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My name is Josh Kay and I have answered your questions – Part 2

Answers from The Tab Durham’s resident agony uncle


Hey there! And welcome back to my second agony uncle article. With so many submissions, I had to split this into two parts. However, with more questions comes more of me. You can always submit questions, messages or stories you wish to get off your chest anonymously here. All I want to do is help, so let's get into it.

1. Looking for love

"Dear Josh, I met this girl while working on a group project, and aren't sure whether to ask her out now and risk the project being awkward, or next term when it's exam season, and less time. What do I do???"

Asking her out now may be awkward, but waiting may have the opportunity slip you by. There's always a middle ground between two options, so try something a little different: ask her out but for something more mild perhaps. I always find that taking someone out for lunch is a great middle ground between doing nothing and going all out. If it goes well, perhaps the 'date' may continue into the evening or set up future afternoon adventures. If it doesn't, then you could always pass it off as two friends going out for lunch together. Awkwardness averted!

2. Anime attack

"My friend submitted me to an hour of her imitating anime girls in a scarily realistic voice with phrases like "onisan aishiteru!" All followed by some incredibly scarring animes. This was the first time I'd properly met her. Should I be scared of her?"

Perhaps it's just me – but I'm always filled with a strange form of pride when I see people who are so passionate about something they love. It can be a little scary (I must admit, an hour is a long time!), but clearly she's trying to share that passion with you! It may be worth indulging a little more anime with her to see if it's something you can be interested in. If it doesn't work for you – at least you tried.

3. Friendship fear

"Sometimes I worry people don't like me as much as they seem to/say they do. Am I being paranoid and insecure or should I confront them about it?"

I'm always going to be honest – you're probably just being paranoid. But don't worry, I understand the feeling of not knowing whether or not you're actually liked, you're not strange for feeling like that. If it helps, ask someone you trust about it and they'll be able to ease your fears.

4. Getting gains

"Josh I'm trying to get a ripped physique. How might I go about doing this?"

Whilst the specifics of what you'll need to do will vary with where you are currently and what you wish to become – but there are things which always apply:

1) Change your lifestyle slowly. Jumping from never hitting the gym to going all out will result in you being unable to sustain your new lifestyle and ultimately – getting ripped is a long term job, so be patient. Work your way up from going twice a week to going to the gym up to six days a week. Also aim to get eight to nine hours of sleep per night.

2) Diet is a very important factor here. Increase protein and overall calorie intake. Try to cut out non-fruit sugars, drink lots of water and eat your greens! Protein shakes and supplements are helpful for gaining mass and recovery, but are optional.

3) Make a gym plan that works for you. If you're aiming for endurance – train lightly for extended periods of time/reps. If you're aiming for strength – train intensely for shorter periods of time/reps. If you're aiming for size, try to find a good middle ground of moderate activity for intermediate amounts of time/reps. Keep track of your stats for your different muscle groups and try to push yourself a little harder each week!

4) Don't be afraid to talk to other people and ask them what their routines, diets and habits are. Everyone starts somewhere and if someone is closer to what you want than you – ask about their journey!

5. Dropping out

"Dear Josh

Are social issues a valid reason for dropping out? I love my degree but haven't made any good friends here and it's really bringing me down. I just want to go somewhere new and start over."

Anything can be a valid reason if severe enough – but let's see if we can try and fix this before you have to drop out, especially seeming as you love your degree. My advise here comes in two parts:

1) Try to vary your life and routines. If you find the people you are most often around aren't your friends, then try to change where you go, when you go there and what you do. Join new societies, go to different bars and clubs and there's definitely no shame in going to your college welfare for a cup of tea and a chat.

2) Hit me up! You know my name, after all – it's in the header! Message me on Facebook and I'll organise a time to go and grab a cup of tea with you!

6. Work worries

"Hi Josh! Love your positivity. I was wondering whether you had any advice on how to help my boyfriend do his work. He is really struggling with motivation and asked me to 'make him' do his work but I don't want to end up feeling resented. It's really tough because he is so intelligent but can't concentrate on anything at the moment and I don't know what to do! I hope you're taking time for yourself too – don't take on the world's problems unless you're safe and happy yourself. Love, Anon X"

Motivation is a tough nut to crack, but the fact that he recognises that he needs help means that he's already on his way there, so don't fret. As for what you can do, I can think of several options! Try getting him into the habit of writing a to do list that he carries around with him and updates as he goes about his day. You could try setting up study sessions, taking away his phone and laptop when he needs to study or perhaps implementing a reward system for when he's working well. Interpret that last one as you please. However, one thing that's caught my eye is your phrasing, "…can't concentrate on anything at the moment…" – to me this indicates that perhaps he wasn't like this previously. Maybe something's happened behind closed doors that's causing him to be distracted? Perhaps it's just been an unproductive few weeks, but asking him if anything's causing this may be helpful on the off chance that something is.

As for me, not to recycle a joke – but I'm oKay!

"What is your secret for being so enthusiastic in tutorials?"

I just really love my course. Whilst this won't stop me from complaining about it, it helps me find enthusiasm for what I do seeming as deep down I enjoy doing it!

As long as people have questions for me, I'll keep answering them to the best of my ability! If you have something you want to ask, you can submit your anonymous questions here.

Good luck everyone, you have my love <3

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A more unusual brew of roobios infused with apricot and vanilla was consumed in the writing of this article