The Yeti x Urban’s counselors collab on community concerns

The Yeti

With help from the Urban school counselors, Amina Samake and Joey Mintz, the Yeti has responded to questions from the Urban community that were submitted through an anonymous form.

What is the meaning of life?
-S
Dear S,pee
Wow! This is definitely a big question to ask, although I totally get where you’re coming from. It can feel really hard to be at a rigorous school like Urban, where you are kept constantly busy. From schoolwork to extracurriculars to weekend commitments, it can be easy to lose sight of the ‘why.’ However, I would like to assure you that just by asking this question, you are already far into the process of finding your why. There is no singular meaning of life that holds true for every human. Rather, I would encourage you to listen to yourself. What activities bring you joy? Which people do you feel comfortable surrounding yourself with? I’m afraid finding meaning often comes from asking yourself more questions, instead of finding easy answers to a question this complex. I know life can feel overwhelming at times, but just keep doing you and as long as you are happy and healthy, you will find meaning.
-The Yeti

Thoughts from Amina and Joey:
I think question-asking is a sign of well-being considering what we all just went through. We survived/ are surviving a pandemic that has forced us all to look at life differently. Questions like this are going to come up and that’s ok. – Amina

“Sometimes it’s less about the big question, and more about focusing on the present moment of life, and being ok with that.” -Joey

I feel like my friends keep pressuring me to drink and vape and honestly I don’t know what to do! It’s getting really annoying at this point but they keep getting mad at me. Do I need new friends or should I just tell them how I feel?
Thanks!
-freshman
Dear freshman,
First I want to acknowledge that freshman fall is hard! This can be a very overwhelming and chaotic time as you are adjusting to a new academic environment and new classmates. I think it’s so important to acknowledge this unique time and also to try to listen to your instincts as you are interacting with your peers. Deciding whether to engage or not to engage in certain activities is entirely your decision to make. You should never feel as if someone else is deciding this for you. Once you have thought about what you might want to try and what you certainly do not want to, communicate this with your friends. If your friends cannot respect your needs, maybe this is the right time for you to step away. However, make sure you communicate clearly because as long as you know how you feel and you tell others how you feel, there is space for you to be happy with your own decision and for your current or future friends to respect these decisions.
-The Yeti
Thoughts from Amina and Joey
“I think, in the real world, it’s messy, and you often learn from trial and error. Sometimes you do things in order to belong, some choices you regret and some you don’t. Sometimes you experience patches of loneliness when you stay true to yourself. Then you have friends that resonate with your values, that all of a sudden just kind of appear unexpectedly.”-Joey

I think I am kind of in love with my best friend…what do I do
-000
Dear 000,
Ah, this is a tough one! It can be really scary to feel a deep connection with someone and a desire to take this connection further, while at the same time feeling fear about rejection if you tell this person how you really feel. Unfortunately, I don’t have a simple answer for you, just some thoughts. You say this is your best friend, and often open communication is key to any strong friendship, so how would not telling your best friend negatively impact your friendship? At the same time, you could ask yourself if you feel happy with the nature of your current relationship. Love can totally be felt platonically, so maybe you have a deep love for your friend and your current friendship, but not necessarily a desire to add more intimacy? On this one you just have to feel it out and be present with your feelings. Acknowledge and accept them as they come and when you feel ready, you can choose to share them with your friend. Even if your feelings aren’t reciprocated, your level of vulnerability is sure to strengthen your friendship.
-The Yeti
Thoughts from Amina and Joey
“How do you know until you try it? Like we learn from the outcomes. Sometimes you just have to live and do the thing you’re scared of. People tend to think the negative outcome is more probable than the possibility of something great happening.” – Amina
“We don’t see a lot of positive examples in the media where people try having a relationship, it doesn’t work out, and then they have a peaceful transition. I think that you can make what you want, including the peaceful end of a relationship that didn’t work. Or, you can transition from friends into romantic partners. It can all be ok if folks can communicate through it.” -Joey