Sisterly Advice: Giant Issue and Farewell to Sharon, Karen and Carol


Sharon, Karen , and Carol

Hi everyone! It’s Sharon, Karen, and Carol here! We’ve had an absolute blast answering your questions these last three years! We went back though our archives to find any question we haven’t published yet. Since we are graduating, we wanted to make this a super special last issue, so we’re jam packing it with 37 questions. Without further ado, here are our answers to your most pressing questions (and make sure to read to the end to meet the real Sharon, Karen, and Carol.)


Sometimes I spiral because I think about how life could be a simulation and one day I could just wake up and all of this could be for nothing. Do you have any tips on how to stop spiraling — or on how I could get out of the simulation? 

— Triggered Tricia  

Sharon: Triggered Tricia — Keep this a secret. To exit the simulation: Ctrl, Atl, F5, Shift, Esc.  

Karen: Dear Triggered Tricia, I would suggest turning to your faith if you’re religious or just simply meditate. Try to live in the moment and remember that you have been given the amazing gift of life, and bask in all the glory. Maybe sit outside, appreciate the beauty of nature and the world around you. Remember, worrying accomplishes nothing! 

Carol: Dear Triggered Tricia, Try to focus on taking deep breaths. Focus on your physical surroundings. Maybe try to watch a movie or read a book to get your mind off of it. 


How to not want to scream when [people] in my class are talking? How do I keep it together? 

— Annoyed Ashley 

Sharon: Annoyed Ashley — Duct tape. Not for you. For them. 

Karen: Dear Annoyed Ashley, maybe try to make a comment like “Hey guys, can you keep it down?” or Some of us are trying to learn in this class.” If you’re not comfortable doing that, bring up your concerns with the teacher of the class. In the moment when you are frustrated, take a few deep breaths. Maybe ask to go get a drink of water, or take a long, slow stroll to the cafeteria so you can take a break from the class.   

Carol: Dear Annoyed Ashley, You could try talking to your classmates or you could discuss privately with the teacher after class. Try to focus on your schoolwork or the teacher when things start to get out of control. If anything, you will become a more patient person after this, which is a very good life skill! 


I’m having trouble keeping up with everyone around me. I feel like while I’m in class all of my peers are understanding while I am still confused about the subject. I’m scared I will never understand and won’t be with my friends. 

— Sad Sophie 

Sharon: Dear Sad Sophie, This is the last time I’m going to say it. Drop out. 

Karen: Dear Sad Sophie, I’ve found that looking up YouTube videos on the topic I’m confused about, whether it’s in calculus, biology, or any other class, really helps. My personal favorite is Bozeman Science, for biology. I watch the videos on 2x speed with subtitles so I go through them lightning fastIf that doesn’t help, ask your teacher for a one-on-one meeting before/after school or during lunch to go over the topic with you.  

Carol: Dear Sad Sophie, I would recommend watching some Khan Academy videos or other online study tools to review what you’re learning in class. You could also consider getting a tutor or forming a study group with your friends. There is also no shame in phasing down if another class would be a better fit for you! It might be harder not being in class with your friends, but I guarantee your friends will still want to hang out with you, even if you don’t share this class anymore. 


How do I find a prom date?

— Curious Caren 

Sharon: Caren — HAH. I’m not the person to ask.

Karen: Hi Curious Caren, like Sharon said, I have extremely limited experience with this as well. Sorry! 

Carol:Dear Curious Caren, Hopefully since prom is most likely cancelled this year, this won’t be a problem anymore. Regardless, you don’t need to bring a date to have fun! No one really notices if you have a date anyway.


How do I make friends?

— Crazycat101 

Sharon: Crazycat101 — Offer them snacks. Food is the way into anyone’s heart and a great conversation starter. 

Karen: Dear Crazycat101 — I like that name! For me, I made a lot of friends in my classes. Ask a nice girl in your class to work on homework together or study together before a test. Maybe you can commiserate over the workload together, I don’t know. The class you have together is common ground for you two, and you will inevitably find more in common with each other the more conversations you have, leading to friendship! 

Carol:Dear Crazycat101, Talk to people in your classes. Join a club or a sports team. Get involved in a service activity. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation about a common interest. Generally being nice and helpful to other people is a great way to make friends!  


WHAT IS GYM MEET???????? What are traditions associated with this tradition? I’m so confused. 


Sharon: Noyas — It’s a cult ritual. You’ll need to access the cult archives (found in the library) for further research into the topic. We have all sorts of records including videos, photos in yearbooks, plaques (those are actually in the gym). 

