Nervous about starting Uni? Room-mate doing your nut in? Enter Agony Al, FirstPoint’s resident agony aunt!
Whether it’s a problem with academics, athletics or general life, Agony Al is here for you in your hour of need. Armed with many (34) years of life experience, you can trust Al to solve any issue you’re having!
Submit your question on twitter to @AgonyAl , and as well as instantly feeling the weight being lifted with Al’s knowledgeable advice, your question may also be featured in our weekly ‘Ask Agony Al’ feature!
Agony Al’s First Q&A
Each week we will be featuring the best question put to FirstPoint’s resident agony aunt, Agony Al. In Al’s first week on the job, he received the question below from Mick, who is heading out to the states soon, and seemed to have a lot on his mind!
I need your advice, I am heading out to the states this year and I am really nervous about my new roommate. I have been chatting with him on Facebook and I think he may be a bit of a lad. His name is Chad, he is captain of the wrestling team. All his pictures are of him and his two friends Tyler and Zack skateboarding around campus. I am afraid we won’t get along and I won’t be happy if him and his degenerate mates are grappling with each other and blaring out Limp Bizkit until the early hours of the morning, what should I do?
Have you ever heard the term “never judge a book by it’s cover”…well never judge a person by their Facebook pics!
Chad will be equally nervous about meeting and living with you. I doubt they will be blasting out music at all hours of the morning as like you, they’ll have classes to attend, studying to do as well as wrestling training/competitions!
It’s great that you are already talking to each other on Facebook and Chad and his friends sound much better than a boring quiet person…who you’ll certainly not get on with!
In a few years time you’ll look back on this and laugh after meeting life long friends.
Agony Al has been inundated with questions this week so we’ve decided to feature him twice! The question below is from Connie, and addresses the important subject of pre-season training:
“I’m hoping to go out to university in the US next year but I’m also hoping to do Camp America in the summer holidays. I have to apply to Camp America by December but I don’t know how timings would work. I know a lot of American colleges expect students to be out there in August and some American camps don’t end until late August. Should I apply for Camp America soon or wait until the summer after?”
If you are an athlete you’ll be expected to start pre-season start of August. Pre-season in any sport is a very important part of your schedule and it’s vital for your team preparation and overall fitness. It’s also a good opportunity to get to know your team mates. In short, pre-season should be your priority.
I suggest getting in touch with camp America and ask if you can leave around the end of July, in time for your pre-season training. If not then Camp America isn’t for you I’m afraid!
This week, Agony Al received several emails regarding homesickness, from clients who have just moved out to start their scholarship in the U.S. Homesickness affects nearly everyone from time to time, so you shouldn’t feel like your alone if you are missing home!
I have just moved to Utah to start pre-season on my soccer scholarship and have been here for 2 weeks but I’m starting to get really homesick and miss all my friends and family and even daft stuff like food. I know that I’ve done really well to get my scholarship and I would be really letting everyone down if I went home but I don’t know what to do. Please help!
You’re right, being on scholarship in the states is an opportunity of a lifetime, but even students who move 50 miles from home will still get homesick from time to time. You’ll probably think that life back home is changing rapidly without you but once you go home for the holidays, you’ll soon realise that barely anything will have changed, and you’ll probably look forward to going back out to Utah! We even wrote a blog post about homesickness, so take a look and you might find something that will work for you. Things like Skype and social networking can keep you connected with people back home more than ever before, and your roommate and team mates will quickly become a second family!
Agony Al’s back! This week addressing the Van Wilder-esque issue of avoiding graduation…
“Dear Al, I have had an unbelievable time as a college student-athlete and I’m now 18 credits away from graduation. You’d think that I would be delighted about this, but I’m not. I have a great life here and I don’t want it to change. I have great friends, compete for a great university, enjoy being a minor celebrity on campus, and the girls are terrific. I’m seriously thinking about failing-out from my next semester classes just so that I can stay-on for another year. My friends think I’m crazy, but what do you think I should do?” TJ, 22 years, New York
It’s all got to come to an end at some point. Nobody likes a hanger on! All your classmates will be graduating this year as well as the fellow seniors in your team. So next year wont be the same. If you really want to stay on at College then do a masters or get a job there…however you should definitely not fail out! Think about the new memories you’ll be creating when you leave college…only this time you’ll have some cash on the hip. $$$
This week, Agony Al sheds some light on golf-scholar, Chris’s, predicament…
Hi Agony Al, I really need some of your advice. I left Australia last month to take-up a golf scholarship at a university in Texas; it has been simply amazing so far. The only problem I’m having is with the American girls – they’re insane! I met this chick in my English class and we decided to go for a few beers with friends after my afternoon practice. The next day she changes her Facebook status to being in a ‘relationship’ and tags ME as her boyfriend. WTF is that all about?! She is a lovely girl and I like her a lot, but I’m not into this relationship chat one bit. How do I let her down gently without burning bridges altogether? Cheers bro.
Chris, 18 years, Austin
Wow! Seems like you’ve got a real live one on your hands there Chris! Honesty is the best policy. Just say to her, you see her as a friend and nothing more. If she’s as nice as you think she is then she’ll respect your wishes…however if that fails then your next step is deleting her as a friend off Facebook. Maybe even block her! She’ll soon get the message. She may seem like a lovely girl now but this will soon snowball and before you know it you’re fishing your pet rabbit out the boiling pot. Consider hitting on a couple of her close friends as good measure.
Play on Playa!
Dear Agony Al, I arrived on campus 6 weeks ago, made some great new friends, but have spent the majority of my time with them partying like a man possessed. It’s great fun, but how can I get the balance between the books and beer right over the next 4 years? Cheers fella. Mark, 19 years, Wisconsin
Work hard play hard is Agony Al’s motto. First set yourself targets with study. If you don’t meet those targets then you don’t reward yourself with party session. If you are anything like Agony Al you’ll soon be meeting these targets and then some! …Oh and don’t be giving yourself easy reachable targets. The beer will taste a lot better when you’ve worked hard for it!
Is something troubling you that only Agony Al’s advice can solve? Get in touch on Twitter through @AgonyAl or comment anonymously on this blog post with your queries and Al will be sure to respond. And who knows, your question could be featured next week on our blog!