Teen should distance self from drugs, focus on other friends

Posted: 12:01am on Nov 19, 2011

Dear Emily,

A lot of people I hang out with drink and smoke pot. I’m very into sports and don’t want to do those things. I feel funny sometimes when I’m the only one not doing it when we hang out. Everyone except one kid is cool about it, the one kid calls me names and is sometimes mean when I don’t drink with them. He makes me feel really weird. Should I ignore him, stay away from him or just punch him in the face so he shuts up?

Dear Confident,

It’s admirable that you are standing strong to not giving into peer pressure. Sports are something that you should put first, don’t let other things, such as drinking or smoking, come into the picture when you have better things to do than be influenced by things that are illegal.

There are quite a few ways you can handle this situation — one being, find a new group of friends. But don’t completely drop the others, just distance yourself from them.

If you feel uncomfortable by being around this stuff then I am sure there are plenty other groups that you can find and become close with. You have your sports teams to lean on and also many other groups. Being around things such as alcohol can take you over and you don’t really see the amazing opportunities that are sitting right in front of you, such as sports.

It’s a sad thing to know that there are still people that feel the need to be uptight about things and pressure other people into things, referring to the kid that is giving you a hard time, I don’t think violence is the right way to handle the situation in this case, especially if he is influenced. I think the appropriate way to handle it is keep your distance and stay strong to what you want.

If it comes to the point to where you need to say something, then casually just pull him aside and tell him to just chill and that you don’t bother him for making the choice to do it so he shouldn’t bother you for the choice to not do it.

Dear Emily,

My mom and dad are constantly fighting. I do not know what to do anymore, I always end up running to my room and listening to my music. What can I do to make it stop? Can I talk to them about it?

Dear strained at home,

It’s always a sickening feeling hearing someone fight, let alone your parents. You can’t really control the attitude of their fight or how much they fight because their problems with each other aren’t anything you can control. There is not a thing wrong with going to your room and listening to your music. Music is the one thing that I know I can go to, to comfort me and make me feel better. Not only does music make me feel better, but it also lets me tune out the things that I don’t want to hear or take part of.

There is nothing you can do to stop what they fight about because their issues are between them, but there are things that you can do that can help you feel better about the situation that also may help out. It may be a good idea to pull them aside, one to one, and talk to them about what’s going on so you understand and let them know how it’s bothering you. Sharingyourfeelings with them will not only make you feel better it will also make them feel better knowing how you feel and makes them aware of how often they actually fight.

If they are being physical with each other during fights you should reach out to a friend or adult, someone you trust and look to for help. Everyone has bumps in the roads with relationships and family but don’t forget, love should never hurt.

Dear Emily,

The holidays are coming up, and I am part of a large group of friends. I can’t really afford something big for each of them. What should I do that is affordable?

Dear thoughtfully thrifty,

Everyone loves little treats, and sometimes simple is better. Something homemade is something simple that could be affordable if you have some time. You could always hand write some very nice cards and decorate them, but if you are not the artistic or creative type, you could always head to the dollar store to find some affordable knick-knacks and put together a basket of this and that.

If you’re friends with a large group, the idea of picking out the few closest ones and getting them or making something a little bit bigger is great. Picking things out and making things that fit each person’s personality is something fun and cute that everyone adores.

Even if it is small, and inexpensive but is homemade and personalized -- those are the best gifts of all, and the gifts that people appreciate the most.

Emily Chertow is a high school student in central Pennsylvania who writes a monthly column offering advice from the point of view of a teenager. You can send questions to her at askemilynow@hotmail.com or mail them to Ask Emily, c/o Centre Daily Times, 3400 E. College Ave., State College, PA 16801.