Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

High School Senior Doesn't Want to Attend College

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.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I live Manhattan with a roommate. We get along well and never have any major issues. I have a boyfriend who lives in California, and every now and then he will visit me. My roommate and I share a TV in the living room, so when one of us is out there, there is nowhere else to watch TV. I rarely ever watch it, but she always does.

When my boyfriend comes to visit and we want to watch a movie in the living room, I feel awkward asking her to move. It’s our communal area, but I don't think it’s fair that she always hogs it, primarily when my boyfriend comes to town. Do you think it’s rude if I ask her for some space so my boyfriend and I can watch a movie? -- Television Hog, New York City

DEAR TELEVISION HOG: You need to have a sit-down with your roommate. She seems to be either consciously or unconsciously trying to make it uncomfortable for you to have your boyfriend visit your home. Many roommates are territorial about boyfriends or girlfriends spending too much time at the shared home. By making the visit uncomfortable, your roommate is making it harder for your boyfriend to feel welcome in your home. You need to remind your roommate that your boyfriend visits infrequently and works hard to be respectful of her space. Let her know, too, that you want to create space in the TV area for when he does come over so that you two can have a bit of alone time in the living area.

(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.)