Teen Talk

Dear Smitha,
It was relieving to hear from you. Really you have taken me out of sheer depression. But I would like to ensure that this is not going to be the reason of excessive facial hair especially upper lips.  Smitha I cant discuss this with anyone else. Please guide me sister! Thanks a lot,

Dear Manjari,
Boloji is here to help teens like you. Do write in if you face any kind of problems in future. It would be a pleasure to help you sort your life. Regarding the growth of facial hair, there is no proven link between masturbating and growth of facial hair. It is largely genetic in nature. You can solve it by visiting a good dermatologist or a reputed beauty consultant who can be able to help you.  Keep writing to us.

Love, Smitha
March 29, 2003 

Dear Smitha
This is a 17 year old girl writing you the most depressing problem of her life. Smitha, this is a problem with gents (as I have read) then why with me? Sometimes my mind is just out of my control and I start masturbating and toy with my breasts. Is this a psychological problem or a sexual one? Once this activity is over I feel ashamed of myself but again start doing it after a day or two. Please tell me is this going to harm me in the long run anticipating your reply at the earliest.
Manjari, March 28, 2003

Dear Manjari,
There is really nothing to be depressed about your "problem" as you call it. Normal sexual urges at your age is nothing to be ashamed of. Rather than promiscuity, many teens and adults resort to masturbation as a means of relieving their sexual tension. And it is relatively safe as you can avoid transmission of STDs. It is healthy as long as you don't hurt yourself or overdo it. Some experts even claim that it is healthy. And feeling guilty about it isn't the way to drop the habit. Go slow and find new hobbies which immerse you. This way you would find less time to reflect on sexual urges. Most important don't waste your time feeling guilty about it. This time of your life is for more important things. Read, study, plan your career, socialize and have fun. You would long for these teenage years once there are gone.

Love, Smitha
March 28, 2003

Dear Smitha,
I am deeply unhappy. I have even attempted suicide twice but failed. My problem is that I am “dull” The doctors have diagnosed me as dyslexic. I study a lot but never manage to get good marks. I am elder than most of the others in my class. I am really weak in Math and never manage to even pass All my classmates tease me calling me “mad”, “dull” and “buddhu”. Even my teachers call me a weak students I am deeply unhappy Please help.
Depressed Teen

Dear Teen,
Its really sad that these days we measure how bright a person by his or her class grades. I know life must be tough for you but it is definitely not worth losing your life. Life is a beautiful gift and to be cherished. Don’t throw it away at any cost. Your “problem” as you call it will seem insurmountable right now but believe me - grade and good marks are not the only things that matter in life. There are many more important things in life such as what kind of person you are. You have to be bright from within. Many of the really successful people in life didn’t have a college degree. I am not minimizing the importance of a college education - I am just telling you to perk up. Study well but relax. Who says you have to finish your degree within a set time?

As for your classmates teasing you, I am sure its because they don’t know you well enough. Show a positive attitude and be confident. Don’t apologize for what you are. Once you start being confident about yourself the world will look up to you. I would also suggest that you approach a caring teacher or counsellor in school or maybe you can get your parent to talk to your school mistress. This might put an end to the insensitive remarks of the teachers.

You haven’t mentioned which country you are from - but I am sure whichever there are some institutes whereby you can get a degree without math.

So cheer up. Concentrate on your talents. Most dyslexics have outstanding talent. Find yours and shine in life.

Love, Smitha
March 16, 2003

Dear Smitha,
I am a 16 year old girl living in a big city. I am tall and beautiful. Everyone admires my good looks and says I look perfect ( I am not bragging). I want to become a professional model and use my face to earn money and fame. But my parents want me to become a doctor or engineer, something respectable. How do I convince them that modeling is as respectable a profession as any other?? Kindly help.

– Akansha M

Dear Akansha,
You are sure lucky to be blessed with good looks and I can understand your desire to become a model. Though there is nothing wrong with modeling as a profession it is a big bad world out there full of sticky competition and dirty games. Not everyone who has good looks makes it big. There is no security too. I am not saying this to frighten you off but to give you an idea of what the world there is like. There is also the fact that it is a very short-lived career. So though u may seem to make big bucks it has to last you a life time. Maybe this is what is putting your parents off the idea of modeling as a profession. Here’s what I suggest why not take up modeling as a part-time occupation and continue with your studies. Maybe you could join a course related to fashion like fashion designing or maybe even event management. This way you have a safety net to fall into in case your modeling career doesn’t take off and in case it does you don’t lose anything do you? You have a career to develop after your salad days in modeling are over.

Good luck with your dreams.

Smitha V
November 18, 2001

Dear Smitha,
I am a 17 year old boy doing 1st year engineering in a reputed college. Though I am very good in studies (I was the city topper) I am not fluent in English. This is because I did my schooling in vernacular medium. I can write without any mistakes but can’t talk in a posh accent like many of my friends do. Please help me.

Somesh Chaudhary

Hey Somesh,
Guess what you don’t have a problem at all. Since you can write well you know the language. All you need is a but of practice. Start talking to your friends in English. Tell them to correct you if you make any mistakes. You speak about a lack of a “posh” accent. Well that could easily be developed through practice. Observe the way your friends pronounce while they talk. Mimic them. Mimicry is the best form of learning. The best trick is to watch BBC news and learn from their pronunciation. You can’t get better than that. Since you already have a good grasp of the language it is not going to be a difficult task to learn. Good Luck.

