To Complain About an Issue...

January 11, 2008
By Matt Dixon, Westlake, OH

To complain about an issue is usually something I don't do, but in this instance, i just had to express how royally aggravated I have been by a recent new column I have seen in our school's newspaper. Recently, a new advice column has appeared on the scene of our quaint school paper. I have nothing against an advice column, in fact, I think it is a great idea! What I don’t approve of is having an underclassman write said column. How can someone so young have the experience to help others with their problems? Why would this column even be created for a high school news paper? High School teens are very emotionally unstable as it is, so what would happen if this inexperienced girl were to give a bit of bad advice?

The thing is, no high school student who has the life experience of the tact to write an advice column. The thought of it is absurd. In high school, a person is just starting to accumulate the experiences that will help themselves in most matters of their life. For example, how can someone advise about relationships of love or sex or intimacy when the person giving the advice has only little to no experience themselves. How could they give advice on resolving conflicts when they have probably resorted to using violence or hurtful methods themselves. This kind of inexperienced advice could actually hurt people if the situation was serious enough. A written statement can be misinterpreted, especially coming from someone with limited self experience in both advice giving and writing.

This leads to another question/ complaint. Why would someone put an advice column in a high school newspaper.? No one can truly know about high school life but a high school student, this I don’t dispute. But at the same time, no high school student could ever be able to give the best advice to deal with high school situations because they are still dealing with them themselves. This poses a major problem that can only be resolved my the removal of the column.

In reality, I don’t want this to happen. I think our high school paper should have an advice column. But instead of giving specific advice, the column should be written about a broad topic, instead of specific peoples problems. For example, writing a column about dating advice instead of giving dating advice about specific situations where not all the information could ever possibly be known. This would be much easier, more biased, and would prevent most students from getting the wrong messages from the column. To conclude, I feel that if a student is to write the advice column for my school paper, then they should use broad topics and well meant messages so that they don’t give the wrong advice and potentially make a situation worse.

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