Ask a Friend: Advice Column Week 4
Hello Parker Press readers! Welcome back to Parker Press' advice column: Ask a Friend. We have created this advice column with the intention to foster a designated safe space for peers to be open about things they might be struggling with or have questions about and give each another guidance. The floor is always open to anyone who is seeking advice! Every posting, Parker Press staff respond to questions they receive under their personal pen names. HOW TO SUBMIT Anyone can submit questions via this form or dm us directly. There is also a red heart-shaped box in the upper hall between the two chairs in front of the mural where you can submit questions on paper. You can sign your questions with your actual name, your initials, or a pen name---it's completely up to you Disclaimer: Advice from Parker Press is given by students on the Parker Press staff and is by no means a professional opinion. While every contributor has the best intentions, please take any advice given with a grain of salt, as every situation is very unique to each individual. Please keep questions school appropriate. Parker Press is by no means obligated to respond to questions that fall outside of these perimeters or are a violation someone's privacy. We hope you enjoy! Note: If we don't get to your question this posting, stay tuned for the next one, as it may take us a lil while to get to all the submissions we receive! Q: How do I choose what classes I should take next year?
A: Hey Mateo! This is certainly a great question and full disclosure, I have been pondering this myself lately. Over the past several days I have been agonizing over how to curate a course selection that is sufficiently challenging, but will still allow me to enjoy my senior year of high school. This is not to say that happiness is an inevitable trade-off with a multitude of academically rigorous classes, but rather it is important to acknowledge that the greater the course load you take on, the more time you will need to spend completing work for each given class, and the less time you'll have to devote to other areas of your life. Your time is limited and you can't do it all---this reality that I've been grappling with more and more recently.
Aside from recognizing the time commitment you are making, an important question to ask yourself is "Do I want to take this class for the right reasons?" Any class that you decide to take should be for you and for you only. After all, this is your life and your education. You may not realize it, but make sure that you are not feeling pressured to take a class---or a certain number of AP classes for example---because of the underlying notion that you need to craft the most impressive transcript in order to get into a "good" college because this is simply not the case. While this is a very real and normal pressure that undergirds course selection, make sure that it is not dictating your decisions.
Lastly, I would encourage you to simply take classes that you are interested in. If anything, high school is a great time to discover what you're passionate about and delve into that. Take advantage of the opportunities you're given and the choices you're able to make. Don't take a subject that you know you don't enjoy for the wrong reasons. Life is too short.
I know all the options can feel daunting, but know that whatever decision you make, it's all gonna work out.
You got this!
Q: Is it normal not to shave?
- Stigma Anxieties
A: Dear Stigma Anxieties,
However you identify, not shaving is perfectly normal and a personal choice. It shouldn’t be dictated by societal norms that were created a LOOOOONG time ago and are based around the status quo of white cis gender straight men.
Body hair is natural, we should work on normalizing it for everyone. If you don’t want to shave, YOU DO YOU.
People are always going to judge and be critical. It’s human nature and comes from our conditioning on how to see the world through a very narrow lens.
I strongly support challenging the status quo and actively working towards dismantling harmful ideologies that have been elevated as the authoritative voice.
The modern way of feminism is accepting people for whoever they want to be. The more we normalize differences, the less they matter and we can all just live freely.