SPICE Advice: February Foibles

Advice columnists give their best takes on this month’s dilemmas, submitted anonymously by Friends School students.
SPICE Advice: February Foibles

Have a question you’d like to see answered in next month’s column? Please submit it here.


Question:  There’s someone who I like, but my friends despise him and think that he’s a horrible person and that I shouldn’t like him. He just got out of a relationship, and I asked some of my friends what I should do, but they just said that I should drop it and that he most likely won’t like me. I, of course, am not going to pursue him right now, because of the breakup and his sadness from it, but I really want to in the future. What should I do?

Answer:  There are several ways you could approach this. First, it sounds like your friends have strong feelings about him, and it would be helpful to understand why. Maybe you already know, but if not, try to have a meaningful conversation with your friends about what it is that they don’t respect about him. You can also get to know him as a friend so you can form your own opinion, and decide for yourself whether he is worth your time. By forming your opinion based on personal experience in addition to your friends’ opinions, you can decide if he is a good option for you. Trust yourself first and foremost. If you still like him after getting to know him, go for it! By then, it’ll probably have been long enough for him to get over his breakup. Just use your best judgment to decide when is the right time to make a move. Good luck!


Q:  I am a senior who has a crush on a freshman. I’m older than her but she’s such a nice person. How do I tell her how I feel??

A:  Think about it this way: when you were three, she probably wasn’t even born yet. Three years is a small age difference in the adult world. But in your teenage years, you are likely at very different stages developmentally. We recommend that you think about where you’re headed in your life. You have to face the reality that you are graduating soon, and even if she reciprocates your feelings, you likely won’t be in the same place very long. Think about getting to know her better before you decide whether to reveal your crush. And if you do want to tell her how you feel, just talk to her and ask her to do something specific, like coffee, and don’t make it a big thing. Just be genuine, and see what she says.


Q:  My Fortnite duo is really bad and they aren’t showing any signs of improvement. What should I do? 

A:  I’m so sorry, that’s a terrible thing to go through. I would let your duo know how you feel. Tell them they are slacking and you would like them to put in more effort. If they don’t try harder or listen to your concerns, look for a new duo. Just like any relationship, growth is key. If they aren’t putting in the work, find some people who will.


Q:  I got no money. How to get bread up?

A:  There are many ways to get money. You can get a regular job, ask neighbors if they need help with work around their houses or yards, or sell something that’s of value, like your artwork. Also, make sure to save your money and practice good spending habits. The finance club may also help you to build good money habits.


Q:  I’m in a secret relationship with my long distance boyfriend, and it’s hard to not be able to see him every day. What should I do?

A:  Long-distance relationships are challenging, but they can be worth it. You have to really like the person you are in a relationship with because it requires a lot of effort and persistence to keep in contact. If it’s hard not to see him every day, you guys can try to plan daily Facetimes where you can talk or do activities together online. It’s also important to realize that being in a relationship doesn’t mean you should be talking to this person 24/7. Long-distance relationships can be a healthy way of creating natural space where you can both be independent. Make sure you have other things that are bringing you joy besides this relationship. But some amount of longing might be something you have to accept because there isn’t really anything you can do to see one another in person. If not being able to physically see him is too hard, you might want to consider ending the relationship if it feels like you are putting in more effort than the joy you are getting out of it.


Q:  I cant stop singing “So Real” by Jeff Buckley. Help!

A:  Embrace it and sing!


Q:  Hey spice girls, I have been struggling with a disease I have called IBS. It stands for Irritable Bowl Syndrome. I tend to fart a lot in class and stink up the bathrooms at school. It makes me feel humiliated. Do you guys have any advice for me to be able to feel more confident about my disease? Thanks, gals

A:  Confidence comes when you trust yourself and appreciate your unique values and qualities. You cannot control what other people do or say to you, but you can control how you act toward yourself. If you don’t see your IBS as embarrassing or humiliating, then you will feel more confident. You have to own yourself, bowels included.  


Q:  How do I disappear tomorrow?

A:  Disappearing is not a human capability. If you need a mental health day to yourself every once in a while, that’s valid, but you can’t actually disappear. If you are finding yourself wanting to disappear very often, talking with a counselor or trusted adult may help you understand why you feel this way.


Q:  Does mewing actually work?

A:  No. The American Association of Orthodontists basically debunks this internet trend here. Don’t waste your time on something that likely won’t change how your jawline works. 


Q:  Do looks matter?

