Advice Column 18-19: Week 9

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.

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.

This week, the team received a question we felt was particularly serious. Above all else, we urge the asker of the question to seek out help from the school psychologists or counselors if they do not have the ability to see other medical professionals.

Topics discussed in this week’s column include depression and suicide. Please keep this in mind when reading if you are sensitive to these issues.

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 10’s responses will be available on Sunday, December 9.

Week 10 form:

Q: So I have had this RLLYYY messy relationship with a guy since the last school year. It was like him liking me, me liking him but never telling him, and then he stopped liking me. And I am so so so so so so so mad at myself for not telling him I liked him back. And it is too late now, because he doesn’t even take a second glance at me anymore. What do I do. And no I do not want to get over him just yet.

– Broken Bobelima 

A: Dear Broken Bobelima,

If it is too late now, then why not get over him? Life is too short to worry about some guy who used to like you. If it were my call, I’d get over it. But since you explicitly mentioned the fact that you don’t want to get over him, then talk to him about it. Maybe he still has lingering feelings, who knows? You know he liked you, so tell him! Ask him if he still has any feelings for you. No one ever got into a relationship without talking about feelings!

Hope that helped,




Q: What do I do to get people to laugh at my lame jokes 

– Ignorant fool

A: Dear Ignorant fool,

Laugh at your own joke while maintaining eye contact with your target for approximately five minutes straight without blinking. Overpower them with force.

Or develop better jokes.

– Sarah Kim



Q: What is the best way to study for finals without taking too much time out of my day, so I can still do my homework? 

– Mint Ice Cream

A: Dear Mint Ice Cream,

Try studying for 20-30 minutes each day leading up to finals. It’s not a significant amount of time that you spend, and you’ll be able to prevent yourself from cramming in the few days before finals. It might be helpful to make a schedule on a calendar and prioritize which classes you’ll need to study for the most. You should also consider the content from each class that you need to spend the most time reviewing. You can also attend exam jams during access to save time for doing your homework later.

If possible, try to quickly determine the way you study best, and dedicate your time to that method. If you like watching review videos or other visual media, focus on finding helpful review guides or viewing diagrams. If you prefer to read aloud or write things down for memorization, try to spend time making study material for yourself. You’ll increase your productivity if you identify the methods that are best for you to review.

Good luck!




Q: How do I get into college

– surprise me

A: Dear surprise me,

You don’t! Surprise!

Just kidding. Just try your best in school. Unless you fail to graduate high school, it’s actually pretty hard to not to qualify for college, especially if you’re not picky. If you’re picky with your schools, it goes without saying that the schools you picky pickily will be picky about students, too. So, it depends. It’s all up to you, mate. Life is yours to shape.

– Sarah Kim



Q: I have a thing with my ex’s best friend. Am I a horrible person? 

– Gravy

A: Hey Gravy!

Think about how your best friend will react to the news. If the relationship was horrible… maybe having a thing for their ex isn’t the right thing. If the breaking up was mutual and both ended on good terms, I don’t think you are a horrible person. It depends on how both parties treated each other during and after the relationships.

Also keep in mind that feelings are feelings. If you can’t help but feel things for the ex, then you aren’t horrible. But if you’re just doing this for fun, I’d rethink my actions.

Hope it helps!




Q: I’m currently a freshman, and in algebra 2. I have a teacher that has a grading system that’s completely unfair, most people in my class have C’s and the smartest people have B’s. I’m thinking about dropping the class but I’m worried about how colleges will perceive it. What’s better, a C or a drop?- Worried

A: Dear Worried,

There’s a lot of nuances to your question. I unfortunately can’t give you a straight answer because I don’t know exactly what admissions officers will think of either option. Your priorities will probably help you reach your decision in this case, but I can give you some guiding points to think about.

Depending on how your other course grades compare, colleges might find a sudden C to be concerning. Some applications give you the chance to explain any difficulties you may have experienced in your life, or other information that is absent on other parts of the application that may have affected your academic performance. However, most colleges won’t be convinced if you simply write a complaint about the teacher. That usually won’t qualify as an unusual/unexpected circumstance that would impact your grades. However, if you really feel this grade would impact a college’s impression of you, you could try to stick with the class and focus one of your college essays on your perseverance and determination to improve.

On the other hand, if you drop the class, that might also create a negative reflection of your performance. It’s too late in the current semester to drop without seeing an note on your transcript, but if you genuinely feel that you’d rather drop the class (for the sake of your grades, emotional health, or other factor), then do what you feel is right.

