How can I forget about him?

I love a guy who is my senior in school. I love him very much but I don’t think we can be in a relationship because after 1 year we both will leave school and go to different places. So I started ignoring him. But after a few days I started talking to him again. How can I forget about him and pay attention to my future plans?

You do not have to “forget about him” because a good friendship can exist and grow even when people cannot be physically close. Friendship and love grow from the heart and make life beautiful and worth living. Modern means of communication like the cell phone, internet, etc., make it possible for people to remain in touch and share their life and problems even when they are far away from each other. If both of you agree to continue your friendship, carry it on without fear. When you both grow up it will towards clear in which direction you should go: either towards a lasting friendship or a more close and exclusive relationship of love.


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He doesn’t love me

I am in Std IX. I love a guy who is Std XII but he doesn’t love me. He loves someone else. At some point of time, I thought I would get over him but I can’t as I love him so very much and I meet him everyday face to face. I think he knows that I love him but he hasn’t talked about it to me ever. I love him very much. I have never told him about my feelings directly. What should I do? Should I express my feelings to him or not?

You meet every day face to face a guy you “love so much” but never had the courage to tell him about your feelings. You know that he “loves someone else” but cannot get over him. You think that he knows that you love him but he hasn’t talked about it to you. You are living a dream of love without any connection with reality. Awake from you dream and realize that love has to be borne from both sides and then only it will be experienced and shared. Respect his feelings and do not interfere with his love relationship with someone else.


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Something is disturbing our friendship

I am 15-year-old girl in Std IX. Every time I think that I’m comfortable with my friends something or the other disturbs our friendship. My best friend was very close to me last year, but this year she’s in another class and our bond is not as strong as before. I feel that she has started to avoid me. When I think of making new friends something stops me and reminds me of our friendship. I am very confused. By the way this in not disturbing my studies but I’m not able to take part in the co-curricular activities of school as before. Please help me.

Teenagers need to feel secure and accepted in their relationships with other teenage friends, going with the crowd and doing what they do (e.g., dress code, jargon and behaviour). When a peer relationship breaks down teenagers worry because they feel insecure and fear it may affect the rest of their life. In your situation you feel confused and insecure about what to do: “I am very confused”. You are afraid of making new friends, because your heart is still attached to your former best friend. The time has come now to open your heart and mind to new friends and build again with them the good and strong bond you had built with your former best friend. Your past experience will help you to enjoy more beautiful and lasting relationships for the rest of your life.


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My mother told outsiders about my personal life

I read your column in THE TEENAGER TODAY and I realized that I could really count on you for advice. To be honest, my life recently has been like a rollercoaster ride. I know it sounds a bit clichéd, but it’s true. I am a 15-year-old in Std X, and for me, my family has been giving me a headache and not my studies! I have realized that my mom has turned a hypocrite; I know I shouldn’t say this because she’ my mom, but it’s a fact. Recently, my coaching class had a parent-teacher meeting and my mom Googled everything about me! It was about my male friends, my boyfriends and everything! Why did she have to announce to outsiders about my personal life; why? Plus she has been pressing me to pursue a career I’m not a very studious student but also not the one who’s having supplementaries. I realized that all this is pushing me towards depression. I could seriously use your help.

You write that you have problem with your family, especially with your mother, because at a parent-teacher meeting she told them everything about your personal life including your male friends and boyfriends. Besides that, she is pressing you to pursue a career you are not interested in. do your father and other family members share this approach? Do you hare with them your plans for the future and about your friends? The fact that your mother spoke about your male friends at a parent-teacher meeting shows that she is not happy about your friendships. Speak to your father and find out if he approves what your mother said at the meeting; let him and your mother come to some agreement about you and your future. Finally, they should share with you their expectations, giving you a chance to express your personal desires. If there is no open dialogue within family it is not possible to plan your life and live in peace at home.


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I want to become a psychologist

I’m a student of Std. X and I want to become a psychologist. What stream and subjects should I choose? Which are the good colleges in India or in the U.S. offering psychology? Are there any good research centres in India or the U.S.?

To become a psychologist, you need to have a Master’s degree in Psychology. So first complete Std. XII in any stream. Then go for a B.A. (Hons.) in Psychology, which is of three years’ duration. Many colleges admit students on the basis of marks obtained in 10+2. The better the college is, the higher the cut-off percentage goes.

Courses in Psychology are available almost all the universities. Some of these are Annamalai University, Annamalainagar; Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi; Banasthali Vidyapeeth, Banasthali; National Council of Educational research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi; Psychology of Education, Bureau of Education, Allahabad; University of Madras, Chennai; Tata Institute of Social sciences, Mumbai.


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I am in Class 9 and I am interested in Cinematography. What courses do I have to do after class 12 to get into this field?

Cinematography is the art and technique of motion picture photography and cinematographers are the ‘movie; photographers. They use camera, lighting and related equipment to create the desired visual “mood” or “feel” for a film. They are basically the directors of photography, and instead of directing people, cinematographers direct the camera.

