My dreams – or my boyfriend?

Good grades, Princeton, glittering career… this letter writer had it all worked out until the boyfriend came along. 

Can our elder help with this new juggling act?


Dear EWC

Hi there! Sorry to bother you, but my cousin told me about this website and suggested I write to you because she says you gave her the best advice she has ever gotten. I’m struggling with a lot right now. I’m 17 and I’m struggling to get good grades so I can go to my dream college. I’m also an aspiring young author who’s writing books and my dream and goal is to go to Princeton University and become a famous best-selling author, actress, and a film director. About a month ago, that was all I could think about and those things were the only things I could focus on. 

Now I just got a boyfriend and for some reason, he’s all I can think about. He is my first real boyfriend. I can barely focus on school and I’m trying not to make my grades slip again but it’s hard to focus on school work when I’m always thinking about him. Writing is my most favorite thing in the whole world and really, I know I was born to be an author because it’s been that way since I first started telling stories when I was four or five. I’m working on three books right now but it’s hard to focus on writing them no matter how badly I want to write because once again, I’m thinking about him. How do I balance writing, school, and a boyfriend? How do I stop thinking about him all the time?


Beacons-of-Light replies

We are a group of seniors living in a retirement community and we are so happy that you reached out to us. Your letter title has been the age-old question for many decades and there isn’t one right answer because every situation, every person and each juggling act is individual! How is that helpful!?! Although we are offering a little humor in our letter, we do understand that you are really struggling right now and we hope to offer you some insight to help you manage your current situation.

It is very impressive, the goals and dreams that you have set for yourself! Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars! Let’s start with the positive things. It is obvious that you have a very good head on your shoulders and you are bright and hardworking. You have also recognized that you are in danger of letting those goals and dreams slip away if you aren’t careful. It sounds to us like you really need to make a list (each day or week) and prioritize what needs to get done. We all have 24 hours in each day, so you need to determine when you will work on school work, when you will sleep, when you will work on your books, and what time you have available to “spend with, think about, talk to” your boyfriend. 

Of course, we know this is easier said than done because we all remember our first romantic relationship and the butterflies and excitement. However, we want you to also know that most of us sitting around this table did not stay with or marry that person we had the first “real” relationship with. We are not being negative, but trying to put some perspective on your thinking. Is this boy really worth letting all of your other dreams slip away? You need to be honest with yourself and decide what is most important to you. We think it is important to balance work and play. The idea of not having a boyfriend because you have too much “work” to do is just as silly as giving up on your goals because you have a boyfriend. 

The other thing that we think may be at play here is that you have too many irons in the fire. Instead of having three books going at one time, perhaps focus on one of them and work to make progress on that. Also, you mention you want to be an author, actress and film director after you attend Princeton. Perhaps it would be good to focus on one of those goals first. Getting accepted to Princeton is a wonderful goal and once you have achieved that, perhaps you can work on making your dreams of acting and directing a reality. We would imagine becoming an author may be one of those things that you can work on during your “spare time” from all of your other goals. The other important thing to remember is that every so often you will need to sit down and re-examine your goals and ambitions. There is nothing wrong with changing directions after you evaluate your situation at the current time! 

Life is a wonderfully fun roller coaster and we encourage you to hang on and enjoy the ride – it goes really fast! Trust us we know! We are wishing you the best of luck and feel confident that you will be able to work your way through all these emotions and come out stronger for it! 

Article #: 472246

Category: Self-Improvement

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