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Andrew and Jaden: Senior Advice Column #2

Why do people’s laughs annoy me so much?

Okay, so there are two ways to interpret this question. The first is that the very sound of laughter reverberates in your being and genuinely shakes you to your core. If this is the case, I am very sorry. Maybe just leave the vicinity or put in some headphones to block out the noise. The straightforward and honest answer is that laughter is never really going to go away. To some extent, you’re going to have to learn to deal with it and just ignore it because it’s going to be with you no matter who you hang out with. The second case is a bit more serious. If your annoyance stems from insecurity and jealousy due to others experiencing happiness, seek help. Contact Sara LC or some other trusted faculty member at CPS. If you’re more comfortable with a family member or friend, turn to them for guidance. Whoever it may be, try to find someone that you can talk to entirely openly. Dialogue is always the first step towards doing anything. Hope this helps 🙂

What is the meaning of life?

The last time we were asked this question, we came up with a really lame response. We apologize for that. We are not going to give some annoying, generic answer that doesn’t actually say anything. Here’s our attempt at legitimately answering this:

The meaning of life is something that’s perplexed scholars everywhere. The more we learn about the world we live in, the less significant each of our lives seems. After all, how can my life, one of 7.7 billion people in an endlessly expanding universe, have any significance? To attempt to find any type of importance in our lives is nearly impossible in that context. To find an answer, then, one must dive beyond the scientific and try to derive an answer based on their emotions and their living experiences. 

What makes you happy? Perhaps that serves as a better starting point. After all, it’s incredibly unlikely that our lives will have any lasting impact on this planet. Meaning, then, has to lie beyond our significance and instead in the small things that make our lives worth living. Maybe it’s that boba that you had two days ago, the one that you desperately needed after exercising. Or maybe it’s the enjoyment that you experience when you spend time with those you care about. 

But that all calls into question what the actual definition of “meaning” is. If meaning necessarily implies significance, how can any of our lives have meaning? But if meaning doesn’t necessitate that your life has importance to the world, then maybe it actually is possible for our lives to have meaning. In other words, in order to answer this question, you must first answer the question “What is your meaning of meaning?” But, as with all attempts at answering this question, that’s a cyclic question that will never yield a satisfactory result. 

TL;DR: This was all a troll and the actual answer is the number of words in our first paragraph (count it).

All jokes aside, this is a really important question that I don’t think we’re ever going to be able to provide a satisfying answer to. It’s also a really personal question that you should have your own answer to, so try to take the time to think about it whenever you can. 

What should I do in a zombie apocalypse?

Okay we both agree that the first move is to acquire a sword. It’s silent, effective and works in hand to hand combat making it the perfect weapon in this scenario. From there, get a motorcycle and some supplies so you can make your way away from densely populated cities. Montana seems like an ideal place to move to first, since there’s no one there, and you could stock up on more resources before you head up north. Some isolated island in Canada is the ultimate goal in the long-term where you could set up your own farm and become self-sufficient. Oh, and maybe save some dogs and cats on your way so you have some company. 

Besides this stuff, there are also a lot of ethical questions that will undoubtedly come up. Whether or not you should bring your friends and family along for the ride ultimately comes down to your own set of morals. But, if we’ve learned anything from The Walking Dead, it’s that people change when it comes down to their own survival. Whether you pull a Rick and try to save those around you or if you remain a lone wolf-like Shane (actually ew don’t be like Shane), it’s all up to you. 

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? :/


What is the probability that you two end up going to the same college? Please show all work.

Sigh… but why… 

To do this, we’re going to make two basic assumptions. First, that our probability of getting into any given college is equal to their acceptance rate from 2018-2019, and second, that there’s an accurate ranking of colleges on each of our lists that accurately depicts which college we’d end up deciding to go to assuming we get into all of our colleges. For example, if my list was in the order of UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara, we’re assuming that me getting into UC Berkeley would mean that I would choose to go to Berkeley regardless of whether or not I get into UCLA or UC Santa Barbara. These rankings were actually super hard to make and very subject to change, so none of this is very accurate. Neither of these assumptions are necessarily true, but there isn’t a very good way to quantify this without those assumptions. 

From here, the math itself is pretty basic. The probability that one of us ends up choosing to go to any one school is equal to the probability that we get rejected from every school preceding it on our ranking list multiplied by the probability that we get accepted into that given school. This has to happen for both of us, so the probability that we’d end up choosing to go to the same school would be the probability that Jaden chooses to go to that school multiplied by the probability that I choose to go to that school. From there, we’d just add each of those probabilities up for the schools that we have overlap with. 

I’m not going to show everyone our lists, so you’ll just have to trust me with these calculations. After doing all of the math, the probability that we will end up at the same college is… (drumroll please)… 2.45%. (I know that was super nerdy. This is your fault. You did this.)

I want to hang out with my friends on the weekend but I feel like I don’t have the time. Any tips?

Timing things with friends is always a really big challenge. High school students in general have a LOT of extracurriculars and events that take place over the weekend, so picking out a time slot where everyone can meet up is a challenge in and of itself. If you’re in a situation where you’re just legitimately busy all of the weekend, try to plan something pretty far into the future. Set a date where you think you’ll probably have some free time (maybe over break or a mellow homework weekend) and then plan it with your friends several weeks in advance. Knowing that you want to set that time slot aside for relaxing can really help you figure out your schedule, because it means you’ll instinctively try to finish assignments and do more things beforehand so they don’t get in the way. If worst comes to worst, and you REALLY need some type of relaxation because the work is just really stressing you out, I’m a firm believer that it’s okay to put work aside for that. Maybe it means you skip one of your weekly practices, or that you don’t finish all of your homework as well as you could, but I think it’s worth it for the time to relax. 

