Ask Iz: Advice from a Friend #2

 Welcome back to Ask Iz, where I answer all the questions you have that parents or counselors cannot answer!


More stories from IZZIE HALIM


Sinan Halim '21

If you have a question for me, my instagram is @izziehalim

 Welcome back to Ask Iz, where I answer all the questions you have that parents or counselors cannot answer! I sent out a survey on my instagram where people could ask any question that they want the answer to. If you have a question for me, my instagram is @izzieh.818. 


QUESTION: How do I make friends? (Berlin, Nj)

  In my experience making friends is actually quite easy. It’s keeping them that’s a challenge. However all the friends I do have I’ve met through common interests. 

  A really good way to meet people is by joining clubs or sports. If you aren’t sure what you’re interested in, join a few random clubs that you find interesting. For me I’ve been a part of theater clubs for years and it’s how I’ve met most of my friends. Another way I’ve found is a good way to make friends is by complimenting people. It’s such a small gesture but it makes someone’s day and could give you something to talk about. 

  Another way that I’ve found is a really good way to make friends is through liking the same music artists. I’ve met and connected with so many people that live across the country because we have that common ground and we share a love for that artist. The same goes for concerts. I love concerts and find it to be a safe space and it’s so easy to start talking to someone or just start dancing around with someone. 

  Something to note is that people will come and go and you can’t force friendships. If someone doesn’t want to be friends or wants to leave the friendship, let them. There will be other people. At the end of the day all you can really do is be patient. There’s going to be people that stick around for years and there’s also going to be people that only stay for a few months and that’s okay. Not all friendships are meant to last forever but as long as you’ve got a few solid friends you should be okay. 


QUESTION: I think i’m falling out of love with my sport (Marlton Nj)

  I’ve been in this situation and it was hard to decide if I was going to leave or stay. In the end I chose to leave as it was the best decision for me at the time. I do miss my sport but I’m happier overall now. 

  Your sport should be something that gives you a challenge but overall something that’s really fun. Give it a bit of time before you make any final decisions. Wait for the season to end and if you don’t want to go back next season then don’t, but don’t leave mid season. It’s not fair to you or your team. If your sport is affecting your mental health that’s when you talk to your coach and parents. Something you love should never harm you. 

  There’s so many things to take into account before leaving your sport. For example, are you overwhelmed with the amount of practice or are you just bored? Either way I hope you make the decision that’s right for you and who knows maybe in a year two you’ll realize you want to go back. 


QUESTION: How do I deal with panic attacks? (Marlton, Nj)

  Panic attacks can start from many different things so it’s good to know what could trigger one. If you feel one coming there’s a few things that you can do to prevent it from getting bad. You could count your breaths or focus on something colorful on a wall and just try to find all the little details in it. 

  However, if you can’t control it and you feel like you can’t breathe or do anything there are a few tactics that really help. The first one is to help calm your breathing. You’re going to want to lay flat on your back, or if you’re at school just make sure your feet are flat on the floor, you also want your arms and legs to spread apart. You’re going to close your eyes and picture a white piece of paper or just try to clear your mind. If anything gets on the paper, open your eyes and start again.

  Essentially all you’re doing is relaxing. So you’re going to start with your feet and you just want to let them sink into the floor and you’re going to do that from your torso to your fingers all the way up to your neck and your head. By the end of this your breathing should be under control and you should feel a bit better. One last thing once you’re finished with that chug water. It helps to collect yourself and hydration is important. 

  Panic attacks are really scary and in some cases you can feel like the room is closing up, so if these panic attacks become a regular thing you might have a form of anxiety that you should tell your parents and doctor about so you can get proper help. 


QUESTION: How can I be less depressed? (Voorhees, Nj)

  Unfortunately with depression you can’t flip a switch and be happy. Unlike confidence and self esteem depression is not “fake it till you make it”. There are ways to deal with depression for example going to therapy but if you don’t have access to that I can share some ways to help. 

  The most you can do is try not to feed your depression. Try to get outside and interact with people. Of course there will be times where you physically cannot do anything and that’s okay. It’s important to not push yourself. You can only do so much before your body shuts down. One thing that I’ve found really helpful is writing. It doesn’t have to be detailed and the grammar doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s literally just a way to get out your emotions. I have a few physical journals but I also like to use the notes app on my phone. 

 Sometimes when people are going through a depressive episode they tend to dissociate so it’s good to make sure your friends are aware that this could happen and that you’re not mad at them. Also if your friends aren’t understanding of the fact that you’re not okay, drop them. You are 100% better off with one friend that will always be there for you rather than ten friends who will make fun of you. 

  This should go without saying but many people don’t realize that it is okay not to be okay. The thing about depression is that it comes and goes in waves so you’re not going to be alright 100% of the time. If you think that you have depression but haven’t told a parent, you should. As depression isn’t something that just goes away it could just get worse.