Is it normal to have a crush on my biology teacher? I really like him and can't stop thinking about him. How can I deal with this without seeming desperate or coming on too strong? Stacie, 15, Los Angeles
Many girls have crushes on their teachers, but it should remain a crush and nothing more. Besides the fact that as your teacher, he's in a position of authority over you, a relationship with him is against the law. Crushes often indicate that you are testing out the idea of dating, so it's important to try to figure out what you like about your teacher. Does he make you feel smart? Or important? These are the qualities you should be seeking out in boys your own age. When you know what you're searching for in a boyfriend, it will be easier to find it. So look around for some great guys to hang out with, and give yourself the opportunity to eventually turn "hanging out" into dating. And if you continue to have an innocent crush on your teacher, it's best to keep it to yourself. Things might get awkward if he ever found out. (And you thought that having the quarterback find out that you like him would be embarrassing!)
One of my good friends has a really bad temper. Sometimes she'll be mean and rude for no reason. I get really nervous around her and don't know what to do. Please help. Patricia, 18, Russell, Ontario, Canada
It's hard to be friends with someone when you never know what kind of mood she'll be in. While you might think you're the cause of her outbursts, they probably have nothing to do with you. It might seem odd, but when people haven't learned how to deal with their emotions, they often end up taking them out on the person they trust most.
First, learn what causes her temper to flare up. Is there a certain subject (like her ex-boyfriend) that always seems to get her steaming mad? Pay careful attention to this the next few times she acts up. When she starts to get angry, speak to her about it calmly by saying: "Talking about this seems to make you very upset. I want to help and be your friend, but I don't appreciate the way you're treating me."
Hopefully she'll notice that she's a little out of control and snap back to her normal self. But if she's still raging mad and you can't calm her down, simply say: "I need to go. I'll be here to talk about whatever is bothering you after you calm down a little," and head out. Remember that it's not up to you to "fix" your friend. If you continue to feel nervous around her, take it as a signal that you might need to spend some time away from her for a while. Soon she'll understand that she can't keep acting this way if she wants you to continue hanging out with her.
My sister is two years older than me, but right now we both go to the same high school. We used to get along really well, but lately she's been acting like I'm her worst enemy. She doesn't tell me anything, and when I tell her something personal about my friends or boyfriend, she blabs it to our mom. I don't understand and I need help! Jennifer, 15, Montgomery, Ala.
Sometimes sisters argue and get irritated with each other for the most random reasons, but it doesn't mean that your sister doesn't love you. Maybe now that you're at the same school, she feels a little competition (the school was hers before it became yours). She could feel jealous that her younger sister has more friends or a boyfriend, or that you've had an easier time adjusting to high school than she did.She might not even realize that she's acting so horribly to you, so it wouldn't hurt to talk to her about it. Say: "I just want to know what's going on between us. I was looking forward to going to the same school so we could be closer, but ever since I got there, I feel like we've been drifting apart." Ask her where she is coming from and what you can do to make it better for both of you. Having a sister as your ally in high school can be helpful, so it's definitely worth working things out!
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Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.