Dear Counselors: September 2018

Let’s be honest, we all need good advice to survive high school, but not everyone your age has all the answers. Luckily, the Northfield High School Counselors are paid professionals who specialize in giving advice to us teens. If you ever have a problem or need good advice, this is the place to submit your anonymous letter.

Dear Counselor,

This year I am having trouble balancing out my school work with sports and other activities.  I already have a lot of homework and want to try out a sport and maybe a club, but I don’t know how to manage both without falling behind.  Do you have any tips? Please help.

Dear A Student,

I am really sorry to hear that you are having trouble balancing school work with sports and other activities.  Organization is going to be key, utilize a planner or a calendar on your phone. I would encourage you to start by adding one sport or activity and see how that goes.  Studies have actually shown that being involved in an extracurricular activity helps students with time management. It will also be beneficial to communicate with teachers, coaches, and club sponsors when you know you will have busy times in either your classes or activities.


Hi, I wanted a little help with socializing.  It was always hard since this all started. Please help.

From Blue

Dear Blue,

Socializing can sometimes be hard to do in High School.  Sadly, there isn’t something that works for everybody all the time.  However, one way to make socializing easier is to find a club or sport that you can join!  Joining a club or sport gives you the opportunity to interact with like-minded people who share a common goal.  If you want a club or sport that Northfield doesn’t offer, come talk to any of the counselors and we will see if we can make that club a possibility for you!

Dear NHS Counselors,

How do you deal with peer pressure without seeming uncool for not doing drugs, alcohol, or just wanting to do something you don’t want to do because it will get you in trouble when the person threatens to leak embarrassing photos of you or taunts you? Also, how do you deal with difficult people in general?


Dear Anonymous,

Peer pressure is one of the hardest aspects of high school. Unfortunately, you will be faced with decisions that will go against your values, beliefs, and morals throughout high school and adulthood. It is important to stand up for what you believe in, and hold strong to your decision. The reality is, that although it seems like everyone is drinking and doing drugs, the numbers are much lower (less than 20% of students). The more comfortable you become with saying no, the easier it will be. If you are assertive in your response, and firm on your decision, people are more likely to take you seriously.  If you lose friendships as a result, it will open up the opportunity for you to become friends with other who share similar values, and opinions around substance use.

In terms of being blackmailed for private photos. Today everyone is faced with serious privacy violation issues, what you post does not go away. However, photos or videos of underage students in a sexual capacity/act is illegal (can be considered child pornography), and can be as serious as three felony charges. Please remember your trusted adults in the building. We are trained on handling issues of this nature. Northfield is also fortunate to welcome Mr. Harris, our School Resource Officer, who is our bridge between school and the police, among many other amazing roles. He is one adult that would help us with the issue. Every issue will require different interventions, and will have different outcomes.

The best advice we can give you, is to remain true to yourself (beliefs, values, and morals), stand up for yourself, and know that there are people who will love and respect you for who you are. But sometimes you have to let go of the people that don’t support you, and find the ones who will.

If you ever have a problem or need good advice, this is the place to submit your anonymous letter.