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Are you having trouble in a certain subject or with a certain teacher at school? Are you nervous about an upcoming project, or going to a new school? Read what our Mentors and experts have to say about this topic.
   
Advice Topics:

Advice Questions about School & Grades:

  • GOI try to be fairly well organized. I keep both a weekly planner and monthly calendar. The only problem is this: I often forget to update both of them. In fact, I sometimes even forget that I actually have them. I am determined to write everything down in them and don't like the idea of keeping appointments and stuff in my head. Do you have any advice on how to remember to regularly update my planner and calendar?

  • GOI need to break my bad habit of procrastinating! I don't want to procrastinate when I hit 8th grade. How can I stop?

  • GOI'm having a problem. I'm missing assignments and permission slips and such, and I don't know why! My teacher says it's because I'm not very organized. How do I become organized?

  • GOI am starting a puberty chapter in my science class. The thing is that the puberty class has some videos about puberty. Worst of all, the boys and girls are going to watch and learn about it together. What should I do?

  • GOI am starting 7th grade next year, and I am real nervous about lockers. I know they can be a convenience, but how do I open a locker and how can I remember the combination? Any advice?

  • GOI'm starting middle school this year! I'm mostly excited, but a little nervous because I don't know anyone in my homeroom class yet. It seems like all my other friends are in the same homeroom class, and I'm kind of afraid that if they spend a lot of time together, they will forget about me and not want to be my friend anymore. Any advice? Thanks!

  • GOI'm going to middle school next year and I KNOW I'll hate every second of it! For some reason, since I've been reading books about it, I think girls will start talking about dating and boys will start asking girls out. It'll drive me nuts! And plus, NO RECESS! And what really doesn't help is that I'm in the Gifted Program and the Board of Education decided the middle school and elementary school should be put together for safety and convenience. So, I'll be tortured with NO recess while I watch little kids playing on the playground! How come there can't be recess in middle school? What should I do?

  • GOGrades mean a lot to people at my school. Kids are always saying things like, "What did you get for your science grade?" Everyone's so competitive and curious, it drives me crazy. What can I do?

  • GOI got my report card today, and my parents won't leave me alone. I got a D and two C's in math, and they expected me to get straight A's! They are screaming at me about how I don't work hard enough and that I'm spending too much time working on my writing, which I got an A+ in. They just don't understand because they both scored A+'s in every math subject there is, but they failed at any literature subjects. It's not like I don't try, it's just that it's harder then they think it is. They aren't the only ones pressuring me though. Now the entire school is hating me because I destroyed our straight A math roll. It's unfair. Everybody else is great at math and not literature, and it's the complete opposite for me! I want to let everyone else know that writing is still a talent, whether they like it or not, but they won't listen! What should I do?

  • GOI am going to a secondary school the size of a small airport. I'm disorganized and not a morning person. My bus will come at 6:40 in the morning! Any advice for organization, getting a good night's sleep, and how to deal with 7th grade?

  • GOIt's the end of the year, and everyone knows what that means...finals! And what comes with such testing is stress. My grades are all A's right now, and I know if I do poorly on the finals, I'll mess my grades up. I'd love to finish middle school with straight A's, but it's difficult! I took my first midterms this year, and I did okay on those. What can I do to lower my stress level and end middle school with a bang?

  • GOMy parents are grade freaks! Getting a B will usually get them disappointed in me. I stress because I know if I get a B I'll be in trouble. Getting a C will usually get them yelling at me. And I don't want to know what will happen if I get a D or and F. Then by getting such good grades to please my parents, kids pick on me! It's really stressful and puts a lot of pressure on me! Please, please, please help!

  • GOI'm going into 7th grade and I was so excited when I got my schedule but when I found out who was next to me (for lockers) I was freaking out, it was this girl who I REALLY don't like. To make it worse she's in pretty much all of my classes! She's with the popular crowd and if you mess with them things get ugly fast. What should I do?

  • GOI've read all your links about going into new schools, time management, if teachers don't like you, etc. It's helped a lot, but I'm still a little scared. At my school they have uniforms. But the uniforms are really dorky, and there are more boys than girls; it's a private school and I've lived in public schools all my life, I don't think I'm going to fit in!!!! It's also a lot smaller than my old school. Do you think gossip and rumors would travel faster because it's small? Could you give me some more tips on this kind of situation?

  • GOI am a smart person who studies, but when it comes to test day I know everything until the test hits my desk. How can I prevent losing all the information I studied all week?

  • GOThis year I just started high school. I dread going. Every morning before school, I feel sick and after school I worry about the next day. I don't want to go and feel like I would do anything to get out of it. I can't really be specific about what I'm afraid of! Getting lost in such a big school, being late, forgetting to do homework or study, and all sorts of things. I've been given advice about handling stress and have been told a million times everything will turn out okay, yet I still feel sick and nervous every school day. What can I do to make my "school sickness" go away? Please respond!

