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    Volume 9 Issue 3 | January 15, 2010|

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Write to Mita

Dear Mita,
I am a second year university student, female. I don't have many friends, no close friends actually, and I'm too shy to make any. But there are times I feel very lonely, when I have to hang out alone or eat lunch alone between classes, especially when I see my other friends hanging out, eating, even going home together. I don't know what my classmates think of me, whether I'm shy or reserved or plain snobbish, but I'm really only shy and until someone comes up to me and talks, I can't take the first step. Even if they do, it takes me some time to get comfortable and open and by that time they lose interest and are gone. I don't want to spend my whole university life all by myself. What should I do to overcome this problem?

Dear Bashful
Start with making one friend. Approach someone who seems to be as shy as you and talk to her. You are right, your class friends might think that you are snobbish and unwilling to mix with them. I know it is hard for some people to make friendships easily but if you do it once you will see it is not that hard. You will somehow have to get over your initial hesitation and make the first move. As I said, start with one person and the rest will be easy.

Dear Mita,
My 22-year-old friend, who has been in a relationship with her boyfriend for two years, is just over a month pregnant. We don't know what to do. Should she get an abortion? We worry about her health and safety. Should she tell her family and his? They might just kill them both, I don't know. My friend's boyfriend is the same age as her and hasn't even graduated from university yet, so he's hardly established enough to marry her on his own and raise a family. Neither is he rebellious enough to take responsibility against all the odds. They realise they've made a mistake, especially in the context of our society, but what can they do now?
A Friend in Need

Dear Friend,
I believe parents should know about such a serious matter. Since this is also the responsibility of the boyfriend his parents should be told and a decision may then be taken. True, they are too young to get married and have a family, but they should have been more responsible. It might just happen that they will rise to the occasion and with support from the family may want to keep the pregnancy. However, if they decide to terminate it then make sure it is safe and not result in any harm to your friend. Most importantly, the entire burden of the situation should not fall only on your friend.

Dear Mita,
I'm an 18-year-old man. I went to a Bangla-medium school and college and was a good student. Soon I will be going abroad for higher studies. I'm very anxious about this. Not only am I not all that fluent in English, but I've hardly ever been abroad except for a few days in India and Malaysia and even in the latter I felt a bit of a culture shock. I can't imagine what things will be like in the US. I don't know very many people where I'm going. I'm very afraid of not being able to settle in and focus on my studies. I'll be there for a few years, how will I survive if I hate it there?
Future Foreigner

Dear Future Foreigner,
I know of many young people from Bangla medium background who have gone abroad and done exceedingly well. Your concern is legitimate as there is an issue of culture shock, but young people such as you are extremely adaptable and can adjust to any situation quickly. I can assure you that everything will be fine, just hold on to your self-confidence and try to excel in your studies.


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