The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a female student in my teens. I’m troubled by my relationship with a friend at the same college.
We became friends after I started college and we took classes together. She doesn’t do the assigned homework, but asks me to let her look at what I did.
It’s wrong for her not to do the homework. More than anything, it makes me angry that she just copies what I worked on for many hours.
When asked in class to raise our hands if we prepared, she raises her hand like nothing is wrong. That makes me even madder. It’s ridiculous that she asks to borrow my notebooks for the days she ditched class.
I don’t want to spend time with her these days. But it’s hard to keep avoiding her because we do have enjoyable times together — we have the same hobbies and it’s fun to talk to her.
I was going to consult other friends about this, but I can’t do it because I don’t want other people to think I’m narrow-minded. What can I do?
T, Toyama Prefecture
Dear Ms. T:
Your friend is an unfair person, but there are many such people in society. In contrast, you’re an earnest person with a good personality. You’re troubled by your relationship with this friend, but if you continue to associate with her, you need to get out of the habit of saying “I’ll let her use my notes.”
Why don’t you approach this by not letting her read your notebooks, but eagerly teaching her what you learned in class?
You’ll really learn what you were taught in class by teaching it to somebody else. You prepare for class, take the class and teach it to her. This way, what you learned will become yours completely. After all, a “stopgap person” like her will end up leading a stopgap life. God must be watching over a person like you, who consistently makes an effort and is nice to others. In the future, you will reach the goals you set.
All other people are my teachers — this is a statement cherished by the late novelist Eiji Yoshikawa, known for such masterpieces as “Miyamoto Musashi,” a tale of the great swordsman by that name in the early Edo period. Please improve yourself by using this lazy friend as a good example of how not to be.