DEAR ABBY: I want to add to your advice to "Confused in New York," the 18-year-old girl who wants to be an architect and whose mother is pressuring her to find a boyfriend. Your advice was on target, but you forgot something.
As an architecture student in my fifth year, I can attest to the fact that "Confused" will not have time for a boyfriend once she starts college. Architecture school is extremely demanding. I rarely had time to sleep, eat and bathe, much less time for a boyfriend and a life outside of school.
She can use this legitimate excuse to keep her mother at bay while she sorts through her feelings about the opposite sex. Once she graduates, she'll have her pick of successful men if that's what she desires.
In the meantime, Mom should lay off the pressure and thank her lucky stars that her daughter is college-bound. -- CAROL IN JACKSON, MISS.
DEAR CAROL: Thank you for the firsthand testimonial. That letter caused me to receive a bushel of letters. Read on for a sample:
DEAR ABBY: That girl's mother needs counseling more than her daughter. What mother in her right mind wouldn't jump for joy over a child who could say: "I'm at the top of my class, play soccer and work in retail after school. One day I'd like to be a great architect. I am a good person, but I don't feel like I am ready to grow up just yet."
In this day and age, where 13-year-old girls are having babies, that mother should be relieved. As you advised, the young woman may need counseling to help her understand why she avoids men, but her mom definitely needs it so she won't push her daughter into relationships she's not ready for and for making her feel like a failure at 18. -- K. WATSON IN FLORIDA
DEAR K.: Well said.