DR. WALLACE: I'm 16 and really need your advice! I think I'm totally in love, but I don't know what to do about it. Last year, many of my school friends told me that a guy liked me. I've waited all school year for him to talk to me, but he didn't say one word. Once school started again, all of this started over again. Kids came up to me and said he liked me. One of the kids was his best friend.
I discussed things like this with my mom, and she told me to be a little assertive and try talking to him to let him know that I heard that he likes me and that I like him, too. About six weeks ago, I walked up to him when he was with one of his friends and told him I heard that he likes me. I was shocked when he told me I was mistaken and he didn't even know who I was. I glanced down at his notebook, and my name was written all over it.
All I could say was that I was sorry for the mix-up, as one of my friends might have been referring to someone else. I was so embarrassed that I almost cried. Since then, I have laid low, and now our school is closed. When we go back, what should I do? I waited for a month to see if he would ever come up on his own to talk to me, but so far, he has not made any further contact.
I do still think he likes me, based on what I saw on his notebook and the look in his eyes when I first went up and spoke to him — Mixed-Up Teen, via email
MIXED-UP TEEN: Perhaps you can use this time when schools are closed to reach out to him again. See if one of your friends has his phone number so you can text or call him.
I feel from your letter that this guy likes you enough to want to speak to you, but when he came face-to-face with you, he was unprepared, so he didn't have the courage to admit it. It also didn't help matters that his friend heard the conversation. Don't shy away from this young man. Perhaps you might be able to start a text conversation or actually call him to ask him how he is managing his schoolwork at home these days. You could ask him for suggestions on the best ways to study under these circumstances.
If you can become "study buddies," then when you do return to school, you'll both feel that you know each other much better, and it will be much easier to have good conversations in person.
Once you get that far, the two of you should have a nice friendship at the very least. And remember that a great friendship is a wonderful foundation for a potential romantic relationship.
I STRUGGLE WITH TESTS
DR. WALLACE: I'm 19 and attending a local community college in my city. I will, hopefully, be transferring to a four-year university next fall. Standing in my way of accomplishing this are a few classes in subjects I find boring. I am currently enrolled in these classes and have no problems with completing the required homework from week to week. However, when it comes to taking the tests, I kind of panic and struggle to remember what I knew so well the night before! So, now I'm wondering if you have any suggestions on how to overcome this type of problem. — Teen With Test Anxiety, via email
TEEN WITH TEST ANXIETY: Struggling on tests is a common problem. Some students, no matter how well they know the material, put so much psychological pressure on themselves they can't access this knowledge effectively at test time. I had some teens tell me they feel their brain actually "freezes up," and they seem to forget everything they were studying so hard to learn in the days leading up to the test.
I suggest that you make an appointment with your teachers to discuss what can be done to help you overcome this stressful situation. Knowing the teachers are on your side and not out to get you may ease your fears and let you relax enough to perform up to capacity on your tests. Believe me, each teacher of yours has as much interest in your success as you do! One final idea: As you study key subject matter, try to think of something funny that associates with that material. Then, practice recalling the funny associations you've created in the days leading up to your future tests.
Once the test is in front of you, I believe you'll experience a bit of a smile or even a stifled laugh as you think about the funny association. Once you do this, you'll likely relax and realize that you do know the material, and it will hopefully flow well for you.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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