DEAR ABBY: I am a 16-year-old girl who is starting to seriously consider colleges and plan for the future. I found an amazing school close to home that I'd love to attend -- but there's a problem.
Two years ago, after much thought and consideration, I decided I wanted to be a doctor. My mother completely supported my choice and was more than a little happy about it.
I recently accepted a position as a tutor, and now I realize that I love being able to teach children and help them with their studies. The college I want to attend is a teaching college, not a school for premed studies.
I am confident in my decision to become a teacher, but I'm afraid my mother will be disappointed and upset that I no longer want to be a doctor. How can I tell her that my dreams have changed? -- E.D. NOT M.D. IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR E.D.: This is something that should be discussed with your guidance counselor at school. You set your goal of obtaining a medical degree when you were only 14. While your aspirations of becoming a teacher are admirable, it is possible that once you reach college and are exposed to a broader range of intellectual opportunities your goal may change again. This is why many college students declare their major upon completing their sophomore year.
As to talking about this to your mother, remember that careers in medicine and education have some things in common -- among them dedication and determination. So start practicing now.