There are no formal educational requirements to enter this field. But a proper training teaches broad technical understanding of this field and offers much needed practical experience with variety of cameras. A good course in camera and lighting techniques polishes one’s visual imagination and creative ability, teaching you how to get the right effect.

Some of the institutes offering related courses are The Film and Television Institute of India, Pune; Asian Academy of Film and television, Noida; Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute Kolkata; L.V. Prasad Film and TV Academy, Chennai; Film and Television Institute of Tamil Nadu, CIT Campus, Chennai; Bihar Institute of Film and Television, Patliputra Colony, Patna.


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I am a student of Std. VIII. I want become an astronaut and join NASA. What are the qualifications required? Are there any good colleges in India or it is better to study abroad?

Astronauts are the elite few who are trained to travel outside the earth’s atmosphere on space shuttle missions. One has to go through intense physical and mental training before qualifying before one can actually go to space.

Basic qualification is Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences or Mathematics, and three years of related experience or at least 1,000 hours pilot-in-command time on jet aircraft. Distant and near visual acuity must be correctable to 20/20 for each eye. The use of glasses is acceptable. Before you make it to becoming an astronaut, you need to become a scientist and be passionate about it. Look at any astronaut’s biography and you will see that their education and accomplishments are typically much greater than what NASA states as a minimum. Year 2013 astronaut class for NASA consisted of eight astronauts who were selected from 6100 applicants. That means applicants for this class in the NASA astronaut corps had a 0.013% chance of being selected.

As per NASA people site “Other than under extremely rare exceptions, you must be a U.S. citizen in order to work for NASA as a civil service employee. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may wish to consider opportunities with one of our International Space Partners.”


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I am studying in Class 10. I want to become a Hindi news anchor. Which courses should I choose after Class 10 and after Class 12?

Becoming a news anchor sounds and looks absolutely glamorous but it isn’t an easy job. Very few news anchors become household names. Most spend their entire careers working in small markets.

The best way to pursue their career is by doing BJMC (Bachelor’s of Journalism & Mass Communication), a 3-year course, followed by a Master’s. a few colleges that offer these courses are Xavier’s Institute of Communication, Mumbai, Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bengaluru, Asian College of Journalism, Chennai; Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. The postgraduate courses are mostly 10 months long and have god placement drives.

Apart from getting into a good journalism college, you will have to work on your skills. Read newspapers, books and everything related to general knowledge that comes your way. This will help you get the right exposure and will open your mind to various new things. Apart from this, start watching the news as much as possible. This will help you get a hang of how anchors work. At the same time, improve upon your vocabulary. The way you are delivering news or the way you speak should be very generous and related to your content.


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Hotel Management or B.Tech. in Computer Engineering

I am a Class 12 Science student. I’m confused whether I should opt for B.Sc. in Hotel Management and Culinary Arts or do a B.Tech. in Computer Engineering. Which one do you think is a better option? Is there any scope for girls in India for Hotel Management and Culinary Arts?

Both hotel management and B.Tech. are good options. If you are a technically skilled person, love to play with machines and have an interest in programming, automobiles and construction then you can choose B.Tech. to pursue this field, you should choose Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry in 10+2 and appear for various competitive exams. On the other hand, if you like interacting with different people and are interested in management, hospitality, cooking and other services then you can choose Hotel Management. This course involves learning about reception and concierge services, restaurant and bar functions, administration, management and marketing.

Engineering and Hotel Management and totally different fields; it is up to you in which field you want to make your career and what is your passion, your goal and what you want to achieve in your life. You can also do engineering and can work in the hotel in the maintenance department.


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I can’t concentrate on my studies

I am good in studies but these days I can’t concentrate on them. All I can think about is my account on Facebook, my cell phone and boys. I am really worried that I will spoil my academic performance like this. I really can’t talk to my parents about this because they won’t understand me.

Your life seems to be going out of balance. While it is normal to want to connect with online friends and to have crushes at your age, excess time on only one area is like binging on your favourite food – it can make you sick. And you’re absolutely right – there will be consequences not just on academics, but also on the quality of your life if you become addicted. How will you feel if: Your academic results hit rock bottom? You lose your real friends because you chased virtual ones?

Retrain your brain! Take each important area of your life – your studies, a hobby, exercise, time with family and friends, time for social media and so on. Draw a ‘thali’ with ‘bowls’ on a paper. In each bowl place one area and how much time you will spend on it daily/during the week. Put it up on the wall and challenge yourself to stick to it. Give your cell phone to your mum at that time so you are not tempted to use it!


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I will lose my best friend

I’m a student of Std X. I am in contact with a girl since last year, for 6 months through Facebook. I have met her several times. She is my good friend. But I feel like I’m in love with her now. Sometimes I think that I should propose to her. But at the same time I think that by doing so, I will lose my best friend. What should I do?

You are facing the classic dilemma and it isn’t easy to make this choice! So, how about not making the choice right now and letting time revel whether she is right as a friend, or as the love of your life?