Karen: Dear NOYAS, Gym Meet is something only an NDP student can fully comprehend, so it is essentially a cult ritual as Sharon previously mentioned. It’s a competition comprised of March, Song, Dance, Aerobics, and poster, and each class competes against one another, wearing tunics and keds. It takes months of preparation and hard work, but the nights of Gym Meet are some of the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences ever. At the end, the class that wins receives the coveted Silver Cup!  

Carol: Dear NOYAS, I’ve found that the best way to figure out what is Gym Meet is to experience it. As for the traditions, there is Mini Meet, where the grades all wear their class colors, Senior school decorating, gym decorating, poster reveal, pre-parties, and after parties. It’s common to be confused, but after a year or two, you’ll understand. It’s part of the process here 🙂 


What are the differences between phases? 

— Excellent Emma 

Sharon: Excellent Emma — Usually the temperature in the room goes up a few degrees for each phase. Creates a different learning environment.

Karen: Dear Excellent Emma, Honestly, I couldn’t tell you exactly, but it has to do with the pace that teachers teach, and the amount of information they teach. 

Carol: Dear Excellent Emma, The biggest difference is usually the workload and the pace of the class. Phase 5s tend to be faster paced with more independent work. They are usually equivalent to an AP level course, while Phase 4s are honors and Phase 2 and 3 are regular. Each subject’s classes will vary though, so it might help to talk to a teacher in specific classes about the difference in phases.  


I’m really good friends with two girls in my grade. I only have one class with them, but they have a ton of them together. Sometimes when I ask them to hang out, they tell me they already have plans with one another. They talk about their classes and sometimes they just ignore me. I want to keep being friends with them. I met them freshman year. But sometimes I wish that they wouldn’t treat me the way that they do. I don’t want them to ignore me. What should I do? Do I confront them? 

— Third Wheel Thelma  

Sharon: Third Wheel Thelma — Go see Ms. Casey. Ask to transfer into their class. Worm your way into their plans. 

Karen: Dear Third Wheel Thelma, I’m sorry you’re going through this, and I know it’s hard from my own experiences. I would start by trying to make friends with other people than those two girls, or by focusing on building up friendships you already have but maybe aren’t as strong. Become friends with a variety of people, and don’t rely on those two girls for social activities. You can still be friends with them, but widen your social circle, so if you’re feeling ignored by them, you can go hang out with your other friends. Hope this helps! 

Carol: Dear Third Wheel Thelma, I’m sorry this is happening! When they tell you they already have plans, ask them if you could be included. If they say no, ask them why. It might be time to have an honest conversation about how you’re feeling. You could also branch out and make a few new friends. You don’t have to stop being friends with them, but if they don’t value your friendship, you deserve people who care about you. 


What is the last Spanish class that a student can take at NDP? 

— Cool Cate 

Sharon: Cool Cate — Je ne peux pas aider. Je prends des cours de français. 

Karen: Dear Cool Cate, I take French, but if it’s anything like Spanish, I think the last class you can take involves watching a lot of movies en espagnol 

Carol: Dear Cool Cate, I didn’t take Spanish at NDP, but I think there are a few classes that you can take your last year: AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Spanish Literature and Culture, Spanish V Exploring Spanish Culture Through Film, and Spanish VI: 20th Century Iberoamerican Literature. 


How does one get a boyfriend? 

— Single Sandra 

Sharon: Single Sandra — I’ve been trying to figure that one out for a VERY long time. However, I know that Hall Night Long is not the answer, hun. 

Karen: Single Sandra, I second what Sharon says. Again, I have very minimal experience in this field, so I’m afraid I can’t give any solid advice on this.  

Carol: Dear Single Sandra, Don’t worry about it too much. If it’s meant to happen, it will, but don’t spend too much time stressing about it. 


When can you start to take AP classes? 

— Happy Helen 

Sharon: Happy Helen — Whenever you’re ready to destroy your mental stability and free time. 

Karen: Happy Helen, I think you can start taking them Sophomore year for your elective, with classes like AP Human Geography and AP Art History, and some other classes like those ones. However, I would suggest not to pile on AP classes as soon as you can take them, because they’re pretty rigorous. If you’re a rising Sophomore, I would only take an AP class in a subject you’re really interested in.  

Carol: Dear Happy Helen, At NDP, I believe you can take one AP class as your elective Sophomore Year. Junior and Senior year, you have more options to take APs for your core classes. 


What clubs are the most fun at NDP? 

— Sassy Sally 

Sharon: Sassy Sally — I’ve heard good things about The Gateway: NDP’s Virtual Newspaper. 

