Dear Dr. Expert,

I’m really worried about my future. I just finished Grade 8 and I’m sure I’m going to fail high school. I just got my report card and I had three Bs!! What if I never get into University? 

Worrying in Winnipeg

Dr. Expert: Dear Worrying in Winnipeg, 

Sounds like you’re assuming that things aren’t going to go well, and that horrible things are going to happen as a result. You are falling into some thinking traps and getting stuck in negative and unrealistic ways of thinking. Take a breath and see if you can come up with a more balanced and realistic way of thinking about this. Ask yourself these questions to help: What are you basing this belief on? Are you 100% sure this is going to happen? Are you able to predict the future? What would you tell your friend if he was worrying this way? Then, come up with a more realistic and helpful thought based on the answers to these questions. For example, a more realistic and balanced thought may be, “I’m only in Grade 8 and have four more years in high school. B’s aren’t that bad, and I have plenty of time to improve my grades anyway.” Click here to learn more about realistic thinking (takes teen to Thinking Right section)