Let's Get Through It Together - Month Thirteen

I am deeply concerned about my older sister. My family just moved and she is not adjusting well to being in a new town. She hasn’t tried to make new friends and now she’s not spending time with the rest of the family. She’s just so bummed out -- how do you think I can help her?

Tina L.
Saratoga, CA

This is definitely a toughie. First of all, try sitting down and talking heart-to-heart with your sister. Let her know that you’re concerned and see if, together, you can figure out exactly why she’s acting the way she is. Does she miss her friends in your old hometown? Maybe she's just too shy to get out and meet some new ones. If that’s it, maybe the two of you can join some clubs together, or you could introduce her to your new friends. If you haven’t moved too far away from where you lived before, your sister might be able to visit her old pals occasionally on weekends. One way or another, I think you should talk to her about her feelings and find out what’s bothering her. Maybe your entire family could sit down together and talk the whole thing out. If your sister knows that she’s definitely not alone, and has you and your parents to turn to for support, she might feel more positive about making the best of living in a new town. Let me know how things work out, okay?


I really like this guy who is a sophomore in high school. I’m only in the eighth grade, and my friends say I don’t have a chance of getting him to like me. Should I give up?

Brenda P.
South Suburban, IL

I personally think that age has very little to do with relationships, but some people feel differently. Maybe your friends are giving you advice based on their own experiences, but they really have no idea what will happen between you and this guy. I say give it a shot! Why not try getting to know him better, and if the two of you hit it off, you can take it from there! If you don’t try, you’ll never know if things could have worked out between you. Now, I’m not saying it will definitely turn out the way you hope, but trying won’t hurt!


Help! One of my friends was mad at me and told my ex-boyfriend that I still love him. Now he’s calling me again. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I’m just not interested. What should I do?

Patty A.
Providence, RI

First things first: what about this “friend?” The way she stirred up trouble for you, she certainly doesn’t sound very trustworthy to me! Secondly, you have to act quickly, ‘cause you don’t want the rumor about you and your ex to get out of hand. You need to talk with him face-to-face and explain exactly what happened with your “friend.” Tell him how you really feel about him as nicely as possible, and ask him to please stop calling. That’s about all you CAN do!


Here’s my problem, Jon...a lot of girls in my class have boyfriends and are always talking about how great it is to be going out. Now, I don’t have a boyfriend, but I’d like to. There are a couple of boys who like me, but I really don’t like them. Should I go steady with one of these guys who like me or look for someone else?

Amy B.
Depew, NY

Slow down! You don’t need to rush into things. I think you should give dating a try first. Be selective about who you decide to go out with, but do give different guys a chance. You never know who you’ll end up really liking once you get to know them away from school. The best thing about dating is finding out what person fits your personality. Don’t feel pressured into going out with a guy you are not crazy about just for the sake of being able to tell people you have a boyfriend. After all, being “attached” doesn’t make you a better person. Plus, hooking up with somebody you don’t really like just for show isn’t very cool -- it’s basically using the guy just to fit in with your friends. That’s why I’d recommend just going on casual dates for now. Have a good time!


I have a couple of friends who smoke, but I don’t. They want me to try it, but I just want them to leave me alone! How do I tell them that without them giving me a hard time?

Joey O.
Bend, OR

Whew, I think a lot of people go through this situation, and it is definitely a hard one! First of all, I think it’s great that you have your own beliefs about what is right and wrong for you! Now all you have to do is stick to them. You have to be honest with your friend and tell them exactly how you feel. It’s not a matter of you being “chicken” or anything like that -- it’s obvious you’ve decided that smoking’s not for you, so don’t let anybody try to tell you differently! Remember, sometimes even people who you really like and admire will make mistakes, and the worst thing you can do is go along with them just to be cool. Hopefully, your friends are real ones. They’ll understand, respect and support your decision.


I’ve wanted to get into acting for a long time now, but my problem is that I live in a small town in Minnesota. How can I get started on a career when I’m nowhere near Hollywood or New York?

Sarah B.
Delano, MN

There are no guarantees in this business and this is only my opinion, but I think the best thing to do is get involved in your local theater group or in school plays. If your school has drama courses, take them! That way, you can get a feel for performing and can see if you really want to pursue it. If you still feel strongly about it once you graduate high school, there are several options you’ll have -- one is studying acting at a college or university. You can also check to see if there are any talent agencies in your area, but be real careful! Legitimate agents can legally only collect 10% of your acting income, so never be rooked into paying someone a fee to “make you famous.” Good luck!


My little brother is driving me crazy! I’m 12 years old and he’s eight, and whenever my friends come over to my house, he constantly bugs us or spies on us. My mom just says, “Be nice to your brother,” and doesn’t stop him. My friends aren’t going to come over anymore if he doesn’t stop being such a pest -- what can I do with him?

Susie B.
Butte, MT

I know that a lot of little brothers and sisters are known for being pests because they feel left out of whatever is going on in the household. Your brother probably isn’t being annoying on purpose -- he may just be bored or trying to get attention. Try to sit him down and have a talk with him, but don’t get mad and yell -- that will only make him bug you more. Explain to him that you and your buds need your privacy. Also, ask your friends to be a little more patient -- after all, it is your brother’s house, too! Maybe your mom will let him have friends over at the same time you do so that he’ll be entertained and leave you alone. If it makes you feel better, my bet is that he’ll eventually outgrow this stage. Time is your best friend at this point!


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