Books or Boys~Advice

29 Feb

Dear I Am Not Defined,

I know that my problems probably aren’t on the top of your list to answer, but I’d really like some straight up advice. People may dismiss it as typical high school drama – and I know I may too in a few years, but right now, it seems pretty real to me. How do you really know whether to choose to be together with a boy or to stay alone? Let me put everything in perspective first – I’m only fifteen. Before you jump to any conclusions… here’s my case:
I’m at the point of my life where school is extremely important – and any distractions may have repercussions lasting a long time. I study after school for six or seven hours at a time, and I barely have enough time to chat with my friends for just a few minutes. College is something I know I have to work hard for, and I’m trying my best. But this boy, it seems like we’re just right for each other. I’m not going to say that “we’re in love” for all of those who don’t believe in teenage love, but he’s not your typical guy. We have the same goals in mind, but he can handle school and girls. He’s polite, empathetic, charming, focused and careful with his words. I’m aware that in two years, we’ll be going off our separate ways for different schools, so this doesn’t have a chance of lasting. At all. So, it’s basically guaranteed some sort of terrible ending. So, if you were in my shoes, what would you do? And why? Take the chance at a relationship that promises a terrible ending and risk a drop in school, or continue focusing on school?

Dear Books or Boys,

You sound like a very smart person to be working so hard so young. I can understand how a boy could really make you question your decisions right now. Personally, when I want something, I make it work. If you really want to make a go of it with this guy, then you should. I’m not saying you should just throw away all your hard work though. You will have to find a new balance to your life. Maybe you work your bum off all week, like you do now, and you save Friday nights for guy time. If he really is good at balancing his own life, then he should understand that you have goals, and nothing will keep you from making the best of your life and education. If you have the same goals in mind, he will probably need to get his work done as well, so maybe you can study together? Are you in any of the same classes? You will just have to be creative about the time you have together, and how to get it.

I think that you’re doing a great job working so hard, but don’t forget to take some time for yourself. My best friend is the hardest working woman I know. She worked a full-time job, while putting herself through school full-time. She is always very happy that she works so hard, but often questions if all the hard work she puts in is worth it, if she never has time for friends of guys. No matter what age you are, you will still find yourself in similar predicaments if you don’t take the time now to schedule some healthy social activities. You said that you barely have time for your friends, and I wonder how that makes you feel. I hope that even though you work super hard, you take a few moments for yourself from time to time, and enjoy being young and smart.

I think that if you really want to be with this guy, you should be. Don’t let anything hold you back from what you want to gain in life. I also don’t think that just because you will both be going to college in two years, this will be a dead-end relationship. You do not know where you will be in two years, nor can you predict what will happen between you and this guy, between now and then. Who knows, you could end up in a college close to his, or even at the same one. If this guy really does work out for you, you will find a way to make anything work out. I guess I am saying “Don’t knock it ‘till you try it”. Don’t always discount things because you predict they will go nowhere. Your situation isn’t any less real because of your age. You feelings are still real feelings, and the decisions you make will affect your happiness.

In the end I think you know what the best decision is for you. If you think that you can find a new balance to your life, and make something like a boyfriend work, then go for it. If you think that it will be more of a distraction than you can handle, then do what is best for you, and steer clear. You sound like you have a great head on your shoulders, and I think that you can probably figure out how to do just about anything you set your mind to. Good luck with life and balance, I hope you find happiness regardless of what you decide to do.

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34 Responses to “Books or Boys~Advice”

  1. thecherrehapple March 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    i think you should remember that you are still young and that even though it is admirable to be work your socks off for the future, that you have to remember that you need to live in the present moment as well. balance is key so go out and have fun with your friends and this guy whom you seem to like a lot. even if this is only short lived, it wouldn’t hurt to try. life does come with risk, so take one (or two even). when you do hit the college life and the real world, you wont have time to really socialize as much as while you can now. take it from a 21 year old. there are months where i don’t have time for friends or for dating for that matter because i’m so engrossed in school. in high school, you have all the liberty to do that and much more. so i do advice you to take things slow, but also to have fun while it last. you’re only a teenager once so take advantage of it! :)

  2. Tamara R. March 2, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    I agree that balance is the key, and each of us needs to decide what that looks like for us. Also, to enjoy whatever stage in life that you are in – take risks, but use wisdom! Of course, wisdom often comes with experiencing the results of our choices along the highway of life – good and bad. The farther you travel, the more you learn. I’ve learned a lot since I was at the tender age of fifteen, and I have a lot more to learn. I have a saying on my wall that says this…
    “Live like there is no tomorrow, and plan like there will be a hundred more”

  3. Ezra March 3, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    When you are young, you are learning who you are and what you want to do. Letting relationships shift that path back and forth can add zig zags to your growth. No matter what the world says, there’s nothing wrong with waiting for a relationship until you feel it’s the right time in your life.

