Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Ask Ali

Posted on March 02, 2015 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

Hello and welcome to the first edition of Dear Press! We love hearing from you so keep those questions coming in. We answer all your questions and everything is anonymous, unless permission granted otherwise. So have a question? Leave us a comment down below or email us at advice@usmfreepress.org

Q: So I have some friends and while they’re fun to be around and sometimes they’re super hilarious, other times they do things I don’t feel very comfortable with. Like, they take unflattering pictures of me when I’m unaware and send them to people, and they call me names and tease me on my physical appearance. I’m the type of person who would never stand up for themselves, and I feel helpless because I know everyone will tell me “Just talk to them!”, but it’s hard for me. I don’t want to lose my friends because I know they’re good people, but at the same time I just hate it when they do things like this. Should I just ignore it and hope it goes away? It’s what I’ve been doing for years, and I’ve become so used to this “defense mechanism” that I don’t think I can ever change.

A: It’s a form of cyberbullying if they are sending these unflattering pictures of you to other people online without your permission. For more information about what cyber bullying is go to stopbullying.gov

it’ll further explain that aspect of your question in detail.
Let’s give your friends the benefit of the doubt for a minute and say that yes they are actually good people. Good people that just don’t know what they’re doing is wrong and hurting others. They probably think it’s “funny” and since you’ve been going along with it for THIS long that you don’t mind it. I know it might sound scary to tell them, but trust me in this situation that’s exactly what you’re going to have to do. If they really are good friends, they will apologize and immediately stop, if not, you have to try your best to move on and meet other people.

Q: Dear Press: I’m in a relationship with this guy, we have only been seeing each other for three months and just recently, one of my ex’s got in contact with me. I don’t know if I should talk to him because he’s broken my heart before, but I still feel a strong connection between us. What should I do?

A: So your ex has contacted you, and suddenly you just question maybe it was a mistake to leave him after he left you heartbroken before? I mean, surely if you’re in a relationship with someone you should be happy with them. But if someone who has wronged you in the past is making you have second thoughts about your current relationship then perhaps neither is the best option. Since the one you’re in doesn’t seem to be working, and the ex potentially drawing you away might still be that same guy who will break your heart again.

Q: How can a student whose second language is English be successful in their courses. Also, what are the resources available for those students whose English is not so Advanced?

A: First you need the drive and motivation, and second you have to study relentlessly. If you set your mind to something and you continually practice to get better, you will succeed. Something I also recommend is surrounding yourself with advanced English speakers. The more you speak/hear English and put yourself in situations where you have to speak nothing but English, you will get better!
Professors are an excellent tool to use. If you don’t understand something, please don’t hesitate to ask your professor, and take advantage of their office hours. Also, there are free tutors available to all USM students on the 3rd floor of Glickman Library. There are ESL tutors who have been trained by the ESL department, that will assist you with any homework, writing, grammar, etc.

Q: I want to audition to play in an orchestra, but it’s competitive and nobody seems to think I’m good enough to get in. I know that I should practice to get in, but how else can I improve my confidence so I can stop being so nervous about auditioning?

A: I recommend “power posing” Standing in a posture of confidence really does affect your testosterone and cortisol levels and will make you look and feel confident. Confidence will have a huge impact on your chances for success. If you get a chance, you should definitely watch Amy Cuddy’s TedTalk, “Your body language shapes who you are.” Don’t hesitate to send in another question and tell me how it all goes!