Ask MOR provides student the opportunity to anonymously, or publicly ask questions to the staff members on the Mouth of the River. These questions can range anywhere from academic concerns, to social problems and MOR members will be willing to provide their own opinions due to past experience, or offer advice on how to approach the situation. You can submit your own questions on our website, https://mor.news/ask or in the ORHS counseling office.
Q: I’m really behind on work but I don’t know how to reach out to my teacher for help.
A: Teachers are here to help. They are qualified instructors that have taught you the lesson, and are prepared to answer questions if you don’t understand the content that they’re teaching. If you feel as though you’re behind on work, utilize office hours to check in on what you can do to get caught up in the class, even if that means staying after school for a little bit on certain days. You don’t need to have a super close relationship with your teacher to be able to approach them or to feel as though they are only going to help you under those conditions. Teachers are always vocalizing how they are “here to help” and to “answer any additional questions”.
If you don’t feel comfortable approaching your teacher, talk to your school counselor about having them send the teacher a quick email asking what you can to do to catch up. That doesn’t mean that you will be able to avoid asking your teacher questions, but it gets the ball rolling in terms of how to start the catching-up process.
“If I need to talk with my teachers I usually will either talk to them before or after class or shoot them an email with my questions. I personally don’t use office hours for that purpose much, but I do have some friends that do use office hours to meet with their teachers a lot,” says Grace Castonguay (‘20)
Q: I don’t know what I want to do with my future; I don’t even know what I want to do when I graduate!
A: Colleges and universities are always advertising their overwhelming amounts of subjects that you can major in, minor in, double major in, etc- one of those options being something along the lines of Undergraduate Studies, or an Undecided major. After experiencing many college tours, most of the people who were facilitating the tours actually encourage students to apply undecided if they’re not quite sure what they want to do. If you choose to apply undecided to college, you’re not binding yourself to any subject without knowing whether you want to fully commit to studying it. This means that instead of applying to a specific college that will require you to take courses that only pertain to what you plan on majoring in, you will spend your freshman year taking prerequisite classes in order to determine what you want to study or what your interests are.
If you have some sort of idea of what you want to study or major in, a lot of schools have subcategories of the undecided college. An example of this is the University of Vermont where students can apply to the college of letters and sciences undecided. This implies that the student has an interested in something that involved science although they are not binding themselves to these majors.
“I applied to the University of New Hampshire with the intention to study science although I wasn’t sure if that was really what I wanted to do. I applied for the undeclared student for the college of liberal arts and am currently taking a bunch of freshman pre-req courses in order to finalize my decision in what I want to study,” says UNH sophomore Olivia Estes
It’s perfectly normal to have no idea what you want to do, or what you want to major in. Many college students end up changing their major at least three or four times before they solidify their decision of what they want to do. It’s okay to experiment with different subjects and different majors, especially if it’s something you’ll be involved in for the rest of your life!
Q: I’m in a huge fight with my friend, what should I do?
A: The most effective thing to do when you’re involved in a disagreement is give them time and space. It all depends on what is going on, but under most circumstances, if they are a true friend they will soon realize that your friendship is more important than whatever the fight was about. Providing time and space will allow them to reevaluate what happened, and reevaluate your friendship.
There are always things to avoid when involved in a dispute with a friend, or anyone at that matter. Don’t use social media as a forum to vent, insult ‘subtweet’. People can misinterpret either the message you’re trying to convey through a post, and people can also misinterpreted the tone that you are using through a tweet or a post. Say you post some sort of apology, there is no way to tell if this is sincere, or if it’s just a sarcastic remark. Don’t try to apologize excessively, again give it time, but also don’t hold grudges forever. Things happen and people mess up and the only way to move past that is allowing yourself to see both sides of the story. In order to do this, you have to drop any grudges or hesitancy to listen to what they might have to say to you. Don’t turn against them, as it can put a significant damper on your ability to resolve anything. Find a compromise between the two of you. Talk it out. Don’t let a fight ruin the friendship that you had previously established.
Q: I have a super close friend group, and we have been super close throughout middle school and all throughout high school. When we leave for college at the end of the year, does that mean we need to branch out? Meet new people? Slowly break away from one another?
A: This is a common concern involving relationships. Whether that’s friendships, or dating, people always feel as though distance means separation; which is not always the case. In terms of friendship, if you’ve been able to maintain a healthy relationship with your friends throughout high school, I don’t see why that should stop even if you are all going to different schools. College allows you to branch out and meet new people, but it also makes you realize how much you appreciate your original friends from home.
“Technology is the main reason they probably still talk to each other. If they have a funny story to tell each other or gossip, they can just text or call,” says Laurel Gordon (‘19) whose brother attends Belmont University in Tennessee. Gordon doesn’t just only communicate with her brother, she has tried to maintains communication between her friends, that are currently in college.
“I don’t think I have ever texted or snapchatted Evan this much in my entire life, and it is definitely really helpful and it makes me really happy when I see that I got a text from him or one of his friends. I don’t think it’s overwhelming, if anything I think it’s much easier because I can just shoot them a text if I have something to tell them, I don’t have to worry about telling them in person or stuff like that,”
It’s easy to maintain relationships with good friends and it comes intuitively. It’s not very challenging if it’s something that you’ve been doing for the past 8+ years. Regardless of it you keep up contact while at school, when college breaks come around and everyone is back home, it’s always nice to catch up with those close pals.
Written by Katie Schmitt