Dear Tori,


I really like this girl, but am not sure how to talk to her. What would I say? What if I hurt her? What if I get rejected? I worry that I will say the wrong things, as I have never done something like this before.


Please help,

The Rusty Romantic

Dear Rusty Romantic,


Asking someone out takes guts, and simply thinking about a relationship in depth like you have, goes to show that you really like this girl, and that you won’t intentionally do something to hurt her. People get rejected all the time, so don’t worry or be upset that she does not want to be with you at this time. Maybe she is not ready for a relationship, or she just got out of one and wants to be by herself for a bit. What you say is important, but it should not sound scripted. Speak from the heart, and let her talk too. Don’t push all the good things about you in her face, but also be vulnerable and show that you trust her.


If you need ideas about how and when to ask your crush, the following are some of my suggestions:


#1: Get the help of your mutual friends – Get one of your friends who is also friends with your crush to introduce you to them. Try and become friends with this person before you jump into asking them for a relationship. The better your friendship is, the more likely this person will want to date you later. Spark interesting conversations, do nice things for them just because, and be an all-rounded kind and respectful person. Developing a proper, solid relationship with someone takes time, and if you’re not in for it now, you definitely aren’t in it for the long run.


#2: Send them a Winter Holiday Gram – Winter is coming and that means winter holiday grams. Send one anonymously or with your name and a cute message. This will help your crush recognise you, and will let them know that you are interested. Sending an anonymous gram will tell them someone likes them, but won’t tell them who. They may not take it seriously, and then your efforts will go to waste. Instead, writing your name will tell them who you are, that you are interested in a relationship, and that you have boldness in you. That may be a quality they want in a person.


#3: Ask them out to Semi – Semi-Formal is one of the biggest events of the year, and asking your crush out is not for the weak-hearted, as this is a very bold move to make. If you decide to take this route, be open to a rejection. You should also be extremely sure that you want a relationship with this person before you ask them out. Asking someone out requires courage, so be sure to practice with a friend prior to asking the crush.


Tori Tip: Remember not to push a relationship on someone, and instead opt for a friendship and see where that takes you.


Use these tricks to help you nurture a solid relationship with the girl you have a crush on. Make sure to be respectful, patient, and kind, and give some space to her so she can have some time to think about being with you.


Stay in touch and good luck,



Dear Tori,


In middle school, I was always one of the top students in my class always receiving grades easily above 90%. And then high school came. I started IB and it is not going well. No matter how hard I study, I am unable to bring up my grades. I blank out during tests and have serious text anxiety. I do tutoring, get extra help, and study really hard. Yet, results aren’t coming and I feel hopeless. What do I do?


Please help,

The Hopeless Hollow Heart

Dear Hopeless Hollow Heart,


School is not easy, and we all panic when we know we did everything right, studied super hard, and got all the help we needed, but the test comes back and it’s not a good sight. Many of us also experience panic attacks during tests, and we feel like we just can’t do anything anymore. Trust me; I have experienced that as well. There are many things you can do to help avoid this hopeless feeling, but I will outline and explain the 3 I think are the best for you.  

#1: Look into stress management and find ways to prevent panic attacks. Panic attacks are not fully curable, but it is important to look into what causes these attacks. Do you not prepare early enough for tests? Did you miss studying that one unit in the chapter? Is the formatting and wording of the test difficult to understand? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself. Then, once you have identified the problems, try and look for solutions. Some solutions include making an overview of your week and everything you have to get done, planning and setting aside study time each day so that you can review the material taught that day, and speaking to your teacher about the formatting and wording of tests. You should also look into easy and quick breathing and calming techniques to use during tests.  

#2: Don’t doubt yourself when writing a test. You studied very hard last night and you made sure to get help, so stop questioning yourself. It is highly likely that the first answer you put down was the right one. The more you check over something, the more you will think it is wrong. This will lead you to question yourself and your studying. I am not saying you should not check over your work at all, but rather check it over once or twice at the most. Some techniques you can use include creating practice tests, timing yourself answering questions, and pretending you have to teach this material to someone else. It has been proven that if you can teach someone else the material you are studying, you will be more likely to remember it. If you have a sibling who has some time, actually sit down with them and teach them the material.


#3: Look into your own habits. Are you a procrastinator? Do you get distracted easily? Is your study space messy and full of loud noises? These may be some of the reasons why the results you want are not the results you get. Be proactive, and plan your work in order of importance, size, and due date. Turn your phone to do not disturb or turn it off completely. Clean out your desk space, remove any toys or objects that are distracting, and turn off all music. Don’t try to multitask. Doing 2 things at the same time is confusing for your brain, and the information won’t register. Take breaks every hour, but don’t let these breaks turn into 5 hour rest periods. Finally, don’t be afraid to judge yourself. You are the best person to criticize your own habits, so don’t lie to yourself.


Use these tips to help you find an end to feeling hopeless and to help stop having panic attacks. If your overall mental health is being affected however, I would recommend talking to your parents, speaking to a guidance counselor, or visiting a doctor.


Best of luck,