– Smitha V
November 18, 2001

Dear Smitha,
I am a 15 year old girl and the only child of my parents. My problem is that my folks don't let me go out anywhere. I can't go to parties, movies like other people of my age. My parents are also inordinately suspicious of my friends and keep asking me questions. Even if I am a few minutes late coming back home, they bombard me with questions. IT may sound like a silly problem to me but it is really bothering me.

Shaana Malhotra

Hi Shaana
Though it may not sound like that to you, you parents really love you and are just being protective about you. May be the fact that you are an only child makes you more special to them. All their questions, not letting you go out much just reflect their love and anxiety for you. This doesn't mean that you should become a doormat and stick to everything they say. Make your point clear but gently. The best way to go about it is have a heart to heart talk with them. They would surely listen. Don't shout, don't yell accusations, state your problem without blaming anyone. Talk to tem as you would to a friend. Tell them you want to go out with your friends once in a while. Maybe they are reluctant to let you go out with your buddies because they don't know your friends at all. This may be the reason why they ask many questions about them too. Why don't you call a few of your friends home and let your parents get to know them. Once your parents are satisfied that you are moving with a proper set of people, they would surely let you go out. 

Smitha V
November 5, 2001

Hi Smitha,
I am a 17 year old boy staying with my widowed mother and two sisters. Elder sister and mother are working and younger sister is still in school. I can see the amount of trouble mother and sister are taking to keep me and my younger sister comfortable and I want to help as much as I can. Can you suggest any ways by which I can earn enough money atleast to foot some of my college bills?

- Rahul

Hey Rahul,
Its really great that you understand and appreciate the effort taken by your sister and mother. It shows what a caring and sensitive person you are. Your family must be really proud of you. I understand your need to contribute to the family kitty kids in your area. Alternatively if you are really good in some activity like say dance or music you could offer to coach people in it. Whatever you do, make studies your prime importance right now. That is what your sister and mother are taking so much effort for. If you really concentrate on your career now, in a few years you will be in a very good position and able to pay back your mother and sister for all the efforts they took for you. Best of luck.
Luv always

Smitha V
November 5, 2001

Dear Smitha,
I have a very embarrassing problem. I stutter a lot. As such it is becoming very difficult for me to hold conversations on phone, participate in debates etc. I have visited a few doctors and they feel that it is psychological in nature. But I am not doing it on purpose. Please help me out.

- A distressed teen

Hi Pal,
The problem you speak about is quite common among teens and as the doctors have already diagnosed it is more of a psychological problem. But wait a minute it doesn't mean that you are doing it on purpose or not trying your best to overcome. It is most probably born out of an introverted nature. My guess is that though you might want to be a social butterfly you are more probably a socially shy person who finds it difficult to move easily in crowds. The stuttering could even be born out of your low self confidence. I had a friend who used to speak quite perfectly when she was with us but put her in a crowd and she would stutter horribly. Things came to such a stage that she stopped going to social gatherings.
But in fact stuttering is quite easy to overcome once you put your mind to it. What I would suggest that you get together with a close friend and start talking without stuttering. Begin small like one sentence at the beginning. Be patient you will have a few false starts but don't lose heart. Slowly increase the amount of speech till you can manage a few minutes at a time. This way you can make sure that no one knows you stutter. It worked wonders for my friend. She has almost completely lost her stammering. 
More importantly be calm and confident in all situation. Be confident of yourself. Nerves are the worst enemy of stammer. You could also seek professional help from a speech therapist. Good ones can work miracles. I understand that your problem can create a lot of problems but you can definitely work over it. Lots of determination is what is necessary and be assured that many have this problem and have overcome it successfully. Do keep in touch and let me know of your success. 

Smitha V
October 14, 2001

Dear Smitha ,
I have a peculiar problem and hope you will help me out. I am 14 and in love and with two people. There is this childhood pal of mine ( we grew up together) and we are kind of going steady. Everyone pairs us off and we too like each other. Even our parents think we will marry eventually. Then last month a new guy moved into my block and I fell for him. He is so handsome and he liked me too. He is my senior in school and meets me in canteen and stuff. I love him too though I love my boyfriend too. Is it possible to be in love with two people?? Am I abnormal?? Whom should I marry??

Candy Floss

Hey Candy,
There is nothing to distressed about. What you are undergoing is normal for any teen. Falling in 'love' happens as often as every week but none of them last. As for the guys I will call them b/f1 and b/f2. Well from what I can tell from your letter b/f1 seems to be a childhood pal of yours, something like an extended family, someone you are used to having around you, someone you depend on. You surely love him but it is too early to be thinking of making him your life partner. The very fact that you are attracted to b/f2 signifies that you are too young to make commitments. At 14 you should be having a large group of friends of both the sex and concentrate on developing your personality and making a go of your life. This is the time to make enjoy your life. Have as many crushes as you like but just remember to be careful that it doesn't end in disaster and crush your life   


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