There’s this boy I like…

And also, I failed an exam.

This letter writer has had a bad week at university. Can our elder help her climb out of the spiral?


Dear EWC

There are two things I would like advice on. 1) So, there was a boy I liked. But we only had some conversations. He was new in university and I was a childhood classmate of his. Then I had to go home for vacation and when I returned, he had made new friends and now when I talk to him, I feel like he does not want to talk to me. He smiles and all but he seems disinterested. Today I walked on the side of the road, he was with his friends and he ignored me. Did I do something wrong? I wanted to make friends with him so I may have come on strong in the beginning, maybe it scared him away. I do not know how to make friends. Please help me to make friends? I am introverted and I feel like people find me boring. What should I do in this situation? 

2) I failed an exam. Thing is I did study for it, but it was not up to my potential. I should have studied more. Now I failed my exam and I feel so terrible. So frustrated I feel like I am not going to pass it when I write it again. There’s way too much to study. I do not think I can do it. Everybody else got in there first try and I have not and my mother is asking the same question. And I feel like such a failure and I am scared about my future. There is no way I can pass this exam. And everybody will think I am a failure and hate me for it. I think I am spiraling. Scold me if you must but please provide some advice. I do not know what to do.


AuntAJ replies

I hope no one here would ever scold you. I’m pretty sure we have all been in your shoes at one time or another, in both situations.

First thing I would suggest is to forgive yourself. It sounds like you had a bad couple of weeks and we all go through these down-times. But the key is learning how to bounce back. For the class assignment, you had said that you didn’t feel like you studied your best. Put your best effort into it this time and know that if you try your hardest, you will have a greater chance of passing. Any failure can feel devastating, but sometimes we have to fail to realize what we need to do to make a difference. In this case, it sounds like you have to put a lot more effort into the project than you first believed. It may not be easy or fun, but if you know you gave it your best, your final grade will tell you a lot if you pass, then you’ll know it just requires a little more energy on your part. If the grade still is not as expected, then perhaps it’s a sign that this particular subject matter is not for you. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and sometimes, we just cannot do well if it’s something we don’t enjoy or don’t have a natural attraction to.

As to the guy situation, try not to feel bad about this boy. It is one boy in a sea of guys. Sometimes when we grow up with someone and then we go to college, we want to find a whole new experience – we don’t really want to bring the past with us. You are a reminder of his past, so it could be nothing personal against you. He might just want to start a whole new experience with all new friends. And that’s what you should do too. Try to find a whole new group of friends. I wonder if there’s a study group or tutor you could have through the university, to help you with the project that you mentioned above. In that way, you might do better on your project and you would also have a leg into meeting some new people.

I understand that it feels like everything is spiraling down right now, but it can just just as easily climb back up. I’m sure you’re not boring. I think you probably have just not discovered what your best talents are yet. In the meantime, when you meet new people, just ask more about them. Most people love to talk about themselves, and will appreciate anyone taking an interest in them. As time passes, you might develop new hobbies and then you will feel you have something more interesting to discuss when you talk about yourself. 

I was shy for many years. I know how this feels. Remember, until it gets a little easier for you to open up, it’s always a good thing to be a good listener. Smile and ask non-threatening questions of people. Compliment them on things that you see they do well. For instance, make the conversation lighthearted, for example, “What do you like to do for fun?” or, “How do you like where you’re living?” etc. If you join some groups that have similar interests as you, you might find people that are more like yourself. People with similar hobbies seem to have somewhat the same kind of spirit. Do you like art or music? I’m sure there is a group at the university where you would fit in with an interest.

Continue to smile at the boy that you currently like, but don’t push anything and if he wants to know you better, he will make his way toward you. I can also tell you from experience that confidence is very appealing to people, so if you are comfortable with yourself and a generally happy person, you will attract the right people. 

I would focus on your studies first, since that success will boost your confidence and then you can try and meet people in many ways.

Good luck and let us know how you are doing. We are always here for you. 

Article #: 495717
Category: Other

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