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Andrew and Jaden’s Final Advice Column

College questions:

At the colleges you’re at right now, do you ever regret the choices you made to go to them, or do you ever have those “what if?” moments about other school choices?

Arnav: I think everyone has moments where they wonder if they made the right choice. But really a lot of college is what you make of it. It’s big place and if you look for reasons to be miserable you’ll find them. So just try to surround yourself with people and things that keep you going, and those moments will pass quickly.

Is it easy to make friends in college?

Imaan: It’s super easy because there are SO many people. You find a ton of people with common interests and that you get along with. Because college is so big, the most difficult part is staying around those people. You can meet someone and then not run into them again for like 2 months, so get people’s contacts and meet them for food or whatever you want to do.

What are the chances that I’ll end up with a horrible roommate? How do I deal with that if it happens?

Imaan: It kind of depends on the way your school decides roommate pairings. To be honest, most of the people here are somewhat unhappy with their random roommate, but if it’s truly terrible you can file for a switch. I got pretty lucky that my roommate and I don’t bother each other, or at least we don’t tell each other if we do. Just set some good ground rules and make sure you tell them if something is wrong rather than be passive aggressive.

Is it easier to date in college than it is in CPS?

Imaan: Yeah it’s a lot easier. There are a lot more people and a lot more places to meet people with common interests. As mentioned above, you’re less likely to run into somebody multiple times, so make use of your first impression! You just also have a lot more free time in college, and everybody lives relatively close, so it’s easy to meet someone for food, studying, or whatever you feel like doing.

Which school courses do you recommend? (guessing this is college but unclear)

Arnav: I don’t really know, it depends on your major. I will say for all my STEM majors that you should really thing about whether or not you want to skip Calc 1. Most schools use Calc 2 as a weed-out class and it’s kind of brutal to take it first semester of freshman year. You’re all smart and will be fine, but it make adjusting to college just a bit harder.

Andrew: If this is about CPS courses, honestly, I don’t know if Jaden and I can give the best advice here. There isn’t actually that much selection for courses up through Junior year (aside from the English seminars) so most of the classes we’ve actually taken you’re going to have to take. I’ll probably just give some generic advice here: Just do what you think you’d be interested in. Obviously, grades matter a bit, but most of the whole “easy A” advice that you might hear is misleading; there aren’t a ton of classes in CPS that are an easy A (honestly, I don’t even know if there’s a single one), and even if there was, if you weren’t interested in the subject it probably wouldn’t be a good use of time. Pick what you’re interested in, and the grades will follow.

Everything else:

When will you two go out? (I ship y’all <3)

Andrew: How do you know we aren’t already going out? Jaden, will you go to prom with me?

Jaden: No.

How do I handle regret?

Andrew: Regret is definitely one of the trickiest emotions to deal with. It tends to be one of those things where no matter what other people tell you, it’s always going to be in the back of your mind stressing you out. I think the first step is always to acknowledge that there isn’t really anything that you can do; no matter how much you regret something, it already happened and it won’t change. I know it’s a lot easier said than done, but until you accept that regretting it won’t change anything, regret will just kind of tear you apart. After that, I think it’s helpful to just try to learn as much as you can from what happened so you don’t make the same mistakes. Instead of thinking “I should’ve done this differently,” ask yourself, “If I encounter a similar situation, what would I do now?” That way, it’s more focused on the future and less on your mistakes in the past.

What should you do if people in the school assume things about you that aren’t true?

Andrew: This is one of those things that I imagine is pretty inevitable no matter where you go. I think the main answer is that you honestly just shouldn’t care. If what people are assuming about you isn’t true, then once they actually get to know you, any preconceived falsehoods will vanish. Your friends will recognize and love you for who you are, so you honestly shouldn’t be that concerned if people who you’ve never talked to think of you differently.

