Someone the Younger wrote:
There is a girl at school who is very arrogant - let's call her Malvina, because I like that name. She is the daughter of two professors and she's very clever. I got across her a few times, because she was telling tales and stirring up trouble with her form. As I am friends with many of her form, and a prefect, I felt it my duty to intervene. I wasn't trying to make her unhappy, but it seemed that she ended up very much so. I'm also worried about my little sister, who I think has been babied too much, and so she had to stay at our pension on our half-term trip, while we went climbing. Malvina hesitated when I offered her a hand down when we had to get down the glacier in a hurry, which meant that the mistress in charge, who also had hold of her, slipped and fell, breaking her ankle. I feel sad about that, because I like the mistress, and I think that it should have been me who fell. Because we had to stay on the glacier overnight, my sister worried terribly, and made herself ill. Added to this, the girl who had to look after my sister was extremely miffed about having to stay behind, and she thought that I should have stayed, so she took a bit out if me, which I think I deserved. I was upset and angry, and I needed someone to blame, so I blamed Malvina. We had a lot more fights, and in the end, Malvina ran off and hurt her back. You can imagine how I felt then! Added to this, the mistress who had hurt her ankle told me that I had a lot if influence over the other girls - basically, that I was Something Special, and I needed to watch how I behaved, as I could cause disaster with a turn of the hand. I had no idea how I was meant to behave after that! Lastly, I went to apologise to Malvina, but I don't think she believed that I was really sorry, and I am. Do you have any advice as to how I should use this "influence", and how I can apologise with all due sincerity - I think my main problem was that I didn't really know what to say.
This is a difficult situation, mainly arising because of Malvina's very different family background. She has been thrown into a completely alien situation and hasn't managed to adapt. Her accident is unfortunate, but perhaps this will be a turning-point in her life. Be ready to meet her halfway whenever a suitable occasion for conversation arises, and I'm sure n the end you'll become lifelong friends
I am a new girl at this school, and I'm finding it very hard to adapt. I have an invalid stepsister, and I think my mother spends too much time with her and I don't get enough of her attention. They've sent me away to school which has made the whole situation worse. I think maybe I could settle down and enjoy being at school, but I keep thinking about my mother, I don't think she really cares much about me any more and I feel so sad about this that I just can't respond to friendly advances from the girls (to be fair, they've tried to be nice and include me but I think they are giving up on me now as don't respond)
What advice can you give me?