I am a regular reader of your column. I am a 22-year-old girl, studying in a private business institute. Ours is co-education where the majority of students are from affluent backgrounds. I, on the other hand, belong from an educated but middle-class family. Since I am a bright student, I was able to get admission on scholarship. I am quite comfortable with my colleagues and they all are nice with me but, Guru, somehow I feel left out. When it comes to studies, I am at par with them but when it comes to other things, I lag way behind. Guru, I simply cannot match their lifestyle. In our spare time, they all talk about new movies, fashion, music, parties, etc. I have nothing in common to share with them. Now with the arrival of summer, girls in our institute have started wearing all the designer lawn suits. Since I cannot afford designers suits, I still wear regular prints, mostly from ordinary markets. I feel sort of complexed. I am quite upset. I don’t think I can compete with my colleagues.
Dear Embarrassed Girl,
Come on, girl, you don’t need to feel complexed about anything. You should take pride in being the only one who is on a scholarship which makes you respectable and distinguished among your colleagues. You are an outstanding student and you must not waste your time thinking about futile matters. These are your precious years and you should study hard so that you can have a bright future. And, is it not very satisfying that you are doing everything on your own – on merit? I see no reason for you to feel embarrassed. If other girls are wearing designer suits, it doesn’t matter; one cannot be a part of rat race. There is no competition between you and your colleagues. My dear, if one has good taste then one can look good in ordinary clothes, too. It all boils down to how you carry yourself. You should be comfortable with whatever you wear. And a word of advice, whatever you wear, wear it with confidence and it will make you stand out. I am sure few years down the road when you are in a prestigious position, your ex-colleagues will look up to you, with admiration for you in their eyes. Good luck!
Maths is not my cup of tea
I am an ardent fan of your column. I am a 14-year-old girl. I am studying in grade VIII in one of the prestigious schools of Karachi. I am a bright student and I always manage to get good grades. Literature and history are my favourite subjects. My teachers like me for being a very well-mannered student. However, when it comes to Maths, I am a total failure. Somehow, I cannot comprehend this subject and I barely manage to bring C grade in Maths. On top of that, everyone in my family is an expert in Maths. My father is a Physics professor and his Maths is amazing. My older brother and sister always get 100 percent marks in Maths. According to my family members, if one is not good at Maths, one is considered duffer. They think I am not brainy. Guru, I try very hard but somehow Maths is just not my cup of tea. I am going into depression because I feel I am not good enough. I don’t know what to do. Please help.
Dejected 8th Grader
Dear Dejected 8th Grader,
You don’t need to go into depression just because you are weak in a subject. First you need to understand that God has created human beings with unique minds. Some people are born artists; some have sharp intellect; some are computer savvy; some are sporty and some are street smart. So, there is a variety of people with variety of talents. No one is dumb or duffer. Similarly, people whose Maths is naturally good are not necessarily good at everything. There are students whose Maths may be average but they are high achievers in other subjects. Having said all this, you don’t need to fret. You are no less than anyone. You are an intelligent girl. It doesn’t matter that you are weak in Maths; you are better in other subjects. Don’t pay attention to what others say. If you really want to do better at Maths, ask your father to hire a tutor for you. With persistent efforts at least you can comfortably get good marks in the subject. Little girl, just relax and focus your mind on things you are naturally good at.
I am the odd one out
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