DEAR ABBY: I'm one of the smartest people in my seventh-grade class. Sometimes it's hard being that person. Once, when I was in fifth grade, someone came up to me and told me, "No offense, but I think you're a know-it-all." Let me tell you, that did not feel good!
What should I do? I know almost all the answers in class, but I don't want to answer because of what people will think. Please help me. -- SMART SEVENTH-GRADER IN MICHIGAN
DEAR SMART SEVENTH-GRADER: Talk to your teacher and also your school counselor about your feelings. If you know all the answers in class, it's possible that you would qualify for advanced classes -- or even for skipping a grade. Of course, your parents would have to agree, but it's worth a try.
One thing is certain, you should not refrain from participating to the fullest extent you can in class. And the classmate who called you a know-it-all in fifth grade was out of line.
DEAR ABBY: My parents go to bed at 9 or 9:30, so they make my brother and me go to bed at the same time. I'm 13, and my brother is 17. I have no problem waking up in the morning, and I make good grades. So why do they insist on an early bedtime for us? Most of the kids in my grade have a bedtime of 10 to midnight. What are your feelings on this? -- FRUSTRATED TEEN IN FLORIDA
DEAR FRUSTRATED TEEN: While most individuals have different biorhythms, I have read over the past few years that many people in this country are not getting enough sleep. This has a negative impact on their ability to concentrate, learn, drive and work efficiently. It can also affect the immune system. Regardless of what "most" of the kids in your grade are doing, your parents are doing what they feel is right for you and your brother.
DEAR ABBY: I am getting married next month. It's a first marriage for both of us, and I love "Evan" with all my heart. I'd do anything and everything for him -- but I'm scared.
A few days ago, Evan said he wanted to move back the date of the wedding. It just about killed me. I thought maybe he didn't want to marry me, or he doesn't love me. He saw how badly I took the news and told me later that night that the wedding could go on as scheduled.
Abby, how do I know if Evan wants to marry me? What if he is doing it just so I won't be sad? I don't want him to marry me if he's not ready. Please help. -- WORRIED BRIDE-TO-BE IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR WORRIED BRIDE-TO-BE: Tell Evan that you were shaken when he told you he wanted to postpone the wedding. Then tell him that if that's how he really feels, you agree it would be a good idea to wait. If he seems relieved, you will have your answer, and be glad you found out before you married him, not after.
However, if your fiance says he still wants the wedding to go on as planned, tell him that you'll agree only if he agrees to premarital counseling. It could avert any number of problems later. Trust me.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)