Karen: Dear Sassy Sally, Besides the Gateway (I think I’d get fired if I didn’t say that), It’s Academic is an awesome club for trivia-lovers, along with Astronomy club for space-lovers and the Ukaladies for music-lovers!! NDP has so many awesome clubs, join the ones that pique your interests and you’ll find on you really like! 

Carol: Dear Sassy Sally, Definitely join the Gateway! I’d also recommend Italian Club, Chinese Club, Mock Trial, and the Random Acts of Kindness Club from my personal experience. You really can’t go wrong with clubs at NDP! There are so many great options, so try out any that interest you! 


Do you get to choose from more electives each year? 

— Brave Belle 

Sharon: Brave Belle — Short answer… Yee. Long answer… Yeeeeeeee. 

Karen: Dear Brave Belle — Yes. For Sophomore year, you can choose more academic electives like AP Human Geography or AP Art History, along with the art/music electives you could take Freshman yearAdditionally, for Junior and Senior year, I believe, you can choose from a variety of Science, Math, Language, Social Studies, and English courses along with art/music courses as your elective, and Senior year you get two electives! 

Carol: Dear Brave Belle, Yes! Sophomore year, you have similar choices as Freshman year, with the addition of one or two APs. Junior Year you have a few more options, but Senior Year is really when you have the most flexibility. You can choose to drop a history, science, or language and add other classes as you please. You can even take two or three sciences or social studies if that interests you!  


I need help coping with depression and really bad/hard days at school. 

— Melancholy Melissa 

Sharon: Melancholy Melissa — We have awesome counseling staff you can talk to in order to take the first steps in addressing it! 🙂 

Karen: Dear Melancholy Melissa, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Firstly, I would tell a parent or trusted adult (like our guidance counselors at school) what you’re going through, and they will be able to get you help if you need it. Secondly, I would try to set aside time for yourself every day when you arrive home from school. Maybe it’s taking your dog for a walk if you have one, reading a book outside, painting, or playing an instrument. Give yourself something to look forward everyday, even if it’s something as small as going for a walk. Taking time for yourself is so incredibly important for your mental health, and it can be so hard to do that with all the pressure we face at school. However, if you make it a part of your daily routine, it should become more natural to you. Remember, this too shall pass!  

Carol: Dear Melancholy Melissa, Definitely seek help from our guidance counselors. They are here to help you! It might also help to do some breathing exercises, take a break from schoolwork, talk to your friends, watch a movie, listen to relaxing music, spend time with your family or work on a hobby. Remember that even your worst day only lasts 24 hours! And don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it! 


What is a favorite sport at NDP? 

— Funny Felicia 

Sharon: Funny Felicia — It’s more of a niche sport, but mine is hallway swimming. If you don’t know what it is, ask around. 

Karen: Dear Funny Felicia, Ultimate Frisbee, duh. I’m not even joking it’s the best sport here and it’s really fun and low pressure.  

Carol: Dear Funny Felicia, you really can’t go wrong with any of the sports at NDP. Everyone here will give you a different favorite! While I didn’t play a sport here, I loved watching swim meets! 


I play a school sport and a club sport, and I struggle to keep up with my work. What is the best way to keep up my grades when I am so busy? 

— Athletic Anne 

Sharon: Athletic Anne — I never condone cheating… *wink* 

Karen: Dear Athletic Anne, I would set a time period everyday when you get home from practice as a window to get your school work done. During this time, turn your phone off or leave it in another room. By doing this, you can crank out your homework without getting distracted. Make sure to designate this specific time for homework every dayand make it part of your daily routine. Consistency is key to juggling school and sports!  The grind never stops! 

Carol: Dear Athletic Anne, I agree with Karen! It might help to implement a routine. You don’t want to waste time when you have so little, so put your phone and the TV away and focus on your work


Is putting my phone number on a billboard a good way to get guys to notice me? A friend suggested it but I wasn’t so sure. What if only the people driving on the right side see it? I want boys driving both directions to call me.

— Frustrated Francine 

Sharon: Frustrated Francine, Most drivers will be focusing on the road, and might not notice the billboard. Maybe try standing on the side with flyers? For maximum effect, put up road blocks so they have to stop. (Not liable for things not working out.) 

Karen: I think you should just create an ad on TV. It would be way more effective and reach a wider audience 

Carol: Dear Frustrated Francine, In the long run, I think this would cause a lot of problems. You don’t want random people spamming you with texts and calls all the time. Plus, it is probably pretty expensive to buy a billboard.  


