Welcome to the revival of MOR’s advice column! We asked some students via Instagram some of their pressing questions about any topic. We used our personal experiences to answer these questions to the best of our abilities and we hope you enjoy!

Best way to find outfit inspo?

I am so excited to answer this question because I love shopping and clothes in general. For me, it isn’t too hard to find things I like because my style is pretty basic. However, there are times where I like to get out of my comfort zone and try to find new styles or outfits. A lot of this inspiration comes from Pinterest for me. I spend a lot of time just scrolling through my feed, looking at different outfits people are wearing, and thinking about how they might look on me. I like to save these “pins” on a board. This allows for Pinterest to give me more recommendations that are similar to the other styles on the board. When shopping using these “pins,” I find that it’s hard to find unique items through my usual shops like Pacsun or Princess Polly. Instead, I like to find small boutiques or handmade clothing stores because they tend to have more of the unique and stylish clothes that I see on Pinterest. 

How do I not let college rejection dictate my self worth?

AH. This question is one that I’m not sure I am qualified to answer because I did let college rejection define me for a while. If you are looking for a more in-depth answer I would recommend another article called Rejected. however, to put it short, I think not letting college rejections or acceptances define you as a person is a lot easier said than done, especially when you are someone who puts a lot of effort into school and academics. I’ve gotten rejected from my top two choice colleges already and deferred from one. It was super hard for me to deal with, but it honestly just takes time to get over things like this and understand that you will end up at the college you are meant to be at. I also had to continually remind myself that rejections don’t necessarily mean that I am a weak applicant, but rather that I just wasn’t the right fit for a certain school environment and I have to learn to accept that. The same applies to everyone else. It’s cliché, but rejection truly is just redirection and you are going to get accepted into the schools that are the best fit for you! 

What is something that high schoolers often stress about that actually doesn’t matter? 

Coming into high school I remember feeling like I needed to be a social butterfly in order to fit into the culture of high school. I recall trying to make a lot of friends and attend sports games and other social events to ensure that people liked me as a person. However, I know that I am not alone in this matter. I’ve seen countless underclassmen making the same mistakes I made and stress out over their high school social status. As I’ve gone through high school, this is totally something that isn’t worth stressing over. It’s so much more important to focus on making really good friendships with people who treat you well rather than making a bunch of friendships to simply maintain a spot in the social ladder. I promise you feel really good and enjoy your high school years much more if you create friendships that actually have meaning. Personally, I’ve noticed that after I found and invested in really good friends, I’ve enjoyed high school so much more. 

What opportunities should underclassmen take advantage of?

I love this question because there are so many things I wished an upperclassmen had told me when I was younger, so I am glad I can do this for others now. The biggest thing that I recommend underclassmen do is to get involved in school clubs they enjoy. Joining clubs when you are a freshman or sophomore allows you to gain leadership positions by the time you are an upperclassmen which can be a strong addition to your college applications if you have hopes of getting into selective schools. I also think joining clubs like Sustainability Club or FBLA offer a lot of experiences and exposure to things you wouldn’t necessarily learn about in your classes. As someone who is part of these clubs, I’ve noticed that you learn to work with others in projects that actually impact a community as well as time management because you have to balance both school and extracurriculars. Additionally, I think it is so important for underclassmen to reach out to their counselors to ask for summer programs they could attend to gain exposure to a topic in the field of study they might be interested in. This past summer I attended a Boston University Medical Program. I learned a lot about the field and was able to conduct my own research and take classes regarding medicine. Lastly, because we live so close to the University of New Hampshire (UNH), there are so many opportunities to conduct research with a professor, which is something I wish I had done. Simply just googling UNH professors who work in a field of study that you like and emailing them asking if you could do research with them is such an amazing way to learn more about something you are passionate about.

If I have toxic friends, how do I go about letting them go and trying to get over the friendship?

Letting go of toxic friendships is so much harder than people may make it seem. A lot of people tend to just say “oh just stop talking to them,” but if it’s friendship that has lasted so long and was strong at one point, it is so hard to just do that. I’ve had my fair share of toxic friendships, and I would say the best way to approach letting go is coming to terms with the fact that this person is causing more pain than happiness in your life. Letting go of a friend requires a deep level of self-reflection and acknowledgment that your own happiness should come first. You have to keep reminding yourself that you are going to feel so much better when you stop putting in effort for this person who probably isn’t reciprocating the same level of effort. The biggest advice, however, is to not make excuses for their toxic behavior or try to fix their behavior. You have to recognize that not all friendships in your life are going to last forever and it doesn’t matter if you have known this person for your whole life- you have to let them go for your happiness and self-growth. For me, it becomes easier to detach from a friendship when you fill your life with other activities. This isn’t necessarily a way to avoid your problems, but rather a way to focus on things that make you feel good. I’ve filled my life with work, exercise, school, and hanging out with people who treat me well. 

Artwork by Sofia Sarzosa