Ask Astrid – Our Advice Column for Readers: Sloppy Sisters, Disaster Driving, and Sleepless Studying


Dear Astrid,
I’m having some really big problems with my older sister. She just got back from college for the rest of the summer and I love having her home, but she’s an absolute slob. She leaves her products all over the bathroom, wet towels on the floor, she uses so many cups that we’ve run out of cups twice since she’s been home and she doesn’t clean up after herself at all. Her room smells and I can smell it from the next room over. I don’t know how she’s this much of a slob really. I feel bad for her roommates. She’s been busy hanging out with friends and stuff so I really don’t know how she made this much of a mess but it’s kinda impressive. I missed her when she was gone but I really didn’t miss living with her.
-Fed Up

Dear Fed Up,
I understand that’s really hard to live with, especially since it sounds like you’ve been cleaning up for her while she’s been home. Try talking to your parents and asking them if they could talk to her if you’re not comfortable doing it. Your house is a communal living space and while I’m sure it’s easy to forget things like glasses, it’s not acceptable to make it difficult to live in the house for the other people you’re living with. Talking to her and explaining that she’s being inconsiderate of you and suggesting that she be more mindful when leaving rooms might be really helpful. Just ask her to start putting her cups in the dishwasher or cleaning them by hand and putting them away would probably go a long way. Good luck with your sister, and I hope everything works out! -Astrid

Dear Astrid,
I’m really nervous about driving. I just got my permit which is great, but I’m really nervous to start driving because what if I get into an accident and completely totaled my parent’s car? That would really screw things up for the whole family and I know having another driver in my family would be really helpful to my parents but driving is so nerve wracking especially going quicker. What if I can’t turn quick enough because I’m going too fast and I crash into something and I hurt someone? Driving lessons are so expensive anyway and I really don’t want my parents to have to pay for them. Please help.
– Stopped

Dear Stopped,
This is a totally rational fear. Being on the road for the first time is scary and overwhelming because there’s so much to pay attention to and the stakes are high. If you’re too nervous to start driving right away, I would just practice sitting in the car and familiarizing yourself with it. Use the windshield wipers, honk the horn, just get comfortable in the car so when you do eventually go out on the road you feel comfortable enough to know where everything is. It’s going to help immensely. To start off you don’t even need to drive on the road, just go with an adult and drive in a parking lot. Parking lots are a safer alternative than the road, it can help you get a feel for the car and it can help you learn how to control it. A couple of tips, figure out which way the wheel turns while backing up before doing anything else, it’s mildly confusing, and always check to make sure you’re in the right gear. Your mirrors are really useful at making sure that you’re staying in the white lines of the road and always watching your speedometer. It’s really easy to go fast and not notice. Try driving in neighborhoods to just get used to driving on the road as well. You’re going to do great, just take a deep breath.

Dear Astrid,
I’m having some trouble studying for math for my final. I just can’t focus for some reason. I feel like it’s always too loud around me and even though I have notes I feel like I don’t even know what to study. I’m just so stressed out and I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t even sit in the chair long enough with my notes to study, I’m just so tired all the time and I just want to sleep. I need some advice on how to study and keep focus on my notes. I just don’t know what to do.

Dear Stressed,
Studying is different for everyone. It really just depends on how you learn and what method works best for you but some ways that might help you keep your focus on are putting on music when studying so you can block out the world a little better. For math, doing math problems would be really helpful so you know what to expect on the final exam. One thing that is helpful for studying is setting a timer on your phone so that every thirty minutes you study for, you get a fifteen minute break. It’s really helpful to take a break and let your mind take a rest, especially since it helps you focus better while studying. Studying in the ILC would be helpful as well since it’s normally quiet during the day, you’d just need a hall pass from your study hall teacher. Of course, any extra help from your math teacher would be really helpful as well and videos online or websites like Khan Academy could be valuable. If you’re nervous, try talking some time to yourself and remind yourself you’ve been working towards this for the entire year and you’ll do great. I know you’re stressed out and I know it’s hard, but everything will be okay.

Ask Astrid (a pseudonym for this columnist) is an advice column to advise people on how to deal with their concerns and issues in the most positive way possible. I try my best to ensure that they will make decisions that will help them move forward on the right path. I hope you will write to me, in confidence, seeking my guidance. Just a reminder: I will not disclose any information sent to me. What you write will always remain anonymous. I encourage you to be creative with your usernames and send feedback so that this column will be successful in helping those who seek advice. You can email me at [email protected] or drop a note in our standing metal mailbox outside of the English office. I look forward to reading your letters.

PEDIR Astrid es una columna de consejos para asesorar a las personas sobre cómo tratar mejor sus preocupaciones y problemas.​ Yo hago mi mejor esfuerzo para asegurarme que tu tomes la decicion correcta, ayudarte a avanzar de manera positiva. Yo espero que tu me escribas con confidencia, pidiendo mi ayuda. Un recordatorio, yo no voy a revelar ninguna información que me envies. Lo que tu escribas siempre va a ser anónimo. Te animo a que seas creativo con tus nombres de usuario y envíes comentarios para que esta columna sea exitosa para ayudar a quienes buscan consejos. Correo electrónico a [email protected]. Espero sus cartas.