Please help. My friend is convinced that the band room is bugged and people are always listening to our conversations in there. She thinks that the speaker is covering a hidden camera and microphone and doesn’t understand that this idea is absolutely ridiculous. 

— Concerned Christina 

Sharon: Concerned Christina — No need to be concerned about your friend! She is absolutely right! Have a great day!  

Karen: Dear Concerned Christina, you’re making me  concernedI think it’s the FBI by the way. 

Carol: Dear Concerned Christina, Since it doesn’t seem like you are going to get anywhere reasoning with this friend, just tell her that the room is bugged so people can listen to the band’s beautiful music! If she still is concerned with the possibility of someone listening in it might be time to talk to Mr. D. to set her straight.  


Have you ever met Michael Bublé

— asking for a friend 

Sharon: Take a seat and grab some popcorn. It was a wild time. I was young and crazy. There he was… Close enough to touch, but yet, out of reach.

Karen: In my dreams!  

Carol: Unfortunately, I have not. 


How do I get a boyfriend/how to meet guys at mixers?

ya gurlll 

Sharon: Ditch the mixer — go to Target (or you favorite grocery store), bring binoculars, and gauge the selection. Then you see it… the perfect box of oreos! Go home and eat those instead. Food(s) before dudes 


Step 1: Go up to them (I don’t have much experience with this, but I heard it works) 

Step 2: Use words, your looks aren’t everything 

Step 3: Wow them with a special talent of your choice  

Step 4: #youdon’tneednoman #betruetoyourself #thegrindneverstops 

Carol: Go up and talk to guys. If they are at the mixer then they are there to meet girls so everyone is in the same position. Don’t be afraid to initiate. 


Whats the Catholic stance on Juuling/vaping?

– Curious Casey 

Sharon: Dear Curious Casey, I would assume it is what they call a “no no. 

Karen: Hi Casey. I would assume that Catholics are against juuling, because it can potentially do harm to your body in the long run. However, I know that not every Catholic holds this opinion, and it is an issue that is up for debate.  

Carol: Dear Curious Casey, The Catholic faith is most likely against Juuling. I would recommend researching more about this as I am not an expert. But if you want my opinion: It is not only bad for your health, but it is also illegal for everyone under 18. 


Hi, this one’s for Carol. I’ve recently come to NDP, and my cousin’s stepbrother’s friend’s roommate is from Swaziland, but their dog is from South Africa. Anyways, I have befriended my fellow students, and there is another clique, and my fellow students judge this clique. But I wanted to see what it was all about, so I joined them. They call themselves the Polypropylenes. Their leader is named Randyl*. I still talk to my other fellow students, and I befriended Iris* and Dameonica*. They wanted to know what the Polypropylenes were doing every day. They encouraged me to put foot cream in Randyl’s* face lotion. Now she’s ugly, –er. I gave her sticks of sugar, that I told her they were protein powder. But then Iris* and Dameonica* told me I was too polypropylene for them at a get-together that I avoided them at. Now everyone hates me. Also, I was hiding my math skills from the polypropylenes. I should be taking AP Calculus II, but now I’m retaking pre-algebra. I think it’s for the best. What should I do? *All names have been changed.

— Chatty Cathy

Sharon: Chatty Cathy — I lOvE mEan giRls! But yes, I too, hate the polypropylenes. (Btw, this is so creative props to you for the names)

Karen: Dear Chatty Cathy, All I can say is good luck, sis.  

Carol: Dear Chatty Cathy, I am very impressed that you took the time to write this. I suggest finishing the movie to see how it works out. 


What should I do if I see my ex at a concert and he says hi to me?

— Enthused Ellen 

Sharon: RUN

Karen: I would skrt skrt out of there real quick. 

Carol: Be respectful and say hi but there is no need for you to hang out with him for any amount of time. Don’t try to start a long conversation or feel that you need to be overly friendly. You can be cordial and still keep your space. 


How do I stop failing my concussion test?

— not concussed (I swear) 

Sharon: Not Concussed — The best way I’ve found to not fail tests is to answer the questions correctly! Hope this helps!

Karen: Dear Not Concussed, I have a feeling you are indeed concussed. Sorry! 

Carol: Dear Not Concussed, Try talking to your coach about the concussion test. Maybe you just don’t understand the questions or are confused by the test in another way. You could ask for a different test or get a doctor’s note. 


What is Saint West the patron saint of?

— brushing up on my church history 

Sharon: Fame.

Karen: Ummm I believe the Kardashian family? 

Carol: I have no words….


How many followers do I need to become insta/finsta famous?

— #plzlikeandsubscribe 

Sharon: #PlzLikeAndSubscribe, Around 2.  

