Student ready to share advice

Dear readers, My name is Emily. I am a high school student in central Pennsylvania. One of my many passions is writing and giving advice, and I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to combine both interests in a monthly column in the Centre Daily Times.

In my column, I will give advice from my perspective as a teenager. I am by no means an expert or psychologist, but I welcome questions from anyone — students, parents, teens, grandparents, teachers, siblings, etc. — who is interested in what advice I can offer. I hope from reading this column that you will learn some things, here and there, that you can bring into your daily life.

All the questions that I answer are and will be questions that I have received from others, by snail mail or email, all being real-life situations. Do not hesitate to send me questions — information on who is asking the questions will be kept confidential. You can send your questions to me at, or mail them to Ask Emily, c/o Centre Daily Times, 3400 E. College Ave., State College, PA 16801. I look forward to hearing from you.

Dear Emily,

I don’t have a lot of money. How can I dress nicely?

Dear Fashionista,

You don’t need money to be able to look handsome or pretty. Start by looking through the clothing options you already have. Think of what can be put together that will work. Repeating clothing isn’t a bad thing, it actually is a good thing. Mix and match the clothing but don’t wear the same shirt and shorts together every time. After that, if you’re open to going out and buying new things, rummage together a few bucks and go thrift-shopping. Goodwill is one of my favorite stores and you can find amazing steals for great prices. At times for $3 you can get six shirts, a pair of shoes and a bundle of bracelets.

Dear Emily,

I have a crush on this girl in my Spanish class. I want to tell her I like her and ask her out but I am afraid to ask her in person. Is it OK if I text her and tell her how I feel?

Dear Romeo,

Times have changed and technology and social manners have changed drastically. That being said, if you don’t have the guts to tell this girl how you feel in person, then texting her is acceptable. It makes a girl’s day to hear that someone likes her, or even if someone thinks she is pretty. Saying how you feel in a text is fine, but once you’re ready to ask her out, do it the old-fashioned way — in person. If you’re not comfortable asking her out in person by that time, then maybe a relationship isn’t what should happen — because when you like someone enough to date you should be comfortable around her.

Dear Emily,

My 14-year-old daughter keeps to herself when I try to talk to her, and she snaps at me. How can I try to talk to my daughter without her closing me out?

Dear Mom,

You never really know what’s going on in the mind of a teen and a lot of the time the teen doesn’t even know. What teens love and need most is their personal space, but they also need someone who cares.

Your daughter is lucky to have someone who is trying to talk to her, but she may not realize it because you may not be approaching the situation the right way. We hear simple questions like “How was your day, sweetheart?” or “How did your test go today?” so often that we tend to tune out and give simple answers such as “good” or “bad” because we are thinking of other things.

Try approaching your daughter in a relaxed way and ask about specific things by using friends names. Don’t try to pull information out of her, just let her open up. An example of a question you could ask her is, “How are you and your friend/group doing, are you all getting along all right?”

Keep in mind that us teens, a lot of the time, are closed off with everyone and it takes a while for us to open up. Just telling your daughter that you are there whenever she is ready to talk will mean the world to her, and she will eventually open up.