Ask “M”: Instagram, boyfriends & academic stress

By staff writers Mia Bazo, Zelinda Strell and Rowan Esquer

Dear M,
I am having trouble working on my National History Day project, because I saved it until the last minute. I can’t finish my project, my homework, and still go to all my after-school activities! Help me! I want to go to regionals, but still manage good enough grades in school. What should I do?
– “Worried”

homework blues

Hey Worried,
What you really need to understand is that you need to make a short-term but hard push. In order to finish in time and keep your grades up at the same time, you need to work VERY hard for a little while, with the realization that it’s only temporary; you can “rest” when it’s all done. Keep communicating with your team, stay committed and keep your focus. Manage your time — no Instagram or YouTube — and get enough sleep and exercise. National History Day will be over soon!
I know you’ll make it: everybody’s in the same boat!

Mia's envelope,


Dear M,
My friends at Lincoln are all getting boyfriends. At Bay Farm, I go to school with all these kids I’ve known practically my whole life. There’s nobody I’d want to date. I feel left out and like a little kid when I’m around my Lincoln friends when they’re talking about their boyfriends. What should I do?
– “Just Friends”

relationshipsHey Just Friends,
It’s OK if you don’t have a boyfriend. Maybe you’re not ready… it’s only middle school. You should never feel left out because you can’t find the right person.
Middle school relationships don’t last long. And I do understand why you would send this to me. It’s good to ask! Here is my advice: If you really feel left out, and you have a friend who understands you, they’ll listen. Tell them how you feel. It’s okay to feel left out, but you should actually ask yourself, “Is this something that I really need to feel left out about?”
You have lots of relationships in your life! There nothing wrong with not jumping into boyfriends in middle school. Honestly I don’t understand why they even have boyfriends. (I think they’re too young.)

Don’t worry: There’s plenty of time to find a special someone. You’ll find him one day, just maybe not right now…

Mia's envelope,


Dear M,
I really want an Instagram account, but my parents tell me I can’t have one. All my friends are on Instagram, they are able to communicate, stay in touch, post fun photos of what they’re doing…  I feel left out. What should I do?
– “Left Out”

social mediaHey Left Out,
You need to respect your parents’ wishes, but maybe find out what their reasons are for not letting you on social media. Maybe they want you to be a little older; maybe they don’t feel you’re ready for it. But if you know why, maybe you can address it or come to an agreement with them for what needs to happen before you get on Instagram. You can also suggest to your parents that you have a “private” account. In the meantime, try not to let it get to you. I know it feels like “everyone” is on Instagram, but really, not everyone is. Make good use of the time you’re not on Instagram. Sometimes people who spend all their time on social media don’t take care of their real-life friendships, but you can use this time to stay in touch IRL!
Mia's envelope,

Are you in burning need of some advice? Don’t want to ask your friends but want to keep it anonymous instead?
Ask our intrepid advice columnist! Post your question below and we’ll consider answering it in a future issue of The Dolphin Tail!