Ask Austin: The senior who tells it like it is

Austin B.

Managing Senior Editor

School Struggles

“Dear Austin: With the semester coming to an end, I need to get my grades up; what should I do?

Dear Procrastinating Paul: The best advice I can give to you is to not procrastinate. School can be extremely stressful due to the immense amount of work teachers assign; this stress can be increased if you put everything off. While there are some students who work even better under pressure, many students are not able to get everything done at the last minute, making the last few weeks of the semester the equivalent of climbing a ladder with no bars on which to step. One way many students like to attempt to improve their grades is by asking a teacher for extra credit. If given the chance to do extra credit at any point, be proactive and do it. However, many high school teachers understandably expect their students to be responsible for their own grades; therefore, extra credit may not always be given. With this being said, it is extremely important for you to take initiative and keep your grades up all semester instead of just the last week. If you find your grades are not salvageable this semester, remember that next semester it is important to work diligently to balance out your transcript.

Holiday Hassles

“Dear Austin: I don’t know what to get my friends for Christmas; what should I do?”

Dear Considerate Callie: It is very nice of you to want to get your friends the right Christmas gift. Many people struggle to find a gift that can leave the recipient awestruck, but there are some ways to facilitate the process. To start, consider what the person’s most passionate interests are; for example, if your friend is a die-hard Atlanta Hawks fan, you could get him a Hawks jersey or basketball. Everyone has at least one activity, team, or hobby that he or she is passionate about; this should give you some intuition as to what to get your friends. If there still is some question as to what your friend might want to receive, discreetly ask. It is completely acceptable to ask what someone wants for Christmas if it is done indirectly. Finally, another easy way to get to know the recipient is to take him or her winAdvice AB 2dow-shopping. When walking through a mall, it is easy to hear many wishes: “I want those shoes,” or “I love that jacket.” This can be one of the simplest ways to discover what to get someone for Christmas.

“Dear Austin: My friends want to hang out with me on Christmas, but so does my family; what should I do?”

Dear Popular Penny: Christmas is a time to spend with loved ones, no matter who they are. It is understandable that your friends and family both want to spend time with you, so both should be considered in the making of your plans. One simple solution to this problem would be to get everyone, family and friends, together; most people overlook this solution, thinking Christmas is solely for family, but this is not the case. Like Thanksgiving, Christmas can be a huge gathering of friends and family to all celebrate together; the more the merrier! If having a group celebration is out of the question, another resolution would be dividing the day: spend the first half of the day with your family and the second half with your friends, or vice versa.

“Dear Austin: How do I stick with my New Year’s resolution?”

Dear Self-Conscious Sammy: Keeping your New Year’s resolution can be extremely difficult. One under-rated way to keep your resolution is to write it down somewhere you will see it every day; if you have to face your resolution every day, it becomes much more difficult to avoid it. Also, writing it down makes it more real in the aspect that it becomes more than just an idea; it is more physical. Another method to keeping your self-promise is to give yourself checkpoints; for example, if you want to start losing weight, set a deadline to lose three pounds every month. Having checkpoints makes reaching a goal more of an obligation than a task you can put off until later. When attempting to keep a New Year’s resolution, having a friend help you is definitely beneficial. If you have a buddy keeping an eye on the status of your resolution, you are less likely to break it. Not only is this good for you, but it also helps the friend maintain his or her resolution. Finally, making a chart of your resolution can make it easier to persevere. If you log your progress, you can frequently look back at the chart; if nothing is getting done, you will be able to see this more visibly, making it more of a priority to you in your daily life.

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