Hope that helped!



Q: are you guys ever hypocrites for the problems you write about in the newspaper?  

– jus wondering

A: Dear jus wondering,

We’d like to think we’re not.

– Harshita



Q: Is there any point in getting into a relationship senior year? 

– <3

A: Dear <3,

It depends on what chances you’re willing to take, and what choices you want to make in your own life. If you want to leave DV behind entirely when you graduate and get a fresh start, then it’s probably best in your best interest – a relationship extending into your college years might not be something you want. If you’re only willing to be involved for the rest of the year, it’ll be difficult (and more than a little unfair) for someone who doesn’t feel the same. Before you jump into anything, reflect on what you want and what conflicts could arise in the future (if any). This is really a decision that depends on your willingness to experience everything a relationship might entail.

If you’re considering finding someone to be in a relationship with solely because it’s senior year, it might be best to not get involved with someone just for the sake of having a partner. If you rush into relationships, your feelings might not be genuine. However, if there’s someone you’ve liked for a while and you want to try to have a relationship with them, go talk to them about it! If you’re willing to take a chance and ask, you won’t have to deal with potential regrets about not asking after you leave DV.





Q: Is raising chickens a good investment of my time and money? 

– Harold

A: Dear Harold,

It really depends, man! I used to raise chickens in my backyard (real story), but that wasn’t while I was in high school and that might make all the difference.

Caring for any kind of living creature is no easy job, whether that creature is a goldfish (actually, fish are really high-maintenance if you’re serious about it) or a horse. You need to consider where and how you’ll house your chicken(s), the costs and labor that goes into feeding them, and the effort that goes into ensuring that the chickens are being well taken care of in general.

Fresh, organic eggs each morning is definitely nice, but hens don’t lay eggs for their entire lives, and roosters can get you in trouble when they start to wake the neighborhood up at four in the morning. So, if your end-goal is poultry, I recommend just stopping by Safeway.

Overall, in my opinion, I don’t think it would be a good investment at all, especially as a high schooler whose time and money is especially valuable. But again, it depends, I guess! Good luck!

– Sarah Kim



Q: Hi Wildcat Tribune!
I wanna thank you for the advice on one of my earlier questions! It really helped. But now that I’ve moved on from my crush, i’m contemplating my love life a lot! My main thing when I started high school was to get all my ‘firsts’ in a relationship over with. I am pretty clueless right now and could sure use some guidance on what to do about my love life.
Hopeless Romantic <3 

A: Dear Hopeless Romantic,

Glad to hear that our advice helped! For your current question, I guess I’d need a little more context on what exactly you want to do next. You mentioned wanting to get all of your “firsts” done – although I understand that’s your goal, I’m not sure I’d advise pursuing relationships just to check off a list of conventional romantic activities. For now, I wouldn’t advise jumping into a relationship (for the sole purpose of experiencing a first kiss, dates, etc.), but I think if you’d like to build a genuine relationship with someone, you can start engaging more with people in our classes or clubs. Get to know the people around you, as you’ll be able to make some friends and maybe meet someone along the way.

But keep in mind – even if you can’t get all your “firsts in a relationship over with,” don’t worry about it too much. Relationships are fun, but not being with someone isn’t something to be ashamed of. You also have plenty of time to find someone that’s truly compatible with you.

Wishing you the best with your romantic ventures,




Q: Do Dougherty Teachers care about your education? 

– GameGamer1470

A: Heyo GameGamer1470,

I’d like to think that all teachers care about the student’s education! I mean it seems as though with the workload we are given and the amount of stress students deal with, but in the midst of all that, it’s easy for us students to believe that they don’t but in reality, they do! Throughout my time at Dougherty I’ve spent a lot of afternoons with teachers, whether it be Ms. Holzer looking over a World Geography project or Mrs. Faria helping me pick out evidence for a TIQATIQA. Every teacher, I believe, cares for their students even if they don’t show it. I mean isn’t that the whole reason they are teachers?

Hope I’ve convinced you!




Q: My parents put a lot of pressure on me to study for finals, which is fine because I like studying early. However, I have to give a lot of time to my family because I’m responsible for looking after some family health problems. Is there a way I can manage my time so that way I can tackle my finals studying but also have enough time to uphold my responsibilities to my family?

