Ask Tomino: Q.04 How Can I Attend The Same School As My Friends?

Q. I can’t get enough points, so what can I do to enroll at the school all my friends want to attend?

Shizuoka Prefecture • Aya • 15

I’m a third-year middle school student who’s practicing for entrance exams, but I’m having trouble deciding which path I want to take. I haven’t decided what I want to do in the future, either. The other day we took a proficiency test, and I didn’t receive enough points to get into my first-choice, which means I have to give up on enrolling. My friend said she wanted to enroll there, so I did too, but when I went to the open house this summer, I really wanted to get in and studied like crazy. Did I not study enough? It bummed me out.

My parents told me I should lower the bar and try for the school in our area. The thing is, none of my friends want to go to that school. I’m worried about making new friends (I’m pretty bad at communication.) What should I do? I can’t find the answer all by myself! Thank you in advance, Mr. Tomino.

A. High school is training for the real world. You need to recognize that those three years are meant to train yourself, not go around making friends!

Aya, what does the ideal school mean for you? If it’s the goalless meaning of going where your friends go, then your three years are going to slip by you. In that effect, there is really no reason for you to go to high school. You need to realize what you’re lacking isn’t brains, but simple common sense. The way you wrote this postcard is proof. There was a lot erased and rewritten, and it’s very evident that you took great care while writing this. However, it’s still a rough draft. At the very least, you have to write up a new, clean, copy when sending to another person. In other words, Aya, you are the kind of person that, even when you give it your all, it’s still not enough. If you can’t give it that extra step, you won’t be able to pass as a member of society.

Please think of high school as a training period before heading out into the real world. It’s an important three years where you take a look at yourself and check what you can do one last time. It’s ok if you don’t go where your friends are going. You’re not going to school to make friends. Even if it’s lonely without friends, persevere. A local school is fine as long as you have the resolve to press ahead. By doing that, you’ll naturally get closer to people on the same level as you. That way, when you graduate high school and approach the coming-of-age ceremony, you’ll attain what other girls around you have become.

In that same vein, high school club activities are also vital. I want you to have the confidence to pick a club that compliments your abilities and stick with it for at least two years. Don’t join a club in the hope of simply making friends. Having the resolve to spend everyday training yourself is key. With three years, regardless of which high school you go to, there will be something to glean if you put your mind to it. As for fighting with your parents, if they told you that the local high school would be fine, then it’s important that you take those three years to train yourself. So, please don’t run away from home and good luck.

March 2012

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