Comfortable with the Uncomfortable ≠ Suffering

Dear Harlan: My daughter loves overnight camp, but it’s exclusive and there are a lot of mean girls. However, some are very nice. She can’t give it a year to adjust because overnight camp is only two months. She has a choice next year: She can go back to overnight camp and face the uncomfortable, or stay home and hang out with her school friends. She is struggling with the decision. She doesn’t seem to want to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. What should she do?

— Too Uncomfortable

Dear Too Uncomfortable:  She doesn’t need to spend eight more weeks and thousands of dollars to be tormented by mean girls. She should find girls she wants to be around. Have her identify three other camps that look interesting. Suggest she talk to people at these camps who can answer her questions (the director, counselors, CITs or campers). If she absolutely loves the camp from last year, but not the mean girls, suggest she talk to the professionals who run the camp and see if there are other cabins or options. The reality is that mean girls go to lots of camps. She needs a plan and people in her corner. Changing camps isn’t quitting; it’s using her past experiences to help her find the right people and places next summer. Facing the truth and getting comfortable with the uncomfortable takes strength. She should feel nothing but pride. Tell her I said so.

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