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

I am 20 years old. I was once a bright student and did well in extra-curricular activities too. As my father has a transferrable job, we shifted to Dehradun. After moving to a new city, I lost all my focus on studies and became an average student. And because of my low marks my parents sent me to a boarding school in Namakkal. Stress and homesickness affected my studies and consequently I scored low marks in Std XII boards too. I was really very keen on doing journalism but my parents enrolled me in Biomedical engineering. Now my parents are very unhappy with my performance in college. My life has turned upside down. I was a girl whom everybody adored and had great expectations, but not anymore. My friends who once scored less than me are now in top colleges and doing well. My parents have started behaving rudely with me. They compare me with others which is really hurtful. I hate my life and have begun to think that I am unfit to survive in this world. I am interested in civil services but I sometimes think I am unfit for that too. I am stressed and depressed all the time. I’ve got no one to share my feelings with. Life is scary. Please help me.

UNWORTHY

Obviously, if you’re studying something you don’t have much interest in, you’re going to have to work extra hard to do well, and this could be one reason why you and your parents are unhappy with your performance so far. The new academic year has begun, and it’s time you evaluated your options: do you think you can complete your course and join a civil services coaching class side by side and start preparing seriously for the exams? Or are you really unhappy with your current studies and want to consider transferring to a journalism programme? Once you’ve given this some thought, speak to your parents. In both cases, you can still go to coaching classes (and I can’t think of any reason for your parents to dissuade you from civil services). The future might look like a large black hole right now, but that’s okay — almost everyone feels that way when they’re in college. For the record, a large number of journalists turned to the profession after pursuing degrees completely unrelated to their field. So just because you’ve studied biomedical engineering, doesn’t mean that you have sealed your fate!

I am a girl studying in Std X. My best friend and I belong to the same class. She is silent, timid and has a great character. One day I found her crying since morning and found out that she is in love with a guy with a questionable character. I told her about him but she refused to believe me. I also know that the guy was trying to woo another girl. She wouldn’t listen to me but instead started accusing me saying I was telling her all this because I am interested in the guy. I don’t want her to fall for the wrong guy, after all we have been friends for more than five years now. What can I do?

FRIEND IN NEED

There is a saying, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Unfortunately, your dilemma falls into the “acceptance” category. It’s hard to watch our friends do something we think isn’t good for them, but sometimes, all we can do is offer advice and hope that they’ll take it. Don’t make a big deal out of this issue. If/when she realises she has made a mistake, instead of saying “I told you so”, be there to offer her comfort.

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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