Jaden: Yep, don’t worry about what other people think.  As long as you’re confident in who you are and you feel like you have a good group of people surrounding you, being concerned about what other people think is really not a priority.  Frankly, if you become too worried about how other people view you, it’s probably then an issue of self confidence and grappling with personal insecurities.

Sometimes I feel really excluded and I don’t know what to do

Jaden: I think everyone has felt excluded at one point or another in their lives and it’s completely fine to go through that.  If you feel excluded within your friend group, try to steer the conversation or introduce a topic that you enjoy talking about.  However, if this feeling pops up a lot when you’re around those same people, try branching out to meet new people who maybe share similar interests.  I think you kind have to be active about this kind of thing and be confident enough to assert yourself in a conversation among people you actually vibe with.

A question for Jaden: How is big boy life treating you?

Jaden: its aight

Andrew: ???? I’m confused.

How do you know if you like someone?

Andrew: If you wanna hang out with them to get to know them better and you’re willing to move out of your way to do so, you probably like them. If this question is more about how to tell if you have romantic feelings for someone, I’m not super sure if there’s an exact definition that we can hand you. Usually, you start to think about them really often, get kind of excited/nervous at the prospect of talking to them, and in general just do things with them in mind in one way or another. Obviously, it’s different for everyone, but if you think that you might like someone romantically, that’s probably something for you personally to decide.

How to deal with stress?

Jaden: This is a toughie because everyone will have different things that work for them, depending on what exactly you’re stressed about. Usually for academic stress in the form of a test or a big presentation, I always give it my best go and leave it at that.  Studying and preparing is important, but I always find that there’s a point where you’ve exhausted yourself and can’t do a whole lot more. I think at that point you have to be confident in yourself and all the prep you’ve done leading up to it. If it’s stress coming from a more personal place, I recommend talking to someone who you can trust and are comfortable with. In my experience, it’s always helped to tell someone who knows what I’m going through but honestly anyone who’s willing to listen will work for me. Also, listening to relaxing music (lofi especially) helps a lot for me too.  

What are the three best habits you have that improve your life?

Jaden: Sticking to a sleep schedule has really helped me maintain a healthier lifestyle especially at CPS. My sleep schedule allows me to get enough work done while also ensuring that I have enough energy for the next day without getting grumpy or irritable.  Even if I have a test or presentation the next day, I always find getting a good night’s rest helps me out more than trying to cram. I also make it a habit to write things that need to get done down as soon as I can. While its a simple habit, writing stuff down at least for me just helps me remember stuff better and makes me feel more organized.  Another habit that has also really helped me is calling my brother at least three or four times a month. He’s in college right now in LA so I don’t get to see him too often, but calling allows us to maintain a close bond. In many ways, he’s kinda like my role model and someone I can depend on for advice of my own. While everyone might have a different person they rely on, I think having that support system is crucial.  


1. Setting aside time for non-work related things. I think one of the most important things that have gotten me through high school has just been being able to set aside time deliberately to not do work. I might hang out with friends, go out to get boba, drive around aimlessly just to have time to myself to think things through, or even just take a nap. Whatever I do, I think being able to take that break has been super helpful.

2. Doing work when I have to. Honestly, I probably set aside too much time to not do work, but I think one of the things that has been really helpful is just knowing when there’s something that has to be done in order to meet a deadline and just doing it. I started using an app called Todoist, and I’ve just been putting all of the stuff that I have to do on there and doing them by order of priority.

3. Sleeping. Idk, I like sleeping, so I genuinely can’t fathom a lifestyle where I’d lose sleep for the purpose of something like work, but I’ve heard that a lot of people don’t get enough sleep because they want to succeed in school. I can understand that mentality, but I’ve personally always placed my health/energy above school success, and I think that’s been one of the reasons why I haven’t just collapsed at school (although this love of sleep might also be one of my vices, since I have been known to take naps on the music lawn whenever I’m tired).

What are some challenges that the next generation will face?

