DEAR ABBY: My son is the recipient of a four-year college scholarship with full tuition. He selected and applied to this school. The problem is, he now wants to transfer to another college. This means he would finish his sophomore year and give up two years of the scholarship.
The reason he has given us is "a lot of his friends go there." I have been upset over this to the point of tears. We're a working-class family that struggles to cover the cost of his dorm and his meals. My son says I'm being difficult. How does a parent handle this? -- THINKING AHEAD IN GADSDEN, ALA.
DEAR THINKING AHEAD: If you haven't already done so, you and your husband should sit down, explain the financial realities of his changing schools, and ask him how he plans to pay for his education in the absence of his scholarship. If he is prepared to take student loans and work his way through, then as a young ADULT, that is what he will have to do. You can advise against it, but the choice will be his and so will the consequences. Be sure he's fully informed.
DEAR ABBY: I am 11 years old. My problem is my dad won't spend time with me. He always has friends over, or he's too tired. I have written letters to him to hang with me and how I feel. Now what should I do? -- LONELY GIRL IN MAINE
DEAR LONELY GIRL: Because you have already tried getting through to your father, ask your mother to talk to him about his priorities. Perhaps another adult can help him understand that spending time with you is more important than hanging with his buddies.
Believe me, you have my sympathy. When fathers were handed out, you got one who doesn't understand the responsibilities that go along with being a parent. It is very important that you recognize that this in no way is a reflection on YOU.
If, after your mother speaks to your dad, he still doesn't see the light, then rather than brood, try filling your time with other things such as Girl Scouting, sports, hobbies and church youth activities. In the end, the loss will be your father's because these are important years that he will never be able to get back or do over again.
DEAR ABBY: I work in a restaurant, and one of the biggest complaints I hear every summer is how cold it is inside. We keep the temperature set at a constant 72 degrees year-round. Could you please remind people that for the comfort and safety of those who are cooking and serving that it needs to be slightly cooler inside? Please bring a sweater for your comfort. Even 72 degrees is not cool enough when you're working in a restaurant. -- HOT IN NEW PARIS, OHIO
DEAR HOT: As someone who has frozen my behind off in more restaurants that I can count, your customers have my sympathy. Because this is a complaint you receive every summer, someone should suggest to your manager that the air-conditioning system be checked by a professional to ensure it is operating properly -- and that all areas of the restaurant are properly balanced.
Because this problem occurs so often in the summer, of course women should bring along something to cover their shoulders. Men are lucky. Most don't have this problem because nature blessed them with their own natural fur coats.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
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