By: Jasper Solt

Have a Problem? Email your friendly school advice column-er at, for some friendly and helpful advice!


Dear Jasper,

Help! I failed a chemistry test! My parents are going to kill me if they find out I got an 80%! What should I do?


Failing on Fairmount


Dear Failing,


Welp, you’ve done screwed up. I’ve never heard of anyone who got a B on a test and lived to tell the tale. Oh, sure, you feel fine now, but this single test will likely ruin your entire future. Harvard was willing to accept you before, but now that you’ve got a slightly below average grade on one test you can kiss your Ivy League dreams goodbye. And don’t even think about applying to Stanford. It’s likely, at this point, that the only possible future you have now is that of a homeless drifter. Get used to sleeping in the gutters. At least Shaker gutters are nicer than other cities’ gutters—take pride in the fact that you’ll be the classier type of hobo. Your parents will be incredibly reasonable and justified in their rage over your not-above-average-enough grade, and they should, in my opinion, banish you from the household for your utter, permanent failure.


Dear Jasper,

My math class is so difficult! We have over two hours of homework a night, and with all my other homework I’m struggling to keep up! Any advice?


Busy in Beachwood


Dear Busy,


Sounds like a tricky situation! We all have those classes that challenge us more than others (cough cough Adler cough). Here’s what worked for me—Give up. Take all your dreams and toss them into a blender, along with some bananas and strawberries, then blend them up into a nice broken dream smoothie. If something is hard, just don’t do it. It’s easy! Math is hard? Don’t do it! Why work hard when Netflix and Tumblr exists?


Dear Jasper,

I’m single and ready to mingle, but I’m also straight and since most of my time is consumed by school activities I don’t get the opportunity to see a lot of guys, besides US boys (and we all know what they’re like). What should I do?


Pining in Pepper Pike


Dear Pining,


I think most people can empathize with your situation, because everyone has felt lonely at some point in their lives. I think the best thing to do in these situations is complain as loudly and often as possible about being single. That’s what I do, and though it hasn’t helped yet I’m sure it’s only just a matter of time! See, it works like this: If you complain every day about how lonely you are, and about how cute your friends’ significant others are, someone is bound to take pity on you eventually and hook up with you. This not only wins you a man but also saves you the hassle of finding and keeping a decent, considerate person, because the only people who pity hook up are likely terrible people anyways! Or, I suppose you could take the tried-and-true (though less interesting) route of going new places, meeting new people, flirting a bit, blah blah blah (my way is better).


Dear Jasper,

My friend is always complaining about how tired and busy they are, even though they only take 12 classes and get a full 4 hours of sleep! I take 13 classes and only sleep 2 hours, so why should they be complaining?!


Annoyed in Aurora


Oh, boy, it seems like you’re playing a round of my favorite game—the Misery Competition! The object? Be the person who suffers the most! The prize? Complaining rights! Everyone knows that only the most miserable people are allowed to complain. Naturally, this applies not to Syrian refugees, nor those suffering from overseas conflicts, but to private school teens in an affluent suburb. Now, here’s some tips to winning the misery game:

  • Complain often
  • Complain loudly
  • Overstate all of your conflicts and how busy you are
  • Neglect to consider others might be just as busy as you, or dealing with difficulties you may not be
  • Judge everyone seemingly less busy than you

It’s very important to win the misery game because historically, the most successful people have been those that complain the most. Now that you know the rules, get ready to play! Just remember to have fun! Or…not.

Posted by:hbinretrospect

Reporting not for school, but for life.

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