Jaden: Climate change obviously and its ramifications on humans, animals and the planet as a whole. Finding an alternative and sustainable energy source that can replace fossils fuels also seems to be a rising issue.

Andrew: Honestly, literally any problem that our generation is too lazy to try to deal with/doesn’t acknowledge as an issue. There are a litany of issues going on right now, all of which have the potential to become a big issue for the next generation. Climate change is a well-known one, but there are also issues like immigration, military hot spots, growing tensions between major powers, etc, that can all escalate into a big issue for the next generation if we don’t address them now. It’s kind of just a question of what our generation ends up ignoring and what our generation ends up taking seriously. Politics aside, I also feel like a big challenge they might face is just the issue of digital reality. Our generation already struggles a lot with balancing our time with the litany of electronics that are vying for our time, and I feel like more technological developments in the future will only further that issue for the next generation.

Which is better: superhuman strength or superhuman speed?

Jaden: Superhuman speed definitely.  It would make life so convenient and you can do some sick stuff if you’re fast.  I think if you’re like The Flash, then you can phase through objects and travel through time!

Andrew: I feel like you’d literally only take superhuman strength to flex. I’m honestly not even sure what superhuman strength does for you anymore; just being stronger than a typical human isn’t gonna do much in a world where most machines take care of tasks that would have previously required monumental strength and weapons exist that can kill you even if you’re super strong.

Are GMOs worth it?

Jaden: Debatable, but they do produce a lot of food for a lot of people around the world for a lower price. There are arguments on both sides that I don’t really wanna outline right now on this column.

Jandrew? Anden? Maybe something with your last names?

Andrew: Why do our names not mesh at alllllll :’(. I think we might just stick with Drewden, but idk if we’re into that.

What does it mean to be a connoisseur of drinks?

Andrew: Uh… Jaden, take this one.

Jaden: What does that even mean???

If you try something new and like it but are scared to pursue it, what do you do? (Asking for a friend)

Andrew: I feel like if you already know that you like it, then you should definitely try it out some more. I know a lot of people tell you that high school is a time where you shouldn’t really make mistakes and you should know what you’re going to do, but honestly, I think high school is more of a time to just try new things and figure out what it is that you like. If you like doing it, that’s great, keep trying it out to see if it’s something that you see yourself doing consistently in the future. I understand the fear that comes with trying new things, but honestly, there’s really little repercussions to just testing a new thing out; worst case scenario, you find out you don’t like it, and you stop doing it.

Why is underclassmen going to prom such a weird thing that causes drama at CPS?

Jaden: I think it’s mainly the fact that prom is for most upperclassmen a special event that they’ve been waiting for throughout the year. Because prom entails promposals, dressing up, going out to a nice dinner among other things, it really is an occasion to be remembered and shared amongst your close friends. Also, it’s one of the more adult things you can do in high school which makes it more appealing for upperclassmen I think. In general though, I honestly don’t think that many upperclassmen care if underclassmen go. There’s obviously some isolated events in which drama has been caused by an underclassmen, but usually those events don’t happen because an underclassmen is going to prom per se, but more about something that the underclassmen might have done.

Do you think it is worth it to do a rewrite for term paper?

Andrew: Oof this is probably a bit late lol. I’ll still answer this in case some sophomore next year happens to read this lol. I think it depends on your situation, but the majority of the time, it’s worth it. The sophomore year term paper is likely your first encounter with the term paper, and the history teachers schedule the process deliberately so you have an opportunity at the end of the semester to revise it and boost your grade a little (you don’t get that junior year!) Aside from the obvious help of just giving your grade a little push if you didn’t do as well as you hoped, I think rewriting it really helps familiarize yourself with the format of the term paper so that the paper you write Junior year can be a bit better. All that being said, it largely depends on your circumstances; if you already got a good grade, it probably isn’t worth it to spend more time working on editing it. And, since the revision comes towards the end of second semester (literally the most stressful and grindy portion of the school year), you might be too busy/tired to revise it.


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