DEAR ABBY: I'm a freshman in high school and my sister is a junior. She plays violin in our school orchestra (first chair), gets straight A's in all her classes (honors and AP courses) and is gorgeous and popular. I, on the other hand, am socially awkward, spend most of my time with my nose jammed in a book, barely get A's in my few honors courses and play in the school band.
I have a few close friends, but most of them aren't in any of my classes so I eat lunch alone. I don't want to be popular; I just want to stop being jealous of my sister. How can I do that when anything I do that's good is overshadowed by all her accomplishments? -- LIVING IN THE SHADOWS IN ILLINOIS
DEAR LIVING IN THE SHADOWS: It would be helpful if you would stop comparing yourself to your sister. You are an individual, and individuals do not all blossom at the same rate. You have accomplishments you should be proud of. You play an instrument, you are in some honors courses, and you are a reader. The time you spend with your "nose jammed in a book" will pay off later because you are developing your mind.
I recommend you find an area of interest that your sister hasn't tried, and develop that. It's a way to excel at something in your own right, and make some new acquaintances so you aren't lost in the glare of your sister's spotlight.