Raretea or green bubble?

If I had to answer this question, probably Green Bubble. Raretea’s boba is a LOT more inconsistent, and there have been times when the boba is basically inedible. Green Bubble is much more consistent, and it’s boba has never been super hard whenever I go. That being said, I don’t particularly like either of these places. Sure, they’re the most convenient boba places from College Prep, but they’re objectively just not super great. If you have the time to get to Berkeley, I’d try to hit up any of: 

  1. U-Cha (the balance between the tea, milk, and texture of the boba is pretty fantastic)

  2. YiFang (if you’re into fruit teas)

  3. Asha Tea Cafe (tea is all super genuine and is a great place to study)

  4. Feng Cha (crème brûlée milk tea. ‘Nuff said)

  5. Purple Kow (just because the Purple Kow+Top Dog combo is pretty fantastic)

Each of them is a short Bart ride away and just LEAGUES better than Green Bubble or Raretea. I’ll probably end up doing a boba review article at some point, so keep your eyes peeled for that. 

How do I become a better person/connect more with people’s and my own emotions?

Empathy is a hard skill to learn, but I think you first have to look at your own past experiences and remember how it felt to go through them, even if it brings back some rocky memories. If you’re in a situation where you’ve gone through something similar, figure out what you would have wanted to hear and go from there. Otherwise, I think it’s important to just sit down and listen to what someone has to say. You don’t always have to be able to connect to their emotions to be a good friend. Most of the time, people just want someone to talk to and who’ll listen to them, and simply being there for them is a really good start. 

How do I stand up to continuous insults//having no friends?

Addressing the continuous insults first, you should try talking to these people and telling them how they make you feel. They simply might not be fully aware of the effect their words have on you, so be assertive and tell them the truth face to face. If they continue to insult you, that’s when you should definitely branch out and meet new people. Of course, meeting new people comes with its own challenges, but it’s much better than being surrounded by people with bad vibes. Meet people who appreciate and welcome you, and move past people who do not. Finding that right group of people could take a bit of time, but we encourage you to not give up! You’ll come across new, better friends, we promise. 🙂

What was the best album of this year?

Jaden: This is super hard because I don’t remember everything that came out this year, but I’d say Igor and When I Get Home stand out to me as strong contenders. Igor flowed really well as one album, and Solange just delivered as she always does on When I Get Home. Obviously, Ginger and Jesus Is King got a lot of hype but I didn’t go back to them as much as the other two albums. Honorable mentions also include: Mirrorland, Angel’s Pulse by Blood Orange, and Free Spirit. 

Andrew: I don’t actually listen to albums as a collective lol. I like to listen to a lot of individual songs, but I very rarely ever listen to an entire album, so I don’t have a good answer to this. Some of my favorite individual songs from this year are “Love Me Less,” “Drugs and the Internet,” and “Crashing” by Illenium. 

Best video game you’ve ever played?

Andrew: Hm… I think this is pretty hard to answer since there are so many different metrics to gauge whether or not a game is the best. Technically speaking, I think my favorite is Breath of the Wild. It’s really a perfect game, and the graphics are beautiful on the Switch. Going off sentimental attachment and memories though, my favorite game is probably Maplestory, just because I’ve spent MANY hours grinding that game with my cousin and my brother lol. 

Jaden: I haven’t played that many video games in my lifetime, but I would say my favorite is Pokemon HeartGold. It was my first game that I played through myself so it has a lot of sentimental value. Besides that game, Overwatch was very fun for me and my friends. I know it’s dying now, but I still hop on every now and then to play some Roadhog or Zenyatta. 

How do you pick what clothes to buy/wear?

Jaden: The most important tip in buying clothes is to try to avoid purchasing the trendy stuff from fast fashion places. I always make it a rule to evaluate if the piece of clothing will flow well with the rest of my wardrobe before I buy it. Personally, I think one or two statement pieces are cool, but don’t buy so much that you don’t have anything else to wear at all. Start with buying the essentials (Uniqlo basically) and then build on top of that with pieces that represent you. The vintage aesthetic is always solid, and thrifting is cheap and fun. 

Andrew: I’ve never been someone who cares all that much about logos or the name behind clothing. In all honesty, I tend to prefer clothes that don’t have any noticeable logos or anything like that, but everyone has their own tastes. I always shop for clothes in person, just so I can actually try things on and see how they look. Once I find something I’m really into, something I like doing is assigning a price mentally in my head before checking the price tag, just to see if it’s really worth it to buy. Other than that, I’m a pretty generic shopper; like Jaden, I really like Uniqlo, but again, I’m really down to buy anything from any store as long as it looks nice. 

What do you think about Overwatch 2?

Overwatch is a dying game, and I won’t spend money to get Overwatch 2. That being said, I do think that the way Blizzard is handling Overwatch 2 is probably the least intrusive way to do an expansion. They’re letting players transfer their cosmetics over, they’re still allowing Overwatch 1 players to access all the new maps and champions free of charge, and they’re also allowing Overwatch 1 players to play PvP against Overwatch 2 players. It’s a very player-friendly way to add a new game to the Overwatch series, but it’s still not worth the money in my eyes, so I probably won’t get it. 


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