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I try to be the best person on this planet, but sometimes I donít think even one girl looks my way. Is there something wrong with me?


Iím 15 and about to finish my sophomore year at a boarding school. The year has been really rough for me, especially when Iím around my peers. All the guys are getting asked to the banquet and making the sports teams. Iím not. Iím starting to feel left out because of all this. I mean, I try to be the best person on this planet, but sometimes I donít think even one girl looks my way. Is there something wrong with me?óSocially Stunted.

Tiffany Answers:

Dear Socially Stunted,

Wait a minute. So girls are the ones asking guys to banquets now? What happened to the beauty of chivalry in which the guys would take the initiative? Anyway, I digress. Let me first of all put your mind at ease: you aren’t cursed with some social pariah gene. You are the victim of a common ailment called adolescence! We all have been or will be affected by it at some point in our lives. See, you are in that wonderful age when you are growing into adulthood, defining yourself as a person, getting through awkward physical changes, and you get to go through all of this in a very social, peer-charged environment called high school. Yay (unenthusiastically raising hands in mock excitement). While you are facing the trials of your teenage years in various ways, those guys who seem to be popular on every front are facing the trials of “teenagedom” in other ways. But there is good news. Survival in high school is possible.

Don’t define your self-worth by what other people are achieving or doing. Nor do you have to define yourself based on what other people think about you. God created you to be uniquely you. Another person’s story does not necessarily have to be your own. While people are making sports teams, etc., perhaps your story entails you being a student body officer, community service leader, newspaper or yearbook person, or church volunteer. I think you see my point. Enjoy the process of getting to learn your strengths and interests. It’s about growing. When you see it this way, it helps to keep you from getting down on yourself if you don’t become a superstar in a particular area.

It’s so easy to get caught up in a worldly definition of what makes a person valuable (even when you are in your 20s or 30s, or 80s, you will find the pull to do this) that we often need to readjust our perspectives. Spend time with God and strengthening your Christian walk. Doing so will help to change the perspective to see yourself the way God sees you. When you capture this, it will change the way you walk, talk, and view things.

But yes, high school is survivable. I can attest to this. I was awkward at best and found myself being ridiculed on many fronts. And yes, I too did not get asked to any banquets. But, praise God, participating in church groups helped raise my confidence to do the things I enjoyed, regardless of how other people chose to define me. I joined musical theater groups, choir, community service organizations, and student government, to name a few things. Through doing these things, I started developing a group of friends and associates who shared my interests. It enabled me to talk to a variety of different individuals, regardless of whether they were freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors. And this, in turn, enabled me to further expand upon these strengths and interests in college and beyond. Be encouraged! “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). I’m praying for you!

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