Dear Toni Recently I've felt like my head is going to explode. I'm in Form Three, and I have come to realise my academic results just aren't good enough. I try my hardest, and study for hours, but I still get low marks. I used to do really well when I was younger, and even in the first term of the year. I often think about enrolling in tutorial classes, but most of those teachers only care about the money. Help! Under-achiever Dear Panicked First of all take a deep breath and relax. It's going to be OK. I'm sure you're not as far behind as you think. It's normal, as you get older, for the level of difficulty to increase - you need to be challenged more, and discover your strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes it feels like you're not improving, but keep working and focusing, and you can get to the next level. Working long hours isn't necessarily the solution. If you go to bed late, you'll be tired and won't be able to focus when you're taught something new. You'll also get more stressed, which will make matters worse. It sounds like you need a new approach to studying. Some experts say you can't focus for more than 20 minutes at a time. Try writing a study schedule that incorporates 20-minute chunks of work with a five-minute break in between. Find other study methods, too - maybe you're more visual, so a mind map will help, or maybe if you work best when you hear things, read your textbooks out loud. As for tutorial classes, they're not all a rip-off. Find one that a friend is happy with, and ask them about their policies. Another option is to study with a classmate who understands the bits you don't, and vice-versa. You could also ask an older sibling if they can explain things to you. The most important thing is not to worry. Worrying never solves anything. Good luck! Dear Josh I've turned into a YouTube addict. I come home from school, log on to the computer, and watch music videos and episodes of Disney shows, leaving me no time to finish the stacks of homework. I used to be so diligent, but now I'm devoting all my time to the computer. How can I end my addiction and get back to work? Google Eyes Dear Tuber You're not alone. Many people enjoy watching videos on YouTube, or playing computer games, or checking Facebook. These kinds of behaviour all have one thing in common - avoidance. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the thought of all that homework. So we put it aside and do something less productive instead. The first thing you need to do is to think about breaking the habit. Instead of coming home and going straight to your computer, do something - anything - different: read a newspaper article; make a snack; go for a short walk; take a shower; help with dinner ... This will train you not to expect to 'go directly to YouTube' each time you step in the door. The other thing you can do - and yes, folks might laugh - is make a schedule and a checklist. As you complete an item of homework, cross it off your list. This gives you a sense of achievement and satisfaction, and makes your goals quite clear. YouTube won't be on that list, so you can't go on it while you're crossing things off. You can also do the 'regain control' addiction beater. Promise yourself you won't go on to YouTube for 'five' minutes. Next time, make it 10 minutes, then more, until you regain control. If all else fails, grab a pair of scissors and cut the cord! You know what I mean. Cut the internet cord, or pull the battery out of your computer and give it to someone. That might sound drastic, and you'll be surprised about the anxiety it can cause, but if you can stick with it for a week or so, you could just beat this problem. Dear Toni A guy I've liked since Form Four is leaving soon. We'll keep in touch, but I don't know how I'll cope. Broken-hearted Dear Forlorn You haven't said how far this guy is moving: another school? Across town? Across the world? What do you get from him now that you won't get when he's moved? When we're faced with a crisis like this, it's best to divide the days down into small, manageable pieces. Can you cope for an hour? Sure you can. Humans are a lot tougher than they ever imagine. We can cope with all sorts of things. Of course you'll be able to keep in touch with this boy, like you said. But if you do feel yourself getting blue, tell yourself 'This will pass', and put on some upbeat music. Know that as much as something might hurt, bad-sad feelings don't last forever. You can cope. You will cope, and you will be stronger for it.