind by three projects, and trying to cram your science notes for a test that is 15% of your semester grade all while running on less than three hours of sleep.

If your parents are a factor that makes you hesitate to try and lessen your burden, then you have to be clear to them. Rather than trying to hide your stress and acting as if you’re okay, try to confront them plainly about your situation. Your parents care for you, and they aren’t going to push you to do something if it’s something that will harm you. If they don’t believe you know your own limits well enough to decide if you can or cannot do a certain activity, you need to try and show them just how much you are affected by your schedule. There is no reason for a student to have to do six different sports a year and five AP classes or anything like that, and you must make this clear to them, with a presentation and CBS news backing each bullet point if you have to.

All in all, it really boils down to knowing yourself and how much you can and are willingly to take on. Be considerate to yourself and don’t be afraid to admit when you can’t do something. Far from bringing you down, it will likely allow you to rise to the top with more ease (think inflatables in a swimming pool!). Once again, I know this can be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s better to gulp it down quickly rather than let it sit in the base of your throat until it’s too late. I’ve been as bluntly candid as I could be about this, because I think that would be more helpful than to sugarcoat it. I hope it helps!

Good luck my dear Freshman,



Q: What are things to think about to keep yourself from crying? 
– ihcmik

A: Dear ihcmik,

Before you try to keep yourself from crying, do think about why you are crying in the first place. If you’re feeling stressed or upset, perhaps try to share your emotions and thoughts with a friend, family member or a counselor instead of hiding your emotions. From my experience, bottling up your emotions (and tears) only makes you feel worse over time. In other words, sometimes you just need a good cry. Sit on your bed, listen to some sad music, grab a box of tissues, and let yourself feel your emotions instead of numbing yourself to them. (Another member of the Tribune recommends creating a crying playlist to listen to while eating a box of chocolates.)

However, as we all well know, sometimes you have to stop yourself from bawling in the middle of an AP World classroom or in the middle of an extended family gathering or in the middle of a final (all, which totally don’t apply to me hahah). In those cases, try to excuse yourself to the bathroom for a few minutes so you can compose yourself (and wash off the tears) there. Even if that’s not possible, take especially deep breaths, and DO NOT focus on a happy memory. This may seem counterintuitive, but that will make you compare the reason for crying with a good moment in the past. Instead, think of a neutral topic- maybe compile a shopping list in your head or consider a possible way you could remodel your room. Do not think of your schedule or think of a list of things you actually need to do. Instead of using your mind to reflect on something, use it to create something (albeit trivial) mentally. If you have the option, walk or bike for a fifteen to twenty minutes, and the combined effect of nature, fresh air, and lack of humans (who are the root of all problems) will definitely make you feel better.  

Good luck!



Q: There are so many people making out and holding hands on campus and I feel left out that I’m not in a relationship. What can I do?

– A lonely freshman

A: Dear A lonely freshman,

Firstly, I’d like to say that it’s completely fine to not be in a relationship. You don’t have to feel bad about yourself, or feel left out. While it’s easy to notice the couples in the halls, there are also many high schoolers who don’t have a romantic partner. And, based on the pseudonym you’ve provided, you have plenty of time to meet new people and potentially find yourself in a relationship! However, if you really would like to experience being romantically involved with someone, start reaching out to other people. Interact with your peers in clubs, classes, and extracurricular activities. It’s best to not rush into anything just for the sake of being in a relationship, but you can identify someone you’d like to get to know better and take time to build your friendship with them. If you’re enjoying their company and you truly feel as though you’d like to take things further, you can consider telling them your feelings and asking if they are interested in a romantic relationship.

Best of luck,



Q: Homecoming is right around the corner and my fear that all my friends will be asked to hoco except for me is growing. What do I do if I’m the only one left alone without a hoco ask? Harshita

– Sincerely curious

A: Sincerely Curious,

First of all, don’t be worried about not being asked. Homecoming asks are overrated anyway. Second of all, if it happens that you are the only one that hasn’t been asked then, know that Homecoming isn’t just for one group of friends. Chances are that there are other people around this school that you know and are friends with, and it can be refreshing to hang out with different people that aren’t in your immediate circle. This is also a cool way to kind of broaden your horizons and get closer to friends you haven’t really spoken to in a while or don’t know them well. Don’t fret about not being asked, because there may be at least one friend of yours that isn’t going to be asked.