Wednesday 1 March 2017


It's problem page time on DREAMCATCHER and reader Cara has a problem for Honey Tanberry to solve... will you agree with her advice?

Cara says:
Things are not good at home... my parents fight and my mum is having a very hard time. On top of that, my biggest dream seems to have crashed, which is really upsetting. I want more than anything else to go to boarding school, and have applied to one of the top ones, but the only way I could take a place would be if I got a bursary. This seems almost impossible as they are one of the top schools in the country and want only the best students. I am strong academically, but I am scared I will never be good enough. I study almost all the time but I feel like I will shatter if my hopes are crushed yet again. What can I do?

Honey says:
I remember how upsetting it is to see your parents rowing; I felt like nothing was safe any more. I can understand your impulse to apply to boarding school, where you will no longer have to see all of that - but is it the answer? Boarding school is very pressured and tough, and though I know you're not afraid of hard work, being constantly judged on your achievements may be the last thing you need right now. You've convinced yourself that only boarding school can solve your problems, just as before you told yourself that only having your biggest dream come true could make you happy. You're probably a bit of an all-or-nothing person, as I am, but I have learned to be less dramatic and life is way happier for me now, I promise. The truth is, we all have many dreams... if one is not possible, don't punish yourself or take it as a failure, adapt and move on. You may get your place at boarding school - if so, good luck and enjoy it. If not, accept that fate has other plans for you and don't turn it into a tragedy! If I could tell you just how many times things hadn't worked out for me... and there's no point in making a fuss, you have to brush yourself down and get on with it. Life's like that! Boarding school - even at the the prestigious one you mention - is not the only route to success, I promise. Talent shines through, and there are many routes to a dream. You are determined, hard working and have a strong vision of what you want, and I believe you can make a great success of your life - and have fun along the way. What are you waiting for?

Cathy says:
I agree with Honey on this - and if Cara hasn't read my book LETTERS TO CATHY, I'd recommend she does, as it is full of great tips on handling the growing up years! Do YOU agree with Honey's advice? What would YOU add? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. Thanks Cathy for putting up my problem! It is so helpful, and I really appreciate it!

  2. It says 'mu hopes'

  3. You will be good enough-don't doubt your abilities! About your parents rowing-you'll get through it, you'll be strong enough! Talk to someone you trust about it. You have worked hard enough, so you will achieve it! If you're worried about the money-talk to somebody. It will all get better, I promise. Good luck!



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...