Looking for a bridge over troubled water? Krithvi Shyam, our young psychologist, addresses your worst anxieties.

I’m in big trouble. I’m a girl and ever since I was young, due to the circumstances I had been around in, I’ve always wanted to be “the earning guy” my dad would be proud of someday. I have always been a lucky girl. I got everything I wanted; I have the perfect family, they let me do what I want; I make my own choices and I’m never forced into anything. I’m pretty and dress well and have a great family and friends circle. I even have the best boyfriend who's my best friend too. Everyone is so proud of me. Everything seems so perfect to everyone but not to me. To me my career is and has been the most important thing. My dad is a pilot and I wanted to be exactly like him — earn a lot, have a big ego that'll never let any guy take me for granted. But since I was bad at Maths I ended up taking commerce and was happy with what I was doing. I even topped the exams. As everyone else, I too had no idea what to do after Std XII. My parents, teachers and well-wishers told me that CA was the thing for me. They even advised me to solely concentrate on it and forget about college. As I didn’t have any idea I let them decide for me. I think not going to college was a BIG mistake. I got stuck interning with my mum’s friend’s husband who was a CA and he wasn’t a great boss. While all my friends used to bunk college and watch movies and have fun, I was stuck at work. Moreover, I kept failing every time I took up the CA exams, and feel so depressed all the time. I’m a good student, I love all the subjects too...it’s just that the bad start is like a bone stuck in my throat. I feel I’m such a loser. I need help desperately as these days I have started feeling that death is so much more peaceful than all this. Please help!

- Fear of failure

I don’t think you need psychological help, and I certainly don’t think you should be paying anyone Rs. 3000 per hour for it! It sounds like you just hate your job so much it’s affecting other areas of your life as well. So why don’t you quit and look for another internship? There’s no point comparing yourself to your college student friends and bemoaning the lack of opportunities to bunk class and watch movies (never mind that serial bunking and paying condonation fines shouldn’t be a significant part of college life for anybody in the first place). If you continue with the current mindset that studying for CA is like a lifelong punishment for a crime you never committed, then it’s going to be very difficult for you to succeed in the exams. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into the subject so far — so switch internships, and see if the change in scenery helps you arrive at a better frame of mind. Give your exams one more (sincere) attempt before you throw in the towel and looking at other study opportunities. You never know, your next internship might make you fall in love with the subject, and you’ll look back at this time and laugh!

I am 16 years old and in a relationship for the past one year. Last year proved to be bad as I fared poorly in whatever I did. Lately, my parents came to know about my relationship and wanted me to end it as they think this “distraction” is what caused me to do badly, but my relationship is really going good and I don’t want to end it. I text my girlfriend daily and they want me to stop that. Since we are both from different school texting is the best way to keep in touch. How do I convince them?

- Unwilling

You said the previous year was bad for you, but you didn’t mention why. If you’re one of those students who can compartmentalise their emotions and their academic performance such that one doesn’t affect the other, then just make sure you’re only texting your girlfriend when your parents aren’t around; problem solved. However, if you’re the type for whom emotions can affect academic performance (and let’s be honest, many of us fall under this category), then I think your parents might have a point: relationship drama is an unpredictable, dangerous distraction. Right before a class test, its effects may seem trivial, but right before your board exams, it can have longer-lasting consequences.

Relationships, office politics, peer pressure, teacher trouble... mail your questions to nxg.nextgen@gmail.com. Mark "Good Grief" in the subject line

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