New Year Agony Aunt in Lifestyle

As happy as you might be to leave 2016 behind, it might also have been a great year for you. Next year could mean leaving school, moving away from home, making new friends or simply the struggle of trying to stick to your ambitious resolution of not eating any chocolate!

"I really want to lose weight this year. I’ve put on loads during Christmas!"

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This is a very common resolution, especially as many of us don’t feel that Christmas dinner bloat going away any time until after New Year! It’s great that you want to keep healthy, but don’t feel as though you need to lose weight. You’ve enjoyed yourself over the holidays and shouldn’t feel the pressure of becoming stick thin for February. If you really feel that you’ve over-indulged, eating three healthy and nutritious meals a day and doing some simple exercise like walking to school instead of hopping on a bus, can make a big difference! What’s more is that nowadays more and more celebrities are promoting healthy body images, such as Jennifer Lawrence and Demi Lovato.

"I’ve just turned sixteen and I want to leave school, but what next?"

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Sometimes, leaving school can be just as stressful as sticking it out until the end of 6th year! The great thing about being 16 is that you have plenty of options if you choose to leave school. Going into further education, where you can study what you want to do at college could be ideal, whereas a Modern Apprenticeship could be for you if you want to both learn and get a lot of on-the-job experience.

If you’re really serious about leaving school, talking it through with your parents, a guidance teacher or a careers advisor is the best place to start, plus you can check out our friends at My World of Work who have lots of information and advice!

"My friends have been ignoring me during the holidays and now I’m worried about going back to school. What do I do?"

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There are two options here. Either your friends are treating you badly and you don’t deserve it, or something more could be going on. The Christmas holidays can be a very family-orientated and busy time and so your friends may simply not have had the time to come over and visit or call you. On the other hand, if they are purposefully ignoring you, then they don’t seem to be very good friends! Know your limits.

"All of my friends have boyfriends or girlfriends and I’ve never had one, is there something wrong with me?"

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First of all, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you! Some people get their first serious girlfriend or boyfriend during high school, but just because they have, doesn’t mean you should feel the pressure to get one! It could be that your friends are hanging out with them more lately or that their PDA puts you off your lunch but try to be happy for your friends! When it comes to your relationships, just know that you don’t have to change the way you look or the way you act for anyone, be yourself and your time will come!

"I’m so rubbish at saving money and I’m so skint after Christmas!"

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Everyone feels the pinch once Christmas and New Year are over, so you’re not alone. If you’re still at school and don’t earn any money in a job, you might rely on pocket money and that can be a nightmare to try and save! The key is to try and put away whatever you can. If you’re saving for something in particular – start early. By putting away a small amount every so often, the money will quickly add up!

"I really want to make an effort to learn something new, so where can I start?"

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Whether it’s picking up an instrument for the first time or starting to play a sport, the prospect of learning something brand new can be both exciting and intimidating but it could also be a real asset! Pick something you think you’ll enjoy and won’t give up on by the day’s end and then just start doing it! It doesn’t have to cost a lot either, a lot of schools will offer support to learn an instrument and you could check out some local sports clubs to start off there!