A:  As much as we would love to say no, a lot of times they do matter in terms of people’s attraction to one another. Lots of people like to say that looks don’t matter to them and personality is more important – and hopefully that’s true. But more often than not, looks also play a role. The thing is, all individuals have specific preferences, so it’s important to not get too caught up in worrying about your looks. One person may not be attracted to you at all, but someone else might think you are the most gorgeous person alive. If someone is not attracted to you, instead of trying to change your appearance, find someone who is attracted to you. Also, the grass is always greener on the other side. Tons of people, especially teens, get jealous of people with different features. The danger is that they will lose appreciation for the way they look and the beauty of being a unique person, which is more valuable than being a carbon copy of someone else. Sadly, you might feel pressure to conform to “beauty standards” – a certain body type or way you present yourself. And you may think life is easier for people who meet those standards – and it might be, in certain ways.  But it’s impossible to be physically attractive to everyone, so don’t get caught up in it. Instead of thinking about how other people feel about you, consider how you feel about yourself. Instead of trying to change yourself, try to embrace what is naturally beautiful about you. Being confident in who you are is very attractive. You can’t control how other people feel about you, so don’t get caught up in that. Instead, be confident in who you are, and you will attract the right people for you.


Q:  Why have my feelings for my crush turned into numbness? 

A:  If you’re wondering why you don’t feel anything for this person anymore, it is probably because they don’t excite you anymore and you do not still have feelings for them. This is a perfectly natural thing to experience. Crushes sometimes are not anything deep, just a desire for someone who you find attractive and the excitement you get from that. It could be that you now perceive this person to be uninterested in you, or you could be bored with your interactions with them. We feel what we feel. Allow yourself to move on.


Q:  There is this really cute girl that helps give advice to those via the Quaker Quill, and I was thinking about asking her out. How should I go about doing this?

A:  Don’t overthink it. Just ask her out.


Q:  Assuming an orbit of 400 kilometers in altitude and near-polar inclination, what is the best location (preferably somewhere on/in the Upper School) to mount a ground station and associated communications hardware?

A:  What are you planning to do, you silly goose? Sadly, we SPICE Advice girls are not trained in ground station and associated communications hardware location optimization, but maybe someone out there is. Try out a science or math teacher and see what they have to say!


Q:  How do I find new love and excitement at this point in the school year if I am burned out? 

A:  If you feel burnt out, that’s ok. You don’t have to jump right into doing stuff right away, because oftentimes that will just burn you out more. Over Spring Break, make time to rest. Make sure that you are getting a good amount of sleep and scheduling time with yourself so you feel more energized. In terms of finding new love and excitement, plan fun things to do with your friends and pursue things that interest you. One of the best ways to find excitement in life is by doing new things, and trying things that scare you. So go to a new club, try out a new restaurant, or talk to a new person. Any of these can enrich your life and bring you a lot of joy, because you will be growing. Try to practice healthy habits so that you can do social things without getting burned out in the future.


Q:  How do I balance loving myself and loving others?

A:  This is a challenging thing to do. To make sure you are loving yourself, treat your relationship with yourself just like a relationship with your friends. Plan time for both, do things both by yourself and with your friends – and give gifts or words of affirmation to both. If you want to have a day to yourself, that’s ok. There is never going to be a perfect balance. Just be mindful about when you spend time with yourself or others.


Q:  How do I talk with humans? Not that I’m not human, of course. Nope, no aliens at this school!

A:  Humans like to talk about ourselves. So find one and ask them some questions, like “What are you interested in?” “What drives you?” and look really interested while they are talking. Humans will keep going on and on forever. Also, I would suggest picking up on the slang young teens these days use at this school, so you can fit in with the crowd. Best of luck!


Q:  How do I increase my charisma modifier to something better than a -2? I’m considering multiclassing into bard and need to hit the requirement.

A:  Yikes, -2 charisma sounds pretty rough! We recommend you take this question to Polyak. He has more knowledge of D&D than we do.


Q:  How do I know if I’m attractive even if I don’t think so? 

A:  Everyone has different opinions on attractiveness. Be confident in yourself, and some people will see your authenticity and find you attractive. Others won’t, and you can’t really control their opinion of you, so don’t let it affect you. 


Q:  I have a really, really, really close friend (we’ve been friends since last year, when she reached out to me when I was new). However, lately, we’ve been getting into more and more arguments, and she’s been (to me) trying to use them, even if they’re minor disagreements, as leverage to stop our friendship. Then, on the next school day, she’ll gush to me about her crush as if nothing happened. I can’t keep up with this, but at the same time, I don’t want to lose a really good friend. What should I do? 

A:  This is tricky. It sounds like maybe your friend is going through something that is causing her to act this way. It could be something in her personal life that she is taking out on you, or something you did that you didn’t even notice. It might be hard, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask her if everything is okay. It doesn’t even need to be about your friendship. You could just ask her how she is doing. It is always nice to ask someone how they are because it allows them to talk about themselves, even if nothing is wrong. But also, it might be the case that your friend is just being insensitive to you, and it would be helpful to let her know next time you get into an argument. She might not even realize she is hurting you, especially if you don’t say anything. Once you have a conversation with her about how you feel, if she doesn’t change her behavior, you may want to consider taking a break from the friendship. 

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