Austin B.

Senior Managing Editor

Dear Austin: I’m constantly in the shadow of my sibling at school. How can I make my own name?

Dear Shadowed Shawn: Most younger siblings spend at least some time in their older sibling’s shadow, whether it be a positive or negative one. The best way to get out of the shadows is to prove teachers’ expectations wrong. The reason you are the shadow of your siblings is because of the expectations the teacher has for you. For example, if your older sister was a phenomenal student, you expect that you will have to live up to your sibling’s status; conversely, if your older brother was a rambunctious student, you expect your teachers to predict you will be a rowdy teenager as well. These expectations that you expect to be set upon you by your teachers can be extremely inaccurate if your behavior is not similar to that of your siblings, so you must prove them wrong. When you walk into class, and your teacher asks for the homework, make sure you have all of it completed, and even try to over-achieve if you can. This excess of quality work will prove to the teacher that you are not someone who should be compared to others, but rather you are someone who others should be compared to.

Dear Austin: I really like this girl who is really into soccer, but I know nothing about it, so I feel like I do not have a chance. What should I do?

Dear Interested Isaac: When getting to know someone, there is only one scenario where it would hurt to partake in her interests: snakes, because those things are dangerous. However, soccer is not nearly as dangerous as snakes, so if you really like this girl, put some time aAdvice AB 2nd effort into learning about soccer by learning the rules, watching games, and keeping up with scores. The two positive outcomes of learning about soccer are 1) the girl falls hard for you because you are sensitive enough to take interests in her hobby, or 2) you find out soccer really is an exciting sport and begin to like it yourself. The worst possible outcome from taking time to learn about soccer is that you find out you do not really like it, which is not bad at all when you consider the possible positive outcomes. It may be a little tough to get into something that you have never truly considered before, but even if you find that you still are not interested in it, chances are that you will earn some serious credit with the girl for making an effort to take part.

Dear Austin: My two best friends are in an argument, and they both expect me to take his side; what do I do?

Dear Deadlocked Devin: It is never fun when two of the three musketeers are fighting because no matter how petty the argument may be, both expect the third person to take his side. The best way to handle a scenario where you are the third musketeer is to not choose a side. While it may frustrate your friends that you are not openly picking a side, this is solely because they are unhappy with the other person; once the argument ends, they will understand why you remained neutral. If you pick a side in an argument between two of your friends, the one not sided with will find out, which ends in hurt feelings and possible ruined friendships. There is a very good chance that the conflict will be resolved eventually, and you do not want any hard feelings with either friend over something Advice ABas simple as an immature high school fight. Most importantly, make an effort to help end the fight. If you find that the entire argument was based on one person misunderstanding another, help to point that out. Because it is a high school fight, it is most likely not nearly as serious or argument-worthy as the two of them believe it to be, so show them that. The foundation of a group of friends is laid upon the understanding that they will all try to help each other do what is best for them, and in this case, arguing is not best for anyone.

Dear Austin: My friend told me he is in danger at home, but I do not want him to hate me for asking someone for help. Please help.

Dear Sympathetic Sam: Your friend being threatened at home is a very serious topic. There is one simple solution: tell someone what is going on. In cases like this, the person generally does not want to ask for help because the parent has made him believe it is his fault or that he deserves it; this is not true by any means. Your friend may be upset with you at first for asking for help on his behalf, but he will understand once he finally gets out of that house. In this type of situation, you must tell someone (more specifically your parent or a police officer to let them handle it) because whether or not your friend is willing to admit it, he needs help. Getting away from his parents could benefit him extremely in the long run.

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