Advice Column 18-19: Week 8

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.

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 9’s responses will be available on Sunday, December 2 (after Thanksgiving Break).

Week 9 form:

Disclaimer: The advice of the Wildcat Tribune Advice Column is provided by students, for students. While we have your best interests in mind, and we will try our best to help you, we are not expert sources for more serious topics. Our advice is intended to support you and help guide your decisions, but you are in no ways obligated to take it. Please email the Tribune if you feel the need to reach out for any kind of help or follow up for any inquiries.

The Weekly Advice Column team always tries to consider the inquiries they receive with due respect, and thus may have elected to give further consideration to certain inquiries in place of prematurely publishing a lacking response.

Q: Stressed about RENT & Finals (specifically AP). Any suggestions?

– SofieDossiFan 

A: Hey SofieDossiFan,

By the time you see this, the cast list for RENT has already been up, and if you made it, CONGRATS! If you’re worried about RENT and finals clashing, and not finding time to study, I’d recommend drawing out a schedule. The wise Vega once said that a school production requires a lot of effort and time so get ready to eat, sleep, and breath RENT. With RENT eating up half of your schedule, you’d have to focus the other half on finals (Especially those APs). So chalk out a schedule to manage your time with both RENT and finals.

Now, If you’re worried about how to study for AP finals, let me introduce you to your new best friend, Princeton Review. They not only help with the AP Exam, but they’re a great review for the content you’ve covered in class. Use the Princeton Reviews to study the material. Another way to review for a final is to go through your textbook and create flashcards for important dates, terms and concepts. It helps a lot!

Hope everything turns well, and good luck with RENT!




Q: So I’m taking a lot of hard courses in freshman year, which just creates piles and piles of homework. On top of that I have way too many extracurricular and responsibilities. My grades are starting to slack off, and I don’t know how to balance all of this. Plzz help!!!! 

– Freaked Out Freshman

A: Dear Freaked Out Freshman,

We’ve answered questions similar to yours in the past. I’ll link the responses below in case you’d like to read any of them.

The best advice I can give you is to start finding your priorities, and your interests. While it might be difficult to alleviate the workload in any of your classes at this point, you’ll need to start dropping some of your extracurricular activities if you want to feel less overwhelmed. Hopefully, you can find at least one outside activity to drop. Try to think about the activities that make you feel fulfilled – if there’s anything that you’re doing out of obligation, or you’ve lost interest in the extracurricular, then it’s best if you avoid continuing to pursue these activities. If you feel pressured to participate in all of these extracurriculars because you’ve been told that colleges like well-rounded students, know that they also appreciate students who demonstrate a definitive interest in specific subject areas. I know it’s not easy to think about giving up some of your extracurriculars, but based on your question, that might be the best way to help you manage your academic life and relieve some stress.

Week 1, Part I –

  • Q: How can I deal with the stress that high school causes? – Purple Princess
  • Q: How can I manage my time while keeping my grades up, sleeping, extracurriculars, existing, AND having a social life? – curious child
  • 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

Week 2 –

  • Q: I sometimes have trouble managing my time between my outside life and school life. What are some ways to help me manage my time better and strike a balance between the two? – Angsty Junior

Week 4 –

  • Q: I’m honestly having a very hard time keeping my grade. I’m a sophomore and my grades have never been lower than a A-, but this year I have a C and it’s about to go down to a C- later. And the rest of my grades are all B’s. How do I bring my grade up? Please don’t just say “Study hard” or “Get good sleep and eat good breakfast” Cause I’ve heard of these before and these don’t seem to help me. – Thanos

Week 6 –

  • Q: How can I better time manage when my weekends are jam packed with extracurriculars? – Clueless Claudia



Q: So I have never gotten anything lower than an A- (and I only got an A- once). So imagine how horrid it was to log on to my schoolloop and see……a horrid, maleficent, nasty B IN MY GRADEBOOK. Please help me, how do I get rid of this B? Nobody understands my struggle. My parents are dismissive about this, and my friends just roll their eyes. What do I do???? I really want to get into college, and this could really mess up everything. Please help me asap thx. 

– B Boi

A: Dear B Boi,

First things first. One measly B will not prevent you from getting into college. Period. Literally end of argument. There is and always will be colleges available to you. Your teachers, parents, counselors will all tell you the same.

Of course, some colleges are more selective than others, and regard their applicants’ GPAs more heavily. But, hand over my heart, I swear to you that a single “B” on your transcript will not and could not ever be the decisive factor in your admittance to a school. This includes those highly selective Ivy League schools, my friend. I’ve been to college fairs and campuses, and both students and administrators have actually told me that while GPA is considered, it is hardly the most important factor in admissions. What instead does distinguish the applicant is the rigor of their academics, their talents, their extracurricular activities, and their recommendations, all to varying degrees. And out of all of those, they’ve emphasized the importance of the students’ “character,” as expressed through the student’s essays and recommendations, the most. Of course, schools do use test scores and GPA to see if they are a good fit for a student or not, but one “B” amidst all “A”s seems like the opposite of a concern in this regard. Ultimately, GPAs seem to be only one, surprisingly less important, factor of the admittance process.  If your single worst grade is a “B,” I’d say you’re in a really good place, actually.

Also, “A”s aren’t supposed to be an easy grade to achieve, friend. So, if you’re beginning to have a little difficulty getting it for some classes, that’s okay. Quite frankly, to maintain your “A” streak, you’re just going to have to try harder. Prioritize studying for the class for which grade you are least satisfied with, hire a tutor if you have to, or maybe just be more proactive about learning. I’m afraid I’m unsure what specific advice to give you, as I don’t know your specifics, but those general suggestions are pretty much the gist of it. Of course trying your hardest doesn’t mean “burn yourself out.” It also means taking care of yourself, so keep that in mind, too. Having given you those tips, however, I’d like to suggest you also take a moment to consider why the reactions of the people around you are the way they are in regards to your “B” grade. Maybe even ask them directly why they don’t find it as pressing of a concern as you do. I think it may prove beneficial in the long run!

