DEAR HARRIETTE: I just got laid off from my summer job working at a bar. The reason is unfortunate: The bar owners expected us to be very busy during the summer, but business is not what we expected. I planned to work there until going back to college. I tried to convince my bosses to wait a little while, since the season has just begun, but they let me go. I don’t know what to do now. I need to work, plus my parents don’t want me just hanging out at home all summer. They said I need to find something to do, even if I can’t find a job. -- No Job
DEAR NO JOB: You need to look for another job immediately. Look online for job postings in your area(s) of interest, but also pound the pavement. Walk around neighborhoods that have restaurants, bars or other establishments where you think you might be able to work. Look for help wanted signs, and also walk in and confidently ask a manager if they are looking for summer help. Go into densely populated areas that have a lot of foot traffic. That might be in the business sector, in active shopping malls, in fast-food restaurants and even in car washes.
If you are unable to find employment, consider volunteering. Again, look for businesses that seem to need help. You can offer to be an intern or volunteer to help around the office. You can explore community centers, religious organizations or any type of business. Look for something that interests you and, if possible, matches your studies. In this way, you support your educational growth as you also use your time wisely.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently learned that one of my friends, a respected rising senior at his university with a student leadership position, has a troubling habit: He takes copious amounts of acid during his downtime. How do I rationalize this behavior? I would think this would be extremely detrimental to his health, but my friends who are closer to him think he can handle it. Should I talk to him about it? How should I approach that conversation? -- Acid Interest
DEAR ACID INTEREST: You do not have to rationalize what your friend does. Rather than talking to other people about his habit, you should speak to him directly. Tell him that you have discovered that he uses acid often and that you are having a hard time understanding why. Tell him that you are concerned about his health and his future. After that, leave it alone. You cannot control his choices. And the reality is, even smart people with bright futures use drugs -- at least some do. You do not have the power to get him to stop. You can decide if you still want to hang out with him or if you will walk away if you are ever in his company when he is using.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist 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.)