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

I am 14 years old. I’m weak in Maths. My parents and teachers have great expectations from me. I’m worried about how I am going to survive the future. I’m good at doing portraits and people say that my English is quite profound. But I’ve never been to formal art classes. My parents refuse to enrol me in one saying, “You're going to Std X and you still don’t do math well. Forget about art class. If you get low marks you're going end up in the streets.” I’ve lost all hope. Please help! - FEAR OF FUTURE

While this advice column is meant to help people resolve issues from various facets of life, you readers would probably have noticed that the bulk of the letters we receive are about relationship problems and love failures. The culprits are always the same — the two-timing boyfriend, the crazy ex-girlfriend and good ol’ high school maths (the last of which has become quite notorious for systematically decimating parent-child relationships nationwide). I am not sure how serious your parents were when they said you couldn’t join arts class because of your maths performance. Maybe if you bargained for a once-a-week art class as a stress buster (rather than trying to sell it as a potential career path), they will agree. You could also speak to your maths teachers and ask for extra help with the subject. While they may not be able to spend the time with you themselves, they can refer you to tuition teachers with a good track record who do one-on-one classes. The nice thing with maths exams is that you can predict what questions will come to a certain extent. Keep trying out the sums in your textbook and go over past question papers and you will be able to get by quite comfortably. Finally, don’t panic. People who ditched maths after high school exist all around us and are quite happy with their lives. Start looking for them (chances are, you’re already friends with a few online) and talking to them about the decisions they made after graduating from school (college choice, career path etc.) to understand the kinds of options open to you. If you don’t have the aptitude for maths, it’s not the end of the world. Just make sure that you don’t use that as an excuse to not put in your best effort right now.

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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