I’m having an intense amount of trouble finding my place inside my middle school. I mean everyone has their place. You have the typical cliques: the goths, the artists, the gamers, the girly girls, and others. I can’t seem to fit in in any other crowd since I’m a combination of all the cliques. I mean I have friends but they only stick to a certain crowd.
Please Help-
Lonely and Out of a Clique

Lonely and Out of a Clique,
This is a pretty common issue, so don’t think you’re alone. Next, keep in mind that cliques are a mental illusion, the illusion of popularity. In reality, many people just join cliques of popular types to feel more complete and powerful. This is a natural human desire but keep in mind this isn’t the High-School Musical version of cliques, so it’s not that intense in real life. As for finding your place, I’d say talk to your close friends and the people you trust with your darkest secrets, they might enjoy more than they let on initially. Even if they don’t, I have plenty of friends who hate or at least resent writing [a crime I know] and yet we get along as if we understood everything about each other. So in the end [as cheesy as it is] believe in yourself and be yourself, I think you’ll be surprised with the amount of people who love you for it.

Dear GiGi,
I ride horses, and haven’t been riding for very long. A few weeks ago, I was riding, and the horse I was riding totally freaked out and I ended up falling right off. I wasn’t hurt, and I got back on the horse a few minutes later, but lately, whenever I ride, I freak out. I’m not afraid of the actual horse or of riding itself; I’m just afraid the horse will spook and I’ll fall off again. How do I conquer my fear?
Fear of Falling

Dear Fear of Falling,
Wow, way to go for getting back on the horse after that! I can imagine that falling off was pretty scary.
It’s completely understandable that you would be nervous around horses after you fell off. What you’re feeling is very similar to what a lot of people feel after a car accident; most people who are involved in an accident feel some anxiety driving later.
So how do you conquer your fear? You’ve already taken the first step; you are continuing to ride if you can. The next thing you should do is talk to your instructor, and let them know what’s going on. Once they know that you’re not as comfortable around horses as you used to be, they might have suggestions on how you can get over your fear.
Next, look back on the situation and think about what happened. Was the horse a normally calm horse that just freaked out over a plastic bag? Does the horse have a bit of a reputation for being spooky? You may have been particularly tense that day, or the horse may have responded negatively to a cue that you gave it. Either way, look back at the situation and see if there’s something you can change.
Also, see if you can be assigned a different horse to ride for a while. It can be very hard to ride the horse that you fell off of and feel confident, so see if you can switch horses. Ride one that makes you feel comfortable and you will find your confidence being restored.
Remember, regaining your confidence requires taking baby steps. You’re not likely going to be jumping four-foot high jumps right after you fall off a horse. Take it at your speed, and you’ll be totally confident in no time.
Good luck!



Dear GiGi,

All of my friends are trying out for the school musical, but I’m a terrible actor, and an even worse singer! I really want to do this with them, but I don’t think I could bring myself to go up on stage. What should I do?

Stage Fright

Dear Stage Fright,

Have you ever thought of helping out behind the scenes? Many directors need a stage manager to assist them with everything happening behind the curtain. Also, most musicals and plays need a tech crew, who work on lights and sound, and a costume and makeup department. These are all great for getting a feel for the acting life, without having to ever go on stage. Talk to the director or drama teacher and see what’s available.
All that aside, are you really sure that you’re such a terrible actor? You could always go ahead and try out, just to see what happens. Maybe there’s a star hiding in you that you never knew about!

With love,

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