Karen: A hundred mill.

Carol: Probably a hundred thousand.


How do I change the legal age to run for president?

— catch me on the 2020 ballot 

Sharon: Catch Me Time machines seem to work best for me.

Karen: Hmmm I’m not sure, but I will surely be voting for you this fall! 

Carol: It’s kind of ironic because in order to change the law regarding presidential age, you would probably have to be president. But as the law has stayed at age 35 since George Washington, I wouldn’t hold out hope for an age change. You could start your campaign now though! Doesn’t hurt to have an early start. 


I’m thinking about transferring all of my cat’s food to the dog food bowl. What’s the best method of doing this? Picking up one pellet at a time, scooping 5-10 at a time, or just dumping it upside down and dealing with the mess later? Thanks, I really need your advice.

— Kind Katie 

Sharon: Kind Katie, First, pause, and ask yourself why. You may find you no longer even need to do the task🙂 

Karen: Kind Katie, I would just go for it. See where the food takes you.   

Carol: Dear Kind Katie, I guess just dump it into the bowl.  


Have you ever seen someone perform a lobotomy?

— Wondering Wanda 

Sharon: Wondering Wanda, Funny you ask! While I was having mine done, my third eye awoke! I was able to see everything happening. Truly a fascinating experience. 10/10 would recommend.  

Karen: Dear Wondering Wanda, No I haven’t, and I sincerely hope I never do.  

Carol: Dear Wondering Wanda, lobotomies are rarely performed in this age, so I’ve never seen one and I hope I never will.  


Do you believe in aliens?

— alienlover123 

Sharon: Alienlover123, We are an inclusive community. Canadians are not hypothetical beings!

Karen: Dear alienlover123, First of all, I’m appalled that my colleague Sharon would even IMPLY that Canadians are akin to aliens. Secondly, yes I one hundred percent believe in aliens. 

Carol: Dear alienlover123, Yes, I do.  


Would teachers accept the excuse of “I ate my homework”??

-—a lil desperate and a lotta hungry 

Sharon: Maybe if you can provide evidence of the crime. 

Karen: I have a feeling they won’t…. sorry.  

Carol: Probably not. 


If you die and find out that everyone gets to choose a twelve-foot by twelve-foot square to stay in alone for eternity without being able to influence or contact the living world, what twelve-foot by twelve-foot square would you choose?

— Curious Cassie  

Sharon: Curious Cassie — I wouldn’t even need that big of a space. I’d like to turn into a nice little salamander sunbathing on a warm rock. 

Karen: Dear Curious Cassie, I would choose one in Antarctica so I could see some Emperor Penguins for eternity.  

Carol: Dear Curious Cassie, What if my 12×12 square was inside a car? Would I be able to drive in the car, because I would technically still be inside that square?


How many seconds after someone sneezes is it too late to say bless you?

— Polite But Not Weird 

Sharon: Polite but not Weird, I’d say it’s best to use caution and say bless you at any moment. Who knows? Maybe someone is about to sneeze! But if you’re specifically wondering about a sneeze that already happened, follow the ten-minute rule to avoid awkward situations. 

Karen: Dear Polite But Not Weird, Just say bless you right after someone sneezes. Problem solved.  

Carol: Dear Polite But Not Weird, I would say three seconds.


How did Troy Bolton get into UC Berkeley? Like how???

— confuzzled  

Sharon: Remember that guy in HSM 2 that came to the golf course with Sharpay’s family and talked about college? He mentioned scholarships and was probably able to get him in. 

Karen: Dear confuzzled, probably because his parents bribed the admissions office.  

Carol: Dear confuzzled, Indeed, UC Berkeley has a 17% acceptance rate and it does seem highly unlikely that Troy would have made it. But, I think we should applaud his accomplishment and remember that he was able to sing and play basketball at the same time, which takes immense talent. 


How much dirt do you need to throw in the ocean to make an island?

— anonymous

Sharon: Like six dirt (at least) 

Karen: All I can say is that it would take a heck of a lot of dirt.  

Carol: If you were to make a 100km by 100km square island and the ocean is around 100m deep, then it would take 1 trillion cubic meters of dirt. All that dirt will probably cost you around 50 trillion dollars, but you would have your own island country, so I’d say it’s worth it! 



Thank you to everyone who ever submitted a question to us! You’ve helped make our dream a reality, and we’ve enjoyed every minute! While we’ve loved being (mostly) anonymous, this is our final issue before we graduate, so we thought we’d reveal our identities.


Sharon (Lexi Docken), Karen (Colleen Rogers), and Carol (Brooke Powell)