DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been a New York City girl my entire life. I grew up in the West Village, attended city schools and commuted through Manhattan for as long as I can remember. My parents let me take the subway with my friend as soon as I entered middle school, and I am very comfortable with the sometimes confusing NYC subway system.
I am about to leave for college, and my future roommate recently asked me if I am bringing my car up to school, and whether I plan on driving to classes. I was taken aback by this question because not only do I not have a car, but I don't even have a driver's license. Living in New York, I never saw the need for one. Do you think a driver's license is an important thing to have in your life? -- Need to Drive, Brooklyn, New York
DEAR NEED TO DRIVE: As someone who moved to New York City after having learned to drive, I am a big proponent of driving. It gives you a level of independence that can serve you well. I also know that many New Yorkers never learn to drive, and it often isn't an issue for them. New York City has an excellent public transportation system, between the subways and the buses.
What you should find out is how important being able to drive is at your new school. It could be that you will need transportation there. Since you do not have a car, consider bringing a bike. At some schools, navigating campus alone can be a challenge because it is so vast. In terms of learning to drive, I'm 100 percent for it!
DEAR HARRIETTE: My best friend and I are very close. We spend a lot of time together and know basically everything about each other's lives. He is also very involved in the "druggie" crowd. He loves taking drugs for recreational purposes, as do many people. Over the past couple of months, I believe my friend's drug problem has gotten out of hand, and he needs help. I have tried, his girlfriend has tried and other peers have tried to talk to him about stopping with the drugs. I think it has gotten to the point where his parents need to be involved. Do you think I will ruin our relationship if I am the one to go to his parents with the bad news? I know I will be doing what is best for him, but I don't want to lose him as a friend. -- Tattletale or Saving Friend's Life, Baltimore
DEAR TATTLETALE OR SAVING FRIEND'S LIFE: You may have to sacrifice your friendship in order to save your friend, at least in the short term. You are right that he will be livid if you tell his parents about his drug use. He will likely feel betrayed and lash out at you -- if he learns that you told them.
But if your tip to his parents results in his getting the help that he needs, it will be worth it. Do not delay!
(Harriette Cole is a life stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)