Ask Frieda: Advice Column #2

I’m not much of a social person. I struggle to talk to people, including those I have known for quite some time. Can you give me some advice on how to make friends?

Start small! Ask someone in your classes about the homework or the note you just learned. This won’t be a full conversation (which can be a bit daunting) but exchanging a few words can help you get more comfortable talking to people that you see everyday. Try making comments about a recent test or your thoughts on the lesson. These are little things that might help you feel more comfortable over time. Once you start doing this regularly, other people may be the ones to initiate the conversation, asking you about the homework questions.

When making friends, try to find people that you have similar interests with. This leads to easier flowing conversations and a topic you might enjoy talking about! It’s all about practise: the more you’re forced to talk to people, the more you’ll find it natural and not as hard. And remember, it’s ok to not be super social and more quiet as long as you’re happy!


My manager at work says I have to work 20 hours each week, but I’m getting really behind in school now. I never have time to study or do homework. How can I keep my job but also do good in school?

Maybe try finding a different job. At this time in your life, school comes first and if your job isn’t allowing you that then it needs to go. UW food services is a student-oriented place at the University of Waterloo where you can work at all the different food locations on campus (there are a lot). There have very flexible hours (depending on your manager) and you can work a maximum of 20 hours a week, while you can get as little as 3 hours. It’s also very close to WCI, so it’s easy to get there if you have a shift after school. 

If you need to work 20 hours a week to support yourself, then maybe lighten your course load and plan to take a fifth year. Summer and March Break are also good opportunity to earn some cash without missing school. 


I feel overwhelmed with senior year and upcoming university applications, any tips on ways to de-stress?

Give yourself time every week to do something that you enjoy! Maybe watch a movie, go to dinner with your friends, or take your dog to the park. Whatever makes you happy and makes you forget about all the stress in your life. Having time for yourself is important for your mental health.

Also remember university applications seem very daunting but your decision isn’t set in stone. Apply to programs that interest you and you have the requirements for. If you get in, you can always defer for a year, if you start the program and you aren’t enjoying it you can always switch into a different program. Don’t stress about your marks: you can take a fifth and redo your courses to improve your marks if you really need to. There are many options in life and university isn’t the only one! Do what brings you joy: take a gap year, go to college, go right into the workforce, or go to university. It may seem like you’re determining the rest of your life right now, but your options are always open!

Need some advice? Send us your questions and check out the new Ask Frieda articles as they come out to see Frieda’s answers!
All questions will be asked anonymously.

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