  • GOI'm finally going into high school. But when you're going into high school, you seem to be influenced to do things. I have a few friends who say that I spend too much time with my nose in a book and that I seemed depressed and I need to start dating. Truth be told, I have had a couple of guys look at me and ask me out. My parents don't think that I should rush into things, and I completely agree with them on that. But with me getting older, I'm wanting to get my first kiss and meet a nice guy that likes me back. But I need to keep my grades up, so I can go and visit my dad over the holidays, so I feel as if I don't have enough time for it all. Please...can you give me any advice on how I can work this out?

  • GOI have this really big problem about oral presentations in front of the class. I usually get so nervous that I cry, and it is very embarrassing! I NEED YOUR HELP!!! PLEASE!!

  • GOI'm in the sixth grade in elementary school and going to the seventh in a junior high school. What I am worried about is that I want to do volleyball and track, but I don't want to lower my grades by taking all my time doing sports. Right now I'm an A Honor Roll student, but last year I got into karate and my grades started lowering and lowering until I quit. So what should I do? I don't want to get a bad start. Thanks!

  • GOI'm in 5th grade and I really HATE doing any kind of homework! My mom is on my case about it all the time. I forget my books when I have to have them to study for tests the next day. I don't write down my assignments like I need to. She is always telling me to do these things but it seems like I can't remember any of it at the end of the day. I would rather be drawing or playing. She asks nicely for me to bring my books home, but I forget and then she gets upset, grounds me or takes the things I like away from me. I learn for a couple of days but then it's right back to forgetting.

  • GO"At school, we are learning about the male reproductive system. It's hard for me because I don't feel very comfortable, especially when the teacher says the body parts. What should I do? I know I have to know this lesson because there is a test."

  • GOI am in 7th grade, and I am in pre-algebra. At first, it was okay, but now we're getting into stuff like finding the surface area of a triangular prism, and I have no clue how to do that! I have always gotten straight A's, but we just took a test and I got 47% right! I told my mom and dad that I don't understand this, and that I need to go to regular 7th grade math, but they haven't done anything about it! I've even asked everyone in my family for help, but no one can do this math! What should I do?

  • GOI've always been really good in school with honors classes, and so have my friends, but now I am going to high school and I am afraid everything will become too hard, and I wont be able to have a balance between my social and school life with my family and work too. How will I be able to deal with all that? Please help.

  • GO"I always wait till the last minute to do a project. We have two weeks to do our report, then its due on Wednesday. I'm always up late Tuesday night finishing it. Please help me!"

  • GOInstead of hating my teachers, I really like them. My math teacher is really nice. I like her a lot. And she told my dad (who is a teacher at the same school) that I was kind-of a teachers pet to her. I go up to her classroom almost every day after school for one reason or another just to be there. See, there was this one teacher last year who helped me with this big problem with my friends, and my teacher this year has kind of the same personality. I keep on thinking about how I never want this school year to end because I like this teacher so much. It's kind of a hard situation. I guess what I am really asking is: is it okay to like a teacher this much? Should I let her know how much she means to me now, at the end of the year, or not tell her at all? Thanks for listening.

  • GO"I always turn in my math assignments, but my teacher always says that I didn't. What should I do?"

  • GO"I am a horrible math student. I really try, and I understand it when the teacher explains it, yet I always forget. Plus, I got a C. My dad says he'll ground me if I don't get a B. Anyway, he tries to help me with my homework, but he doesn't know how to do it either. How can I remember how to do the problems?"

  • GO"In my school, sixth grade is a part of elementary school. I heard scary stories about middle school, and my sister is no help. I am scared the eighth graders will use their size to bully me."

  • GOSamantha and Alexandria are both nervous about the jump from elementary school to middle school.


Dear IML,
I'm finally going into high school. But when you're going into high school, you seem to be influenced to do things. I have a few friends who say that I spend too much time with my nose in a book and that I seemed depressed and I need to start dating. Truth be told, I have had a couple of guys look at me and ask me out. My parents don't think that I should rush into things, and I completely agree with them on that. But with me getting older, I'm wanting to get my first kiss and meet a nice guy that likes me back. But I need to keep my grades up, so I can go and visit my dad over the holidays, so I feel as if I don't have enough time for it all. Please...can you give me any advice on how I can work this out?
--Elise, 13

The IML Mentors respond:

Hey Elise!
It's tough in high school when everyone around you is dating! I definitely know from experience. In the first few years of high school, it's a big deal to be "going out" with someone. It's great if you can find someone you can have fun and be comfortable with, but I've noticed that some students get in the habit of getting into a new "relationship" every week. Don't feel pressured to date someone you don't truly care about, because you're wasting important time you could spend with friends, studying, or even reading. Your parents are right: you shouldn't rush things; make sure you enter adulthood when you're comfortable doing so. Balancing your time is an important thing to learn in high school. Maybe make sure you're successful in your education before you worry about romantic relationships.
--Lauren, IML Mentor

