Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

College Student Needs to Find Own Path

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a 20-year-old male who is struggling with where I am in life at the moment. I grew up in a family where college was not a choice. It was expected that straight after high school graduation, I would attend a university. I spent the last two years of high school studying for the SAT and applying to dozens of universities. I was accepted to a college two hours from home. It was not my dream school, but my parents were happy with it.

I have now completed my freshman year at college, and I am miserable. I have no idea what I want to major in, I am not enjoying the people around me at school, and I feel unhappy. I feel like I was pushed to go to college too fast because that was the norm in my family and among my high school peers. I need some help in figuring out what the next step is. I want to talk to my parents and explain my situation to them in a way that they will understand. -- Lost Student, St. Louis

DEAR LOST STUDENT: Start with a guidance counselor at your university. Talk to that person about your interests and challenges at school. Share your dreams for the future with an open mind. It is true that college will help you to earn a better living. Before giving up on college, figure out if you can take classes that interest you. Then tell your parents about your struggle. Don’t give up yet.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

Read more in: Work & School | Mental Health