Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: Keep your feet on the ground

DON’T FEEL bad about not joining the sky diving group. It’s not for everyone.

Dear Marilyn,

I am 20 years old. I have a huge fear of heights. I can’t remember when I wasn’t afraid of heights. I get very queasy even when I look out of the window of a tall building.

My best friend’s birthday is coming up. A group of our friends want to go sky diving for her birthday. She is thrilled with the idea.

I am really struggling with this whole thing. I don’t want to be the only one not included in the event. At the same time, I am scared to try it.

When I am on the ground, and thinking about it, I can almost convince myself that I should go for it.

However, the longer I think about it, the more scared I get. My palms start to sweat, and my heart starts to beat wildly.

Do you have any ideas on how I can get over my fears? Do you think that I should go up there with my friends?

Signed, Scared of Heights

Dear Scared of Heights,

Although I would normally encourage people to stretch themselves, and do things that are outside of their comfort level, this one is just too big of a stretch. A person that is afraid of heights should not go skydiving.

No, I don’t think that you should attempt the jump. You would be miserable, and you could ruin the birthday celebration for your friend.

 I think that you should be honest with the group. Let them know that you will be glad to go out there with them, but not actually go skydiving.

 Instead, You could volunteer to take pictures of them from the ground. And then, you could ask to join them for a celebration after they return from their jump. You could all go out to eat, for example.

So, join the gang for the fun on the ground, but skip the sky diving.

Dear Marilyn,

I am a college student. I am struggling to pass my math class. I never did all that great in high school math, but now it is really difficult.

The subject matter is very hard. Also, my teacher does not speak English very clearly. It is like watching a really bad Jackie Chan movie.

So, more often than not I fall asleep in class. I don’t think I should be penalized because I can’t understand the teacher. It doesn’t seem fair.

At any rate, I am getting a “D” in the class, and if I don’t pass the final, I will fail the class.

Do you have any suggestions for me?

Signed, Stuck in Math

Dear Stuck in Math,

I sure do. Although I do sympathize with your situation in that you have difficulty understanding the teacher, you need to take responsibility and accountability for your situation. Blaming the teacher and falling asleep in class are not the way to go here.

The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you have plenty of sleep before your math class. You need to pay strict attention, and concentrate.

 The next thing that you need to do is to find a math tutor. You have to focus and put in time and energy to learn the concepts that you are struggling with.

Finally, you have to be motivated to succeed. As long as you are looking at this situation as being “stuck” you may as well give it up and plan on taking the class again next semester.

However, if you look at this as a challenge, that you are going to figure out how to meet, then you have a real shot at passing the class.

You are going to have to put in time and effort. However, you will have a real sense of accomplishment if you can pass this course this semester.

Dear Readers, please send your questions to Include “Dear Marilyn” on the subject line.





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