Panther Problems


Madeline Bentzel and Jadelynn Dao

Welcome to Panther Problems, an advice column for The Voice. We gathered a lot of great questions from our school-wide survey. Unfortunately, we can’t answer all of the questions, but we will try our best to answer as many as possible. If your question didn’t make it, be sure to enter it again next time! 

Friends can be your biggest supporters and your shoulder to cry on, but like any relationship, not every part of friendship is smooth sailing. In this issue, we will be discussing how to deal with unhealthy friendships, fights with a friend, and other bumps in the road on the way to finding and keeping true, caring friends. 


Question :How do you balance homework and friends and sports?” – Peaches

Answer : Dear Peaches, I promise you that everyone else is right where you are in terms of balancing stress. Whether it’s school, sports, extracurriculars, the pressures of the impending college decision or drama with friends, we are all feeling it. 

First, relax: maybe have a snack or two, take a bath or a nap, take a deep breath and remember that there’s only 20 days left until winter break! 

Next, learn to manage your time! Find a schedule, plan out all your day’s activities (including a good amount of sleep, your sports and time with friends), and note how long they will take. 

I know how difficult it is, especially if you are behind, but try to finish your homework on the day that it’s assigned. This will help a lot in keeping your stress level down, because if you forget to do an assignment or don’t have time, then you have some wiggle room with the “extra” day. 

When doing homework or studying, turn your phone off and get to work! Take short breaks once an hour to drink some water or reward yourself with a snack. 

Try to plan out some time over the weekend to destress, hang out with friends or do something non-school related. 

It gets more complicated when you add in sports, but that’s where keeping a tight schedule and sticking to it can really help you. Try to use at least one day of the weekend to see your friends or family because it will help you remove yourself from school work and allow you to destress. 

Hope this helps! 


Question :What can you do about fake friends?” – HelpIsNeeded

Answer : Dear HelpIsNeeded, I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with fake friends. I know how hurtful and toxic those relationships can be. I think that as high school goes on, a lot of the drama kind of fades away, and you’re left with your true friends. 

A lot of the time, the best thing to do is to cut out fake friends and make new ones. 

Alternatively, you could confront the friend about what they’re doing that’s hurting you and get to the root of what’s straining the relationship. Reaching a resolution could be a way to fix the relationship; however, sometimes the best thing to do is to move on to new friendships. 

I know it’s hard if you’ve gone to school with them or been friends with them forever, but it’s probably worth it if the relationship is toxic for you. 

Finding new friends is also a challenge, but joining clubs, sports or groups on campus can help you connect with people who have similar interests to you, which in turn helps friendships to blossom and grow. 

Hope this helps!


Question : “I used to like this girl so I told her, because I’m impulsive and reckless, but now she hates me. What do I do to get over it?” – no tenks

Answer : Dear no tenks, I’m so sorry that your experience with this crush went badly  fingers crossed for your next one!I have had some experience in the crush area of relationships and even had a 3-year crush on someone once. I never had the courage to tell him I liked him, so my feelings continued. Kudos to you for your bravery. 

For me, it was really difficult to move on from someone I was interested in when I didn’t have closure. Maybe, if your feelings are lingering, you could try to resolve the issue with the person so that you feel that you aren’t still fighting. 

If that isn’t possible,  instead of dealing with the past, you could think about the future. Since you’re asking how to move on, you’ve already completed the first step of accepting that you want to move on from her. 

What helped me to move on was to find someone new that you’re interested in. This may take time, but starting to look at others that you’re attracted to can definitely help. You don’t necessarily have to start a new relationship or even develop a full-on crush just start to picture yourself with someone new. 


Question : “I had a fight with my friend that does not go to the same school. It is clearly her fault for starting this argument, but should I be the one to say sorry first and let my pride get hurt?” – X_the_Female_Version

Answer : Dear X_the_Female_Version, This can be a very confusing and draining situation, and I completely understand what you are going through. In the end, we all make mistakes; we all say and do things we wish we could take back. Apologizing and taking action to right a wrong can be the hardest thing for someone to say.

You should not feel pressured to apologize for something you don’t feel the need to apologize for. But it doesn’t hurt to reach out to your friend. Ask to meet somewhere and talk. This conversation should be more about making things right and reconciling with each other than putting the blame on each other.

In my Moral Theology class, we learned about how to seek forgiveness and make amends. If you feel guilty about the situation, it is important that you own up to your wrongdoings and take responsibility for your actions. In this case, you should do your best to apologize, no matter how hard it may be. Holding grudges or anger for someone else, especially a good friend, is never the answer.

In the end, as difficult as it may be, the best thing you can do is put your pride to the side and take the first step to making peace with your friend.