Ask ARL: Valentine’s Day — a lonely reminder for single students

Q: Someone I know is being put down by their peers and it’s making it hard for them to go through the school with confidence. It’s to the point where it is messing up their concentration. Any advice as to how not be distracted by those who hurt your feelings?
— Concerned Classmate

A: The fact that this is making your friend lose confidence and concentration is quite worrying, so I urge you to go to one of the counselors so that they can help with the situation. While going to the counselors may seem a bit awkward, it should definitely be taken seriously as it may be best for your friend’s well-being. Doing this is in no way betraying your friend, and sticking up for them is one of the most important things you can do for them. If you find yourself being put down by classmates, remember that you are you and you should never have to change yourself to please others. Someone will always be there to support you, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Q: I used to be friends with someone who holds some pretty extreme political views. Their political views pop up in every conversation and interaction. Because of these extreme views, with which I strongly disagree, I am no longer friends with this person. However, they don’t seem to realize that I don’t want to be friends with them anymore. What should I do?
— Opposites Don’t Attract

A: In a time of great political divide, this seems like a common occurrence. While having a friend who is loud and proud of their beliefs can be obnoxious at times, I see no need to call off the entire friendship. The best thing you can do is bring this up to them, otherwise they might never get the hint that constantly hearing of their political views bother you.

Q: Say, for example, someone has no one to spend their Valentine’s day with and is indeed very lonely. How should this poor fellow spend their Valentine’s day holiday?
— Forever Alone

A: No one ever says this, but enjoy it! Use the day for some self-care: read a good book, watch your favorite movie, or even take a nap. Buy yourself a box of chocolates and make a bowl of instant ramen so you can bask in the idea that you don’t have to “Lady and the Tramp” it. Just don’t watch any sappy romcoms!

*Questions edited for clarity