DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm about to enter my freshman year of college, and I'm already thinking about what I'll do next summer. My parents want me to get an internship to pad my resume for when it's time for me to get a serious job. However, I want to return to the sleepaway camp I went to as a kid and be a counselor. I figure I have the rest of my life to work, so why not have fun for one summer? I don't know how to tell my parents this, and I'm scared they'll be mad and stressed that I am at a disadvantage when getting a real job. What do you think I should do? -- Real World Too Soon, Greenwich, Connecticut
DEAR REAL WORLD TOO SOON: Take a deep breath. The first thing you need to do is focus on school. Your freshman year in college promises to be more challenging and very different from high school. Give yourself a chance to acclimate to college life and the rigors of your academic workload.
Talk to your adviser at school about your interests, and learn if there are any summer internship opportunities that may interest you. Keep track of the deadline for your summer camp. When you get closer to having to make a decision, discuss your thoughts with your adviser and your parents. You and your parents have valid ideas. I can tell you that any job experience that you can gain that is focused on your future life choices is wise whenever possible.