Hi Elise,
I commend you on your ambitions to be "wondergirl" during your high school years, but I think you also understand the powers of peer pressure and the stress that follows being a high school student. Don't worry. Remember that high school is only four years of your life, that's like 4% of your life. You have 96% of your life to experience all it has to offer. High school, although maybe some people think so, is not "it." I think teachers have a lot to do with the stress too. I know mine always made it seem like if I wasn't freaked out about some test my life would end. Luckily I had my mom and dad to keep me grounded. They would tell me to get straight A's, but don't freak if I don't. They would say to play hard, but know my limits. They would say to be involved, but know that family comes first. Trust your parents. When balancing your high school "career" (as all my teachers used to call it), truly, truly, truly balance it. Have enough time for family, school, and yourself. By the way, reading is better than dating. ;-)
--Vanessa, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
I have this really big problem about oral presentations in front of the class. I usually get so nervous that I cry, and it is very embarrassing! I NEED YOUR HELP!!! PLEASE!!
--Michelle, 13

The IML Mentors respond:

Hi Michelle,
I used to hate speaking in front of people until about a week ago. I always spoke too fast and my hands shook...it was awful! I've always heard the advice to picture your audience in their underwear. Don't do that! It will make you laugh and doesn't work at all. The best advice I can offer is to practice. Practice in front of friends, parents, pets, stuffed animals...you get the picture. The more you say it, the more comfortable you'll get with your presentation. To help with the speaking speed, read it very loudly and very slowly. You might feel dumb, but when you're in front of a real audience, it will be just the right volume and pace. Another thing that helped me is to think about the audience: they're not there to make fun of you. Your classmates will know what you're going through and are probably just as nervous as you are. I hated public speaking more than anything for 18 years, but I ended up giving my graduation commencement speech in front of 3000 people. Good luck!
--Lauren, IML Mentor

Dear Michelle,
I used to and still do have a tough time doing presentations in front of people. Usually my whole body shakes and I get goosebumps because I get so nervous. To try to get over this fear I feel the best thing to do is make sure you are fully prepared for your presentation and then the night before you present, go in front of the mirror and read it out loud to yourself. Or, gather some of your family members and sit them down and pretend they are your class and present your oral presentation to them. Just like the saying says, practice makes perfect. Another thing you can try is just focusing at one point out in the audience and pretend youre just talking about that one thing or person and then you might forget you are talking to the whole class. Or you can pretend that you're just reading something to a friend. Don't worry that you're the only one who feels this way, because I know so many people who get nervous talking in front of an audience, including myself. As your life goes on, you'll probably do other presentations and with each one you do, you'll become more comfortable. Good luck with the presentations in the future!
--Joel, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
I'm in the sixth grade in elementary school and going to the seventh in a junior high school. What I am worried about is that I want to do volleyball and track, but I don't want to lower my grades by taking all my time doing sports. Right now I'm an A Honor Roll student, but last year I got into karate and my grades started lowering and lowering until I quit. So what should I do? I don't want to get a bad start. Thanks!
--Daniela, 11

The IML Mentors respond:

HI Daniela,
Two skills that are really important to learn as you enter junior high and especially high school is prioritizing and organization. If you want to be involved in sports and excel in academics, it's important to balance your time between them. Sports can be a distraction from homework; I remember coming home from volleyball practice and just wanting to sleep instead of write a paper. You might have to give up things like chatting online, watching TV, or talking on the phone, but the benefits you'll get from being so involved will make up for what you're missing. Writing things down has always worked well for me -- I use a calendar and make a to-do list; it's nice to check things off and see how much progress you've made. This may sound nerdy, but scheduling what you're going to do when you get home from practice is actually really motivating. If you have practice from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., you can estimate how long each of your assignments will take: 5:00 - 5:30 could be math, etc. Remember to take breaks thoughreward yourself! For every two hours of homework, you could earn an hour of something you like to do that's not related to school. I'm about to graduate high school, and I, along with many of my graduating class, have successfully balanced academics, music, sports, and other activities. It can be done! :) Good luck!
--Lauren, IML Mentor

Hi Daniela!
My cousin has been in tall flags since she started high school. But when she was in junior high she was involved in a lot of other activities such as drill team, drama club, and softball, as well as flags. She entered as a sixth grader and she was so overwhelmed with all the activities offered that she had a hard time choosing only one. So, she tried all the ones she though sounded fun. Her mom advised Cindy against too many activities because of the stress involved, but Cindy was persistent. My aunt then proposed time management and Cindy was able to develop a system for this. Cindy was stressed during her years in junior high, but she got a chance to enjoy new activities while maintaining her grades. I think you could try to manage your time between extracurricular activities and core subjects. You have several semesters to be involved in different activities, plus summer vacation. Good luck!
--Vanessa, IML Mentor

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