DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m the youngest of three girls, and I’m the least intelligent of the three. I’m going into my senior year of high school, which is the year everyone decides where they go to college. College has never been a question in my family or town -- it’s expected that you just go. However, I don’t want to go to college. I know that everyone would advise me to go, but I don’t want to. When I talk about this with my parents, they don’t listen because they think it’s ridiculous. I don’t know what would genuinely make me want to go. Is it that terrible that I don’t want to get a college degree? -- No College for Me, Tupelo, Mississippi
DEAR NO COLLEGE FOR ME: You are not a failure if you choose not to go to college. Your family is encouraging you because they probably know that the chances for a higher-paying job come with higher education. Just because you don’t go to college or don’t do it now doesn’t mean you can’t continue your education to sharpen your skills. Take some time to assess what you think you want to do with your life. What skills do you need to master that? Find a class or program to which you can enroll to refine your skills. This doesn’t have to be college. It can be a trade school or other specialized school that will give you the boost you need.