Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Do I listen to my friend about my GCSE subjects?

hey, I’m picking my gcses soon and I really want to do a subject. However, my friend says that this particular subject is ‘dumb’ and I would be ‘dumb’ to choose it. I really don’t want her to look down on me..what do I do?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

When making big decisions it can be a good idea to listen to other people's opinions. The important people in our lives like family and friends are usually the people we trust enough to listen to their thoughts. Even though their opinions are important, the most important is our own.

When making a big life decision it's important to weigh up all the options - you need to think about how this might affect your choices later on and how you will feel about that. One way to make this decision clearer is to take time to think about each option one at a time and write down the reasons to choose it and reasons not to. When talking to other people about what they think, it's important to listen to what they have to say but also remember that it's not their decision in the end.

When someone is giving their opinion it can be influenced by things going on in their life and what they want might not be the same as what you want. Listen to their thoughts, but you don't have to accept them. Even if you’re asking a very good friend for advice, your decision is up to you in the end. You are choosing a subject based on what you enjoy, what you are good at and what you want to do later on. Your friend's feelings about the subject don't really affect any of those things. If they are a good friend, your choice of GCSE subjects shouldn't affect anything about your relationship.

One last thing to think about is how you might feel if you make a choice because of the way your friend feels, then later regret it. Ask yourself if you will always look back and wish you'd chosen based on what you want to do. Some friends last forever, but many don't - you may not be as close with this person later on in life when the consequences of your choice will still be there.

I hope this has helped you to think about the best decision for you. It can help to talk with someone neutral, like a Childline counsellor, or you can also share your thoughts with other young people who might help you see all sides.

Take care.


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