Advice Column 18-19: Week 3

Taylor Atienza and Sarah Kim

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 for this week.

We received a question that was difficult for us to answer individually this week, so two of us opted to provide our perspectives to provide an answer. We also received two questions about honors physics, which we did not feel qualified to answer at this time – please check Week 4’s responses and we’ll try to ask the Tribune staff and provide better advice!

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 4’s responses will be available on Sunday, October 14.

Week 4 form:

Q: Help! I’m a senior and I have absolutely no clue what college I want to go to or what I want to major in or what I want to do with my life. I haven’t found any subject I really love so far. Any advice? Thank you so much for your help. 🙂

– Freaked out senior

A: Dear Freaked out senior,

To find something you enjoy, start asking yourself questions about what makes you happy, or what interests you. What do you love to talk to people about? What class are you never bored in? If you could to write a paper about any of your interests/passions, what’s the first topic that comes to mind?

Not everyone likes this approach, but you could take a personality test, as many recommend ideal careers. You don’t need to take this advice, or limit your options to what it suggests – however, it can be helpful to see a list of potential careers that could be compatible with your personality. MBTI/Myer Briggs or Naviance questionnaires are resources you could take advantage of. If you’re unsure of what you’d be interested in, you can also try asking trusted family members, friends, or mentors for career suggestions. They might have some insight on your personality and they may have observed certain strengths that may be ideal for certain careers. This is not to say that others should have the ability to force you into taking a specific path that they think is fit; however, their perspectives on what you excel at may be helpful when you try to choose a major.

You also wrote “I haven’t found any subject I really love so far,” which is understandable, because high school usually doesn’t expose you to all the possible career choices you can make. Subjects that are more niche or less frequently explored may interest you. You can try taking online classes for subjects not offered at DV (like anthropology, political science, ethnic studies, pathology, zoology, hospitality/travel services, etc.). If you have yet to find an area of interest, it may just be because it’s hard to explore the variety of studies and practices that you can specialize in while in high school.

The important thing to remember is to not panic – you’re likely either 17 or 18 years old right now (or you’re 16 going on 17, like me). We’re pretty young to know exactly what we want to do for the rest of our lives, even if that is what is expected of us. You can always declare your major as “undecided,” and it’s a definite possibility to continue exploring your interests and change your major while you’re in college. I know there’s a stigma around going to DVC, but it’s a great opportunity to finish your general education courses before you transfer into a school when you find your passions. Although it may seem as though everyone has their life figured out, very few of us do! Just keep searching for potential majors and reflecting on your interests, and I’m sure you’ll find a potential path for yourself.

Good luck!




Q: What really is life? 

– Big G

A: Dear Big G,

I’m afraid I can’t answer this for you. Some say life is a struggle. Others describe it as an everlasting relationship between cause and effect. Personally, when I think ‘life’, I think ‘journey’. But whatever life is for you, it’s likely not going to be exactly what some others or I believe it to be.

For you, life is what you define it to be. I can’t define it for you.

However, Imagination and free-will are what characterize humanity, in my opinion, so I suggest you apply those to your life and see what you turn up with. Mull it over, probe it, let it sit for a while. Figure it out. You’ll find out, eventually.

What really is life, for you?


Sarah Kim



Q: I’m in my final year of high school and I’m as lost as ever. I’m losing touch with the people that I thought were my friends. My parents dictate what I can or can’t do, and the most verbally told things are the latter (what I’m not allowed). I’m overwhelmed with the amount of work that’s been placed upon me with respect to college apps or school or extracurriculars. I have no freedom whatsoever and I’m exhausted. I am so close to being the one insignificant thing that falls off of this cliff and just disappearing into thin air – with no one noticing. I’m lost and I don’t know how to find my way back because I really don’t have people to reach out to ask for help from. I thought I did, but I realized I really don’t. There’s no real question to this, but anything you might say may or may not help – who knows. Different minds have different perspectives.

– A not-so-Little Lost Lamb

A: Dear Not-So-Little Lost Lamb,

Before we even begin, the RRAC team thanks you for bringing your question to us; we’ll do our best to present you with our perspectives in a helpful, genuine manner. Having said that, we also recommend you to reach out and continue to ask this question to those around you, especially trusted adults around you.  Not to mention, we often forget that we have a resident psychologist on campus at hand as a resource should we ever feel the need to talk to a professional for guidance, but they are there should we ever need them. We suggest taking advantage of that resource if you feel the urge to; after all, this is a massive question befitting an equally wide-ranged ‘answer’ that may benefit from the experience beyond that of which is often available to those of our age range.

Although I don’t know the specifics of your situation or of your relationships with your friends, I would like to assure you that feeling detached or disconnected from your friends is an experience that is more common than you’d think. At least, I’ve definitely experienced it before. And I know how miserable it can get, when you begin to go down that spiral of wondering why it seems so hard to just maintain a single friendship when everybody else seem to effortlessly make and maintain dozens of friends of their own. Since then, I’ve realized it’s not like that at all. Loneliness is a more common condition than I ever thought, and even when you don’t recognize it, it’s usually quick to rear its head at the slightest sign of emotional turmoil. If you feel lonely, I guarantee you, there are definitely people feeling lonely near you, too. It’s not meant to make you feel better, but I do hope knowing this might lessen any thought you may have had about being the only one to have these struggles. These struggles are normal and experiencing them does not signify failure in any sort. And most importantly, although not all friendships last, new friendships will always come your way.

I also have no idea what you are dealing with in your life as of right now, but I can relate a bit to the exhaustion and the part where you said you feel “lost”. It’s one sucker of a feeling, I know. But I also know that it doesn’t last. It may feel all-consuming now, especially when coupled with loneliness and the pressure of graduating high school—completing all those things you have to, like applications and all that other jazz—but it will pass. That’s the beauty of life. Everything, including the sad parts and the happy parts—the nasty and the awe-inspiring—all come to pass in one way or another. These dark moments will surely lead somewhere where new, better, and worthwhile experiences can build upon them.

In the meantime, however, that doesn’t mean you just have to sit tight and bear your situation. Some aspects of your life now may be out of your sphere of control, but if there’s anything within your power to change, it’s your own outlook on your circumstance. You are a one-of-a-kind individual who has lead a life and will continue to lead a life completely unique from the infinite number of lives any other human being has lived, is living, or ever will live. Although I can’t force you to, I encourage you to embrace that. Your life, as suffocatingly contained and controlled as it may seem and feel right now, is totally yours to shape. A whole life, susceptible to change and your own will, is what you have been given to do whatever you want with. That’s something phenomenal. I only hope you see it as such, even through the darkness and struggle you must be dealing with now.

I sincerely hope the rest of your senior year of school is characterized with laughter and satisfaction, and most importantly, eager anticipation for life beyond grade school.

Most sincerely,



Dear Not-So-Little Lost Lamb,

Firstly, I want to say that I’m sorry that you’re in a difficult period in your life right now. I don’t know who you are, or exactly what you’re experiencing each day, but I want you to know that I genuinely hope that you will eventually be able to find emotional fulfillment and contentment in your life.

When you wrote, “I am so close to being the one insignificant thing that falls off of this cliff and just disappearing into thin air – with no one noticing,” it really concerned me. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your parents, would strongly advise that you speak to a school psychologist, or a teacher you trust. I understand that you acknowledged you don’t feel comfortable speaking to others because you can’t rely on them, but I still hope that you can find comfort in speaking to the school psychologist. They are working at this school because they care about students, and they will undoubtedly care about you and what you have to say.

If your parents aren’t allowing you to decrease your workload, it might be best to then have a joint conversation with your parents and a counselor, who can help negotiate dropping some of your extracurriculars. They should also understand what you’re feeling, as this could help them understand that you feel limited by the rules they create for you.

Best of luck this year – I’m rooting for you.