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by Abigail Van Buren

Students Making Campus Visit Should Come Prepared

DEAR ABBY: I'm a junior in high school, and I'm worried about my friend, "Elizabeth." She has always been a Type-A overachiever, but for the past year and a half, she has been more stressed than usual.

School consumes Elizabeth, but not in a good way. She stays up until 3 a.m. cramming for tests even though she studies for several days before. She gets angry and depressed when she doesn't get an A on an assignment. She puts a lot of pressure on herself, and her parents don't seem to recognize it.

My friend doesn't sleep much and eats very little. At first, I told myself that I was overreacting by worrying about her. However, last night she was hospitalized for exhaustion and anemia. She's fine now, but the stress and unhealthy habits have caught up with her. I'm afraid she'll go right back to her detrimental lifestyle.

I believe Elizabeth needs help and I'm thinking of talking to a guidance counselor. What should I do, Abby? -- DISTRESSED IN KANSAS CITY

DEAR DISTRESSED: You are a good and caring friend. Talk to the guidance counselor. Your friend's sleeplessness, stress, anemia and poor diet may come from more than pressuring herself to achieve good grades. She may need professional help -- and the guidance counselor may be able to see that she gets it.