Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Pressuring me...

Hi sam, I am 14 in year 10 and have recently been promoted to a prefect.

The only problem is that my friends are getting really dependent over me and they want me to sort out everyones problems... my one friend always has secret messages with me and she ALWAYS wants me to sort her problems out... it's so stressful..

And also she and her boyfriend split up (who is also one of my friends) and he decided to go and tell this other girl about it... then he said that the other girl said that she was going to bully my friend... and they both told me and they made me sort it out... the only problem was that it wasn't true and I am going to get into serious trouble for it...

And also i have 7 exams coming up and with stress at home... i just can't cope with all this stress and anxiety and I really need advice soon about what to do :/
Thank you :) By H*

Ask Sam


Hello H*,

Thank you for your letter and sharing a bit about what things are like for you at the moment.

First, I just want to say congratulations on being promoted to a prefect. This can be an important role within schools and you deserve to get a chance to enjoy some of the tasks that come with it.

From your letter, I got the impression that since you have been promoted to prefect, your friends have been putting a lot of pressure on you. You’ve talked about them getting really dependent and asking you to sort out everyone’s problems. You’ve said it is so stressful and it’s completely understandable that you would feel this way. It sounds like your friends are giving you all the responsibility to resolve anything that happens and that’s not fair of them. You are only one person, and I can imagine your role as a prefect means that you are expected to be involved with other duties too.

It sounds like your friends are struggling to see that you are still the same friend you were before being promoted. I got the impression that the friend that secret messages you is having a particularly big impact on how you feel right now. I wonder if you have been able to let her know how stressful the messages are? Another suggestion might be to encourage your friends to contact ChildLine and talk to a counsellor. This might take some pressure away from you and also help to empower them to find an answer to any problems they may have.

You mentioned you feel you are going to get into serious trouble for sorting out a situation between two of your friends and another girl. I want to let you know that you have not done anything wrong and it sounds like you were just trying to do the best for everyone involved. It sounds like you have since found out what they told you was not true. I can imagine that it might have felt very frustrating for you and perhaps even as though they were taking advantage of your kindness.

I can hear you have your own things to cope with, as you’ve mentioned 7 exams coming up and also the stress at home. It sounds like both school and home are stressful places to be at the moment. I’m worried as it doesn’t seem like you are getting space for your own feelings to be heard. Any one of the things you have mentioned would be stressful for one person to cope with. You’ve done the right thing by writing this letter as it’s really important for you not to try and cope alone. How you feel is just as important and you deserve to feel supported.

I would encourage you to get in touch with a ChildLine counsellor to talk more about how you are feeling and explore some options you might find helpful. You can contact a counsellor directly by calling 0800 1111 (free from any phone) or 1-2-1 chat (similar to instant messaging). You can even send an email. Just to let you know there can sometimes be a short wait for a reply, but a counsellor will always respond as soon as they can. ChildLine have counsellors available day and night so you can get in contact anytime.

You might find the following sections in Explore useful: Beat exam stress and Anxiety. The ChildLine message boards are also a great way to get some extra support from other young people. I’m glad you got in contact. Good luck with your exams.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter