Agony Aunt Agatha #1

Hi Eunoians!

Ever thought about where you can obtain advice for your personal problems? Have no fear because Aunt Agatha is here! Agony Aunt Agatha (AAA) is a new column on the Origin* that offers personal advice to those who ask questions via the link:

The platform is curated by members of the Origin and our CCA teacher. Without further ado, let us begin!

Question: What do I do when I have a group mate who doesn’t help out with graded group work at all? How do I get him to do stuff without giving a wrong impression? Should I just ignore it? Is there a need to tell a teacher about this?

Aunt Agatha: The common solution you might hear from others is to set deadlines. But personally, I feel deadlines are just scratching the surface of what one can do. Firstly, make sure the appointed group leader constantly reminds members of the upcoming deadlines. It’s easy to miss a internal group deadline amidst your test schedules. If this becomes a habit, what’s the use of deadlines?  Secondly, decide as a group what the consequences will entail should anybody miss the internally set deadlines. Perhaps this guilty fellow would have to loan his/her house for the next 5 project work meetings? If deadlines do nothing to spur on your group mate, you have two options. The first would be to continue working on the project with your other group members as if nothing happened, hence leaving the uncooperative fellow out. If all goes well, this fellow would eventually feel the guilt and start to chip in. The second option would be to find out what exactly is hindering the individual. Maybe it’s CCA commitments? Family issues? Disdain towards the chosen topic? Whatever it is, get to the root of the problem. If the problem happens to be heavy CCA commitments, allocate the work such that the group members cover for the individual during his/her busy periods. Then, allocate more work to that individual once the CCA commitment is over. The third option would be to take the unpleasant route and approach a teacher for help. Personally, this should be the last resort because it could permanently damage the group dynamics (when PW has barely started) as the uncooperative fellow might feel slighted that you went behind his/her back. Since group dynamics could literally make or break your PW grade, do your best to resolve disputes internally. Meanwhile good luck!

QuestionI like someone but they’re from a different class, different CCA and different house. How do I keep interacting with them?

Aunt Agatha: At this point it could feel like there is no reason for both parties to communicate because of the complete lack of commonalities between you which,  I myself will admit, makes it very hard to find a starting ground for interaction. Nevertheless, you might still have mutual friends and, chances are, you’ll be seeing them along the corridors and during breaks and all that. Start small, and make it a point to be friendly with them whenever you see them – a casual hey, the usual greetings. Try to expand your social circle and participate in more school activities and you may just get lucky. However, do keep in mind that you still have to manage your school work on top of other personal commitments. If you have the opportunity to socialise, snatch it up, but at the same time don’t throw yourself into it too much – maintain a balance and focus on the rest of your life. Don’t preoccupy yourself with “chasing” them. Be realistic. If it doesn’t work out, don’t be discouraged – keep them as eye candy and pursue other things that make you truly happy. It might have just been a one-off infatuation. 

Thank you for reading! Continue to send me your questions at:

Yours Truly,

Agony Aunt Agatha


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