  4. Anna Harte March 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Interestingly, even though this question comes from a 15-yr old/high school student, it’s one that more and more women (and men) are asking themselves all the time — as undergraduates, grad students, in the workplace… It’s a little sad that romantic relationships used to be considered one of life’s highlights, not a distraction we need to put off… :\

    Given that being “boy obsessed” is horribly misguided, and that setting her sights on getting into college is admirable (and advisable), the reality is that whatever workload she’s dealing with now will probably be tripled once she gets to undergrad (By the way, high schoolers of America — Take as many AP’s as you can!! Skip intro courses/Get credit hours/etc, they might be harder than regular classes but make your life easier later :). So, putting off “boys” until college… will probably become putting off boys until grad school… or until the end of residency/that promotion/making partner — whatever your career path entails.

    My experience? Worked to excess all throughout undergrad, finally at 25 much happier slowing down and taking time for people. Life’s successes (like a college acceptance) are not nearly as fun without someone to share them with — always take the time to develop close personal relationships, with friends and significant others.

  5. Cat Forsley March 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    BALANCE YES :)
    Key ——- To Life —— So hard To achieve – but when i Think about it – it becomes more difficult – Don’t think and it becomes EASIER ……..
    I read You are a Teen up there in the comments —– :) well Enjoy these years ——
    I remember mine and ABANDONMENT – wild abandon —- That’s what my theme was _
    enjoy enjoy ——
    Awesome WRITING :)
    GOOD LUCK IN ALL YOU DO XO CAT

  6. rbarbier1967 March 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    To the Girl :It all comes down to time management and priorities. Have youf fun and take the risk on the guy. Just keep focused on school as well, aint like you cant do both if you keep your priorties straight and manage time between the two. It is as important to have a social life as it is getting good grades at that age. But in the end School should be the one that wins out in the time catagory. If think you wont be able to share the time between the two then stick to school its you future and who knows if he is or not. Good luck and keep that good head on your sholders.

    To IAMD Good advice. :)

  7. Artist Beverly Bishop March 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    quite interesting….

  8. Rich Brunelle March 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    Interesting column. Good to see common sense approach to advice.

  9. Tito March 4, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Balancing a relationship with other things is part of life. To be truly happy the other person needs to help in the balancing. Everyone has different stresses in their life whether it be education, work, family, or other things. The true test of a relationship is about balance of all things collectively as a whole. Hard work pays off in the end no matter what it’s in.

  10. MoonMoonLLC March 5, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    Interestingly, this book vs boy or career vs relationship question is very applicable to women of all ages. I am 27 years old and a lot of my girl friends are still struggling with this as they move on to pursue higher education. I wrote a little blog post about How Dating is Good For You earlier, it has quite a few similar ideas to “books vs boys” even though I was writing for my fellow 20-somethings.
    Teenage romance is one of the better experience you can ever have in life. It could possibly be life changing ( in a good way). My teenage romance lasted in an emotional way for almost a decade. It was such a beautiful experience that I struggled to grow out of. So if I have a teenage daughter, I would advice her to turn this relationship into something that help both her and the boy grow, personally and academically. I think all parents need to believe in teenage love and take it seriously. It could be fleeting but it is no less real than any adult relationships. The moment parents negate the importance of their child’s teenage romance, the teen will close up in order to protect his or her feelings. As adults we all know that once you get into college, everything changes. Instead of protecting the kid from future heartbreak, you can only offer support and complete acknowledgment. Heartbreak is necessary for a young person to realize that it is entirely survivable and often a great lesson to learn about themselves.

  11. Laura Jean March 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    I am 27 and can tell you form being in your shoes and taking all the college classes or AP classes in high school that they did not help me a lick in college. Sure I was ahead but I could not graduate early. And I am now slowing down my life to figure out what I want in it. I will not say that my degree is useless (its a very good degree) or that going to college was a waste of time. But I am quitting my job because I hate it and taking the time out of my life, for the first time ever, to figure out what I really want in my life. Who I really want in my life. I have a problem forming relationships because I simply would have no time to have them. It made me have quick relationships, relationships i did not connect to, etc. If someone had told me at 15 to enjoy life and constantly be checking in with myself to determine what it is that I want, I would not have “wasted” as much time. But, I do not regret anything I did. I am happy now, taking off on the adventure of a life time. I just wish I had the energy of a 15 year old to do it :). You should concentrate the most in life on what makes you happy not what “could make me happy x years from now.” That does not mean to give into every whim, but to be in tune with what makes you feel like you are being true to yourself and that gives you the most to give back to the world. Love is one of those things that gives back to the world ten fold at least.

  12. saranghaeyoh March 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    It’s something I really regret not having done in high school and that is to spend more time around girls than in books.

    I really recommend enjoying your life during high school cause you won’t have time later on to develop this social experience. I agree with most people in the comments, you don’t have to make a choice and can find a balance between them.

    Now that I’m in college I realise high school really wasn’t about educating much but keeping you busy and giving you time to experience things until you’re old enough to choose what you wanna do and be further in life.

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