– Reasonable Nonsense

A: Dear Reasonable Nonsense,

You sound like you have a lot of responsibilities you’re juggling right now – please know that you have our support. I’m not sure how much advice I can really give you besides what was mentioned in an earlier question (located above). I think you’re going to have to buckle down and find a way to study as efficiently as possible. Start gathering your study materials early, and keep them organized (this is especially helpful in the instance that you have some extra time on your hands, because you can reference information quickly). Identify the ways you study best, and set aside time each day for whatever you feel is the top priority for review. Allot time for each homework assignment and study session so that you can ensure you still have time for your family.

I’ve linked time management-related questions below in case you’d like to reference previous tips we’ve given.

Good luck!


Week 1, Part I –

  • 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 1, Part II –

  • Q: How would you study for a Mulhauser HAP test?

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 6 –

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



Q: Should I have sex?

– [redacted]

A: Dear [redacted],

This is unfortunately not a choice we can make for you or tell you what to do. The Advice Column team wants to emphasize that this decision is up to you and your partner and we are not providing you direction. We do want to urge you to consider if you are feeling pressure to start having sex and/or do anything you don’t want to (by friends/peers or even your partner), and where the pressure is coming from. Please know that this is a choice that is completely up to you and whomever you want to be involved with. If you don’t want to have sex, or your partner doesn’t want to, then you should not have sex. Neither party should pressure or guilt-trip the other, because that isn’t a healthy relationship where boundaries are respected.

If you’re considering having sex, we think the healthy thing to do is to have a conversation with your partner. This includes talking about safety and consequences, even if you think it’s boring and/or awkward. If anything, it shows you really care about and respect the other individual, because you’re taking the time to discuss a serious decision with them. This conversation doesn’t need to be overly-formal, but it does require honesty, transparency and respect.

In the end, this choice is up to you and your partner and we are not advising you to make a decision. The best advice we can give you is to be thoughtful about whatever choice you make, and make sure you are making decisions for yourself, and not because anyone else tells you to.


The Advice Column Team



Q: I’ve been feeling suicidal since last semester, and AP classes are just making it worse. I’ve talked to my counselor, parents, friends, & even Ms. Steenbeke, but everything is just making it worse b/c I feel like I need to act fine even when I’m not. I know suicide is a last option, but I don’t know how long I can keep going without breaking. Please help; you’re my last hope.

– SofieDossieFan

A: Dear SofieDossieFan,

Before we begin, the column team wants to emphasize that the advice of the Wildcat Tribune Advice Column is provided by students, for students. While we have your best interests in mind, and we completely empathize with your situation, understand we are not expert sources on a topic of such seriousness. Although we appreciate the questions and that students have reached out to us, we would like to emphasize that the best way we can help is directing students to an adult on campus,  especially a counselor, who is specialized and can provide more helpful advice.

As before, we would like to emphasize that seeking out trusted friends, teachers and other adults, and trained medical professionals is the best course of action. While we understand that you have talked to others about what you’ve been experiencing, we urge you to continue looking for someone to speak to. Not everyone will be able to support you in a way that you need, so it’s really important that you keep searching for the right person. This is not to say that you shouldn’t trust the people you’ve already spoken to or avoid sharing things with them, or that they don’t care about you — it’s about finding someone you can truly connect with, and finding someone who can offer support that resonates with you. Sometimes it takes talking with a few people before you find the “right” person to talk with, who you feel really hears and supports you.

We strongly suggest going to see Mr. Ianora to talk to him, as he is really understanding and helpful. You can also speak to one of DV’s school psychologists. We would also like to extend an offer from our adviser, Ms. Decker. She is located in Room 1205, and she is willing to speak to any student (regardless of whether you are a stranger or a former student of hers) if they need emotional support, suggestions for resources or someone to confide in. For us personally, she’s been someone that we feel comfortable talking with, and she supports us and makes us feel understood.

With all that being said, we appreciate that you came to us with your question, and we hope that you will find a way to seek out and meet with a medical professional (either on or off campus).


The Advice Column Team


We’d also like to suggest other resources to consider:

The Contra Costa Crisis Center ( available 24 hours)

  • Free, confidential crisis and suicide hotline
  • Available 24-hours a day! There’s always someone to talk to
  • Also for information + referral services, grief counseling
  • Call 800-833-2900 or text HOPE to 2012

DVHS Counseling Department links for personal support

From the consortium of Organizational Mental Health (understanding suicidal feelings and creating a safety plan):

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

  • Free, confidential crisis and suicide hotline
  • Available 24-hours a day! There’s always someone to talk to
  • (1-800-273-8255 (TALK))