Even if you end up with a “B” in that class this semester, I want you to know that it’s okay! Keep trying next semester. Showing your admissions officers that you are capable of improvement can also be in your benefit, so make the most of your “B”. Don’t let it weigh on you too much, champ.


Sarah Kim



Q: How do I get a guy out of my head so I can focus on school? 

– Love/Sick

A: Dear Love/Sick,

This question speaks to my soul. I’ve been where you are darling, and I think the best way to go about this situation is sort of telling yourself to stop thinking about him. Now that may sound confusing, and trust me, it is.  I honestly don’t know how one forces themselves to get over someone, that sort of feeling will evaporate over time, but I do know how to start focusing on school and stop thinking about the guy.

It all begins with telling yourself that your education is way more important than the guy. Now this may sound like superficial advice, and in many ways it is. But trust me when I say this works! You have to keep telling yourself that this guy is not worth more than those sweet, sweet As. Telling yourself that everytime he pops into your head when you’re studying will get him out. This may not work the first few times you do it, but keep telling yourself that and in a week you’ll stop thinking about him when you’re powering through your homework.

You can do it! I believe in you,




Q: How can I hack into the system and make myself president? 

– Ilovethetribuneanswers

A: Dear Ilovethetribuneanswers,

Admittedly, this is definitely not my area of expertise – the most I know about hacking comes from a TV show (which, I’m sure tells you all you need to know about my lack of knowledge on this subject. Mr. Robot is a very good show, though. I highly recommend it).

But I digress.

I’m not too sure about what you mean by “the system,” but you’d first have to work on getting yourself on the ballot, and convincing people to vote for you. But if by “hack into the system” you mean skipping that process entirely, I’d advise against that – if you did manage to become president without a single vote, people would probably object to the validity of your presidency. So, I guess you’d have to consider those obstacles before you proceed. I’m 17 years old with no hacking experience whatsoever, so this is about as much as I can tell you.





Q: How can you tell if someone likes you or not? I’m really bad at anything to do with love, sooo I really can’t tell. Help!

– agggggggg

A: To be completely honest with you, I’d just tell you to ask them. I tread the same water as you most times, and it just helps to ask. I’m not really experienced in this area, and I’m not sure how one would really go about this situation.

Hope that helps,




Q: How do I not procrastinate? I wish I was joking. 

– Math + Me = Angry Parents

A: Dear Math + Me = Angry Parents,

I’ll be blunt; I’m struggling with it, too. Like you, I also wish somebody could and/or would just tell me how to stop procrastinating.  

Recently, I’ve realized that we may know somebody capable of doing just that: our on-campus psychologists! Depending on how severe your problem is, this may or may not be a sensible option for you, but if there’s anybody with the key to curing this terrible disease, it’s gotta be a professional, right?

The problem is you might find yourself procrastinating from meeting up with our on-campus psychologists even if you did consider it in the first place. Which…oh well. But in that case, here’s some advice coming from my own first-hand experience, at least. These tips have been helping me lately, but it’s a work in progress even now.

The first thing  you have to do to is just realize how damaging procrastination really is. I had done it to feel “better” and release my stress, but, as it turns out, procrastination only reinforced it. Consider what your bad habits are doing to you now. How many hours of sleep do you get? Are your grades already suffering for it? Do you have the leisure to take a walk in the park in your free time? Do you even have free time anymore?

Indulging your urges to just waste away your time is not a good way to release your stress. It will only hurt you. Think back on how procrastination has screwed you over before and remember how cruddy you feel after wasting your life for a day on your laptop. Focus on how much procrastination takes away from you and despise it. Use that aversion as fuel to work your way past it. You have to get rid of the mentality that “it’ll be okay”. It’s not.

Unfortunately, I know it’s easier said than done, and the next part may be even harder to do. But you really just have to turn off that phone, or close that tab, or delete that game once and for all. Even if you turn it on again, open it up again, download it again, just try it at least once and do that work. Enjoy the feeling of being productive! And remember and repeat it. Think of it as swapping out that activity, procrastination, with just another activity, one that’s more fulfilling. At the very least, make it your goal to cut down on your wasted time. And never fall into the trap of thinking “I’ve done enough” after you finish, like, one assignment.

If the habit of procrastinating is burned into your lifestyle, try to change your lifestyle. Give the San Ramon library a try. Maybe stick around the Dougherty Valley library after school. Take a brief walk before you sit down to study. Maybe even look up a 10-minute exercise Youtube video and sweat yourself out to release that extra energy before doing your work (this has helped me). Most importantly, put in the effort.

And believe in yourself. You can do this. You are going to do that thing, right-to-the-freaking-now. Keep trying, find ways to check yourself, and keep wanting to change. And maybe pay a visit to the on-campus psychologist while you’re at it.

You got this,

Sarah Kim



Q: There’s someone I can’t stop liking, but I’m not sure if it’s just superficial or real. I can’t tell him bc a) he likes me back & we can’t date bc I have to wait until I graduate from college & get a PhD b) he doesn’t like me back & our friendship goes haywire. What should I do? 

– Love/Sick

A: Dear Love/Sick,

If there’s no way you can pursue this relationship, I think it’s best you forget about it and move on. I mean sure you can tell him and always figure out what happens next, but if you KNOW for a fact that you can’t have a relationship, then what’s the point right? From what I see, there isn’t much of a reason to proceed with a confession, or to act on your feelings. If this was my call, I’d make a playlist full of Taylor Swift songs and get over this guy.

Hope that helped,