DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a military veteran, and I was able to go back to college at the age of 40 because of the GI Bill. I just finished my undergrad program a few weeks ago, and I will start my first month of grad school in February. I have not told my parents that I am starting my graduate program. They are expecting me to find a job and move out of the house shortly thereafter. I am taking advantage of the GI bill, and the military is going to pay for my education as long as I go to school. I do not know why I have not told my parents that I am going back to school to pursue further education. I need some help in telling them because I feel like I am doing something bad. Please help. -- Master Veteran, Elizabeth, New Jersey
DEAR MASTER VETERAN: Given that you expect to continue living with your parents, you absolutely must tell them the truth immediately. Your trepidation may come as a result of wishing that you already had your life together. The good news is that you are taking positive steps to ensure that you will be attractive as an employee in your chosen area because of your pursuit of higher education.
Go to your parents. Tell them you need to talk to them. Reveal that you have been accepted into graduate school and that it starts in February. Apologize for not telling them sooner. Describe the schedule for this program and your timeframe for moving out of their house. Ask for their blessing. If they choose not to support this elongated stay, look for a roommate situation that you can afford.