Advice with our student agony aunt sponsored by

Hi I’m Carole from Big Brother and I’m The Student Pocket Guides official agony aunt. I’ve got years of experience of working with young people solving problems, helping and advising. I’ve been a young person’s sexual health development worker for 22 years and I’ve worked within a multi cultural, multi faith setting.




Hi Carole,

I’ve not long been with my girlfriend and I’m really happy, we both are. It’s just that I worry about the risk of having a baby by mistake. I do wear condoms but a couple have split on me. My girlfriend normally takes the contraceptive pill however sometimes she does forget. I am far too young to have kids, or worry about having kids. Is there anything else I can do to prevent this from happening? Jamie, 19, Hertfordshire.

Hi Jamie, it’s refreshing to hear from a responsible young man, who knows what he wants – a good relationship and planned parent-hood. You and your girlfriend are doing all you can (condom use and your girlfriend being on the contraceptive pill). This protects against pregnancy and S.T.I’s However, if the pill is forgotten, which may happen from time to time, it is important for your girlfriend to seek advice. She may need to get the Emergency Hormonal Contraceptive (EHC), which can be provided up to 72 hours after a ‘risk’ situation e.g. forgotten pill, condom splitting or coming off. The quicker it is used the better so, seeking advice quickly is essential. I hope your happy relationship lasts a long time. Carole.


Dear Carole,

I’m a fully functioning 21 year old female. However it hurts when I have sex, what can I do? I have been with my boyfriend for nearly two years and it’s kind of difficult to tell him no. I do want to have sex and I am physically attracted to him but don’t know what to do about the pain. Stacey, 21, Bristol

Hi Stacey, I was pleased to hear from you as lots of people, men and women suffer in silence. Whenever there is pain when having sex, you need to go to your G.P, Practice Nurse or clinic and have a full sexual health screening.

You may have a treatable vaginal bacterial infection or an allergy to the latex in condoms. However, it may be that you have an S.T.I. and need treatment. There are some S.T.I’s that show no symptoms for a long time so, you could have contracted it/them from a previous partner or your present partner may have passed it to you without knowing. The important thing is not to panic and not to make assumptions, get a full S.T.I. screening ASAP for a correct diagnosis and let your partner know you have some discomfort. Carole.


Hi Carole,

I’ve been with my girlfriend for over 4 years and we are very happy. I’m 22 years old and I met my girlfriend when I was 17, we were friends for the first year before we actually ‘got together’. I’m now leaving the house I grew up in, living a long way away from my family, friends and partner. I feel sad because I don’t want to split with my girlfriend but I don’t want to feel like a married man whilst at university. What would you do? Shall I split up and enjoy my prime age having fun, or stay with her and hope we last? Jack, 22, Wakefield.

Hello Jack,

Moving away from home for the first time can be difficult, especially leaving people we’re close to. I cannot tell you what to do but you have been with your partner a long time and were originally friends.

My advice would be to talk to her about how you feel; it’s natural to be apprehensive. You may find that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and you become closer – remember, you are just a phone, text or email away!

Whatever you decide, be honest and give yourself some time to settle in at uni. You may find you have lots of contact to begin with if you’re both feeling sad.

You commented that you didn’t want to feel ‘like a married man’, whilst at uni! This isn’t necessarily a negative – lots of married men are very happy because they love their partners and have mutual trust. A good relationship is one where you can be yourself freely and openly, and it sounds as though you have a lovely partner and a relationship worth taking care of. Try not to rush into things and I hope things work out between you.

Happy studies,



Hi Carole,

I really fancy this boy at my college. He’s really popular and I am really shy. I know that if I say anything to him then his friends will find out and I’m not sure if it is worth the embarrassment or not? Do you know any ways I could hint that I like him without giving the game away? Nina, 17, Leicester.


Hi I really feel for you because being shy and fearing embarrassing the person you like, often means you don’t do anything! This in turn, can mean that you miss out on an opportunity to get to know someone better.

I’m not sure why you don’t think his friends should find out, or why he would be embarrassed.

My advice would be, don’t make assumptions, if he likes you, which he may well do, he won’t be over concerned about what his friends think.

I don’t know his age but I guess you are both old enough to make decisions for yourselves. You write that he is ‘popular’ and being popular can sometimes be as difficult as being shy. I’m sure you have a lot of friends and are popular too.

How to get to know him better? If you have a mutual friend you can get an introduction through them, and they can perhaps let them know when not with other friends that you like him. Does he have a MySpace or Facebook page or another social network because you can contact him through that and get to know each other a bit better? You may have similar hobbies or interests; can you find out & make a link in that way? If he has an email address you could drop him a line just letting him know what you feel about him.

Although I can’t promise anything, sometimes these things may end up in a rejection. What you need to remember is, most of us have rejections, and it doesn’t mean somebody doesn’t like us, especially if they don’t know us. Most people find the partner they are happy with only after being rejected a few times – even ‘popular’ people.

Try to be bold and brave and make a move, you never know; you may be just the person he’s been waiting to meet. If not then at least you don’t need to lust after him anymore & can move on, always be positive and confident, that is a very attractive attribute.

Best wishes,