Dear Dr. Wallace:
Can I be a cheerleader if I don’t have the classic body style of a professional cheerleader — for example, those we see on the sidelines at the National Football League games every Sunday?
I’m a positive person with a lot of school spirit, but I don’t look like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader at all. My body type does not fit into that genre! But my personality is outgoing and team-oriented, so I’ve often felt that I’d like to become a high school cheerleader sometime during my high school days.
I’m just a freshman right now. Do you think I’d have a chance of becoming a cheerleader at my school?
— Have Lots of School Spirit, via email
Dear School Spirit: Of course you can strive to become a cheerleader at your school! Start by attending a few varsity basketball or football games and watch the current cheerleaders perform.
Introduce yourself to some of them and ask for suggestions, tips and pointers on how you may prepare to try out for the cheerleading squad next year.
It’s far more important to be enthusiastic, friendly, energetic and coordinated to complete routines than it is to be concerned about body types!
The more you can study the current cheerleaders and network with them, the better it will be to put you on pace to attend the tryouts for the squad next year. Also, seek to find out who selects the cheerleaders and trains them, and then introduce yourself to that faculty member and start a nice, enthusiastic conversation about your deep-rooted interests in cheerleading. The more networking and study you can undertake now, the better your chances will be to realize your dream in a future school year. Good luck!
Dear Dr. Wallace: I just found out that my boyfriend is going to become a father! He broke up with his previous girlfriend about seven months ago, and he met me right after that. He never mentioned anything to me about her other than he broke up with her and that he does not keep in contact with her anymore.
We have fallen in love, and we even just recently set a date to get married this spring! It’s about six months away, but he will be a father by then. I’m 18, he’s 19 and his ex-girlfriend is 20. I have friends who know her. They showed me pictures of her, and it’s obvious that she’s going to give birth soon to her child! They told me that she said to them that my fiancé is the father of her baby!
I confronted my boyfriend about this, and he didn’t say anything for about 10 or 15 seconds. I could see he was thinking what to say, and then he finally let out a long sigh and told me that yes, the baby was going to be his, but that wouldn’t change anything between us. He did say that he will support his baby and he will seek partial visitation rights, since his mother is really proud to become a grandmother for the first time.
Now, I’m really confused because he’s treated me really well for the past six months, but finding out he’s going to be a father soon is a tremendous shock to me. I’m not so sure I should go through with our spring wedding plans. What do you think?
— Still Shocked, via email
Dear Still Shocked: My advice is to call off your spring wedding. You need time to think this over carefully, and he needs time to adjust to becoming a father in January. To keep your plans in place and rush into a wedding would not be prudent for you now.
You also need time to consider and think through his deception. He knew about this child and yet he asked you to marry him and never told you about this matter at all.
In my book, that’s a deal breaker. You now know that he was willing to marry you and hide this child from you. This doesn’t bode well for a happy future together with him. Take a break for now, and after you think things over quite carefully, I feel you might just decide to move on from this relationship entirely. And for what it’s worth, his mother also kept this news from you as well, even though she’s happy with the development of him becoming a father behind your back.