Dear Donna: First Edition!


Written by Donna Tella, Advice Columnist

Dear Donna #1: Crushes, Schoolwork, and Nutella

By Donna Tella

Dear Donna,

Help! I’m thinking about asking someone on a date but I’m not sure if they like me. I’m just an underclassman and he’s a senior and I’m afraid of getting embarrassed if he says no! I really really like him but how do I know if he feels the same way?


Rejection Protection


Dear Scared Sadie,

There’s no sure-fire way to find out whether or not someone likes you unless they tell you directly. However, if the two of you are friends and talk often, you can take a look at his body language to figure out how he feels. If he always wants to talk to you when he sees you, or if when you talk he flirts a little bit, it would be a good guess to say he would probably say yes.

However, you always have to pay attention to how he acts around other people. Some people just have flirty personalities. If that’s the case with your crush, you may not be able to tell as easily.

Try to talk to him throughout the next few weeks and casually ask about weekend plans, and if he makes it very clear that he’s always “busy” or he’s spending a lot of time with someone else, then you might be able to guess that he’s unavailable.

Whatever you do, don’t think that he can read his mind. Even if you’re dropping subtle hints, he may not be picking up on any of it. If that’s the case, he could think that you’re not interested in him at all. It’s very scary putting yourself out there with the possibility of rejection, but if you really want to pursue something with this boy, you either need to ask him out directly, or be very obvious with your flirting so that he can tell that you like him.


Donna Tella


Hi Donna

I am a junior and want to ask somebody to Prom but the person is very awkward and it is hard to read them. I can’t tell if he is interested in me and I am worried that he will say no, or he will say yes but is secretly wishing he could have said no. I don’t even know if he considers me a real friend or not. But I feel like we have a lot in common and would like to see our relationship progress. I don’t know what to do!


Prom Panicked


Dear Stumped Sophomore,

It can be tricky deciding whether to ask someone to a dance when you don’t know where they stand. Especially with people on the shyer side, it can be a little trickier to figure out what they’re really thinking. A lot of time with introverts, any social interaction outside of their comfort zone (friends, family, and people they trust) can cause them to shrink away from the conversation. This does not necessarily mean that they don’t want to talk to you – often, it is simply that they don’t know what to say and so they say nothing. Not everybody is great at keeping up conversations.

If you really want to find out where his head’s at, keep striking up conversations with him during class and say hi when you see him in the hall. Odds are that he will appreciate being noticed and talked to, and once you get him more comfortable talking to you, you can get a better read on whether the awkwardness is a result of his feelings towards you. Since you have a lot in common, try to ask him some questions about your shared interests and get chatting.

You have plenty of time before Prom, so take this opportunity to sort of prime him for your promposal. Talk to him as often as you can, bring up the topic of Prom, or dances in general, and start hinting that you would like to go with him. If you get to a point where he seems receptive, then you should seize on the opportunity to ask him – even if only as friends. No matter how you define the date, it’s another opportunity to spend time with somebody you obviously are interested in and care about.

Asking people out is scary for everyone, but also remember that you don’t have to ask him to Prom to progress your relationship. If you want to start small, you could get a group of friends together to hang out one weekend and invite him along as a part of that group. That way, you can still spend time with him without putting pressure on him to accept or reject your romantic gestures right now.

Best of luck!


Donna Tella


Hi Donna,
I’m a freshman and I’ve been stressing out this whole year. The adjustment to these classes, especially my APHuG and Honors English has really been hard. I have more homework than I’ve ever had in my whole life! How can I manage the next three years? Is every year going to be like this year? I don’t know if I can handle that!

Stressin’ Freshman


Dear Stressin Freshman,

Take a deep breath and look at all the work you’ve already done this year. With a whole semester under your belt, you’ve already tackled the hardest part: the adjustment period.

Especially for students taking honors classes as Freshmen, the adjustment from your middle school workload and high school expectations can be a brutal awakening. Teachers often grade harder, there is more homework, and there are more responsibilities. Going from a school environment where you likely didn’t have to work as hard because you were one of the smartest people in your class to a workload where you feel like you have to do more for everything can be difficult, but it is possible.

After a while, if you choose to pursue the AP courses PGHS has to offer, the advanced curriculum and increased workload will become the normal and it won’t be as difficult to grasp. Sure, it will be a lot of work, but you’ll know what to expect going into it in the future. I’m sure you’ve already adjusted at least a little bit already.

Truthfully, from my experience, Freshman and Junior year can be some of the most difficult years of high school. Freshman year is hard because of the adjustment to a new school and a new curriculum. Junior year feels overwhelming because you now have more things on your mind concerning the future – taking the SAT or ACT, keeping your grades up for your transcript – and other pressures that come with being a Junior – more difficult classes, playing varsity sports, learning how to drive.

You will get the hang of high school and you will get through it. Just remember that it’s okay to take breaks and make time for your friends. School work can seem daunting, and it’s important to get it done, but that’s not all that there is to life. If you can find a way to manage your workload and balance it with fun activities, like extracurriculars you enjoy or hanging out with your friends, you will be in good shape.


Donna Tella


Hello Miss Tella,

I was wondering if you had any relations to Nu Tella? I enjoy the spread very much, it’s like chocolate but it’s actually hazelnuts. Isn’t that wild?


Nutty for Nutella


Dear Nutty for Nutella,

Unfortunately, I do not have the honor of being related to delicious Nutella. I did know, however, that Nutella is made out of hazelnuts, and actually uses about 25% of the world’s hazelnut supply in order to keep producing the spread. Did you know that the amount of Nutella produced every year would weigh the same as the Empire State Building?

Enjoy your Nutella!


Donna Tella