Friendship is a very important component of love. It makes love last longer and stand the test of time. Once you complete your education and select your career, if you still feel for her, you can propose to her then. However, if you feel you have changed your mind, you can continue as friends and no one will be hurt.

Connecting with someone on social media and meting them can pose a safety risk. Do you know her background well? Have you met her family? It is important to be a bit cautious and avoid a future heartbreak.


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My parents have given up on me

This year I have my Std X board exams and I know that I am not studying up to the mark. Even my parents have given up on me. Whenever I study, I start thinking about my future when I know that I need to concentrate on my present. I’ve tried to put an end to my life but failed. I told my mother about this and got the worst scolding ever. My dad is not talking to me either.

People usually think of putting an end to his/her life when they perceive that there is no hope left for the future. I am not sure what more is making you feel this way. Your what you tried to do. Perhaps the only way they knew how to express themselves at that time was to scold you or stop speaking to you. Whenever the situation you face, you have one freedom – to choose your thoughts about how you see life – and that is where your inner power is.

You have come into the world with the potential to make a difference; your future is about discovering how you can make the difference. Seek help from a school counsellor, and also help yourself: Take a blank page; the bottom write, ‘Class 10’. Draw a ladder and write the steps that come in between, as best as you can. Pin this up on your wall and turn your future into a goal, a source of excitement. Use study skills and time management to help you focus on the present and to make your studies a stepping stone to reach your goal.


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I’m not mentally strong

I’m a 16-year old girl in Class 10. I will soon appear for my board exams. But, in this final year of high school, I secured only 70% in one of my exams. In last test, I secured 81.6%. I feel my problem is my attitude; I’m not mentally strong. Today my spirits are up; tomorrow my spirits may go down. I can’t maintain consistency. Though it seems like shallow thinking sometimes I feel that the reason for this is because my sun sign is Gemini. I want to change myself completely but don’t know when I will be able to. My dad says, when we are able to know who we are, we will always have a high spirit and full faith in ourselves. How will I be able to know who I am?

You feel like you yo-yo between high and low spirits, and your dad is egging you on to make a change in yourself. Perhaps you are not quite ready for it, but your board exams will soon be here. No matter which sun sign you are, change is about bringing out the best in yourself. Start the journey of self-discovery by listing out your values, the beliefs you hold that help or prevent success, your strengths and weaknesses, your talents and your moments of success. Keep a journal to record your thoughts and changes. Reflection will deepen your thinking.

Your goal right now is academic success, so develop consistent study habits. Use study skills – mind maps, grouping things, flash cards and more. More importantly, use the 25-minute technique. Study with great focus for 25 minutes without distraction; then take a 5-minute break. Do another 25-minute slot, followed by a 10-minute break. You can do up to 4 back-to-back 25-minute slots before you take a longer break. Building consistency in one area will help you build consistency in others.


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My life is full of problems

I’m a very stressed person and my life is full of problems. Though I’m good in studies I want to be an English singer. I’ve many dreams in life but something is not letting me grow. Sometimes I even think of committing suicide. I’ve a childhood friend who’s a boy and we’re just friends. He’s not talking to me anymore and we just chat on Facebook. When I asked him the reason for not talking to me he said that it’s because of his board exams. What kind of a friendship is this?

You haven’t mentioned your ‘problems’, but I can see that you are very discouraged. Suicide is not a solution to problems; it is destroying your true potential, which you have not even begun to discover. Problems help you to discover your inner strength and build your character, so tackle them head-on. Take support from people who love you and whom you trust; seek help from a student counsellor. Use stress management techniques such as listening to music, exercising, prayer, doing pranayama (under guidance) and more.

If you are sure that English singing is the right dream, then asks yourself: how good you at singing? Are you formally trained? Have you recorded your voice to make a portfolio? To achieve a dream, you have to break a big dream into small steps and tackle them one step at a time.

Understandably you feel hurt that your friend isn’t paying attention to you. However, he is seems quite focused on his studies, which is great. If you are his good friend, please do support him, as the board exam year is a very important one for his future.


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I have a major crush on her again

I have a crush on a girl since I was in class 6; now I am in class 10. In class 7, I proposed to her and she said ‘yes’ but after that she did not speak to me again. When my friend asked her whether she liked me or not she commented on my looks saying, “He is not that great. I will not date him; he is very bad looking.” After that I never looked at her but one year later we were both in the same class and she tried to be friendly with me. At that time I didn’t speak to her, but now in class 10 I have a major crush on her again. What should I do to get my mind off her?

You must be quite puzzled about this girl’s behaviour and her comments about your looks must certainly have hurt. However, the writing is on the wall – she isn’t really interested, and it brings no joy when a relationship is so one-sided, don’t you agree? You have rightly identified it as a crush; so it will pass. And you can certainly help yourself by focusing on your board exams and your future career, along with some sports and relaxing hobbies to develop your personality. The journey of life has just begun and you’re sure to find someone warm and caring along the way!


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