Ask L.B. – Our Advice Column for Readers: Filling Time, Feeling Inferior, and Fitting In


Dear L.B.,
Lately, I’ve been feeling like I don’t really have a place. I’ve always played sports, but I’m mediocre at them. I’m not in any clubs, and I don’t know which ones I’d like. My grades aren’t bad, but they’re not great either. I don’t really have good friends who I feel like I can turn to, and I don’t have any hobbies. Nothing seems to interest me anymore now that I’m in high school. I feel so empty and useless. What should I do?
Wasting Space

Dear Space,

I know how you feel. When I first started high school, I wasn’t doing any extracurricular activities! Something important I learned, though, was that it’s never too late to try anything. Go to a club meeting you think sounds interesting! If you like helping others, try out Habitat for Humanity. If you’re a fan of writing, stop into an Ursus meeting. If you’re passionate about anti-bullying and spreading kindness, maybe Challengers is right for you. Talk to teachers you like and see if they run any clubs. Next year, sign up for an elective that you think sounds cool. The more you put yourself out there, the more you’ll meet people who have the same interests as you, and you’ll learn about what you do and don’t like. And at the end of the day, when it comes to anything, if you don’t enjoy something, you don’t have to do it!

Have fun!




Dear L.B.,

This might sound stupid, but I can’t stop comparing myself to teenagers who are really talented or famous. They’re out there making money and spreading their talent, and a lot of them aren’t famous because of their families — they’re famous because they’re really good at what they do. I know it’s ridiculous, but I can’t help but feel annoyed with myself for not being successful like they are. How can I stop being jealous of something I know I can’t have?

I need some advice,

Nameless in Nowhere Land


Dear Nameless,

Your feelings are so normal! I even have days where I’m jealous of celebrity teens who seem like they have it made — they’re doing what they love, and making a lot of money doing it (probably). In those moments, I remind myself of two things. First: nobody ever really has it made! Life is never perfect, even for celebrities. That can be hard to remember because as the audience, we only see what they want us to see. But I guarantee you, every single person has their really bad days. Second: we all have our own successes, too! Even if it’s just making your bed in the morning or getting all your homework done early; if you look for it, you can find little things to be proud of yourself for doing every single day. I promise.

Keep looking,



Dear L.B.,

I’m a junior and I’m just starting to look at colleges. My parents are putting a ton of pressure on me to go to a really fancy school, and my grades are pretty good, but I’m not sure I want to go to a school that’s as competitive as an Ivy League. I don’t want my friends to judge me for applying to “easy” schools, but I also don’t even know where I should apply in the first place! I’m just so overwhelmed, and I can’t figure out where to start.

Thanks for your help,



Dear Struggling,

Your struggles are not uncommon, trust me! College is stressful for pretty much everyone. The first thing you want to determine is: where do you want to be? Close to home or far away; in a big city or a rural town; at a large university or a small college? These options can feel daunting, but spend some quality time thinking about them. Once you know what environment will make you happy, start doing some research! If there’s a specific thing you want to study, ask your guidance counselor for a list of schools that have good programs. And most of all, don’t feel restricted by acceptance rates!! It’s a good idea to apply to reach (harder), range (medium), and safety (easy) schools, but your happiness matters so much more than a few numbers.

Good luck,



Ask L.B. (a pseudonym for this advice 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 L.B. 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].
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