Slip­ping grades make teen ques­tion planned ca­reer path

The Progress-Index Weekend - - AMUSEMENTS - Jeanne Phillips Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: I’m 17 and don’t know what I want to do with my life. When I was younger, I was sure I wanted to go into the field of law. It was some­thing my par­ents also wanted me to do.

I go to a very rig­or­ous high school that’s known for be­ing chal­leng­ing, and haven’t been do­ing well grade-wise since I started. I used to be a straight-A stu­dent but have been get­ting B’s and C’s lately. This year in par­tic­u­lar has been dif­fi­cult be­cause my par­ents are get­ting di­vorced.

I’m not sure if I want to be a lawyer any­more or even con­tinue my ed­u­ca­tion after col­lege. When I talked with my par­ents about it, they got very mad and in­sisted I fin­ish my ed­u­ca­tion, be­come a lawyer and get a job. They don’t want to give me any other op­tion. Can you give me some sug­ges­tions about how I can not be so con­fused any­more?

CON­FUSED IN MICHIGAN DEAR CON­FUSED:

This is some­thing you should dis­cuss with a coun­selor at your school. While I con­cur with your par­ents that it is im­por­tant to com­plete your ed­u­ca­tion, there are other ways to do it rather than be­come a lawyer. I say this be­cause in some states there is a glut of law school grad­u­ates who, after all their ef­fort and ac­crued stu­dent loan debt, can­not find jobs be­cause there are no open­ings avail­able for them.

DEAR ABBY: I live in a mid-sized town in the South. I need ad­vice on how to po­litely tell peo­ple that I don’t like drop-in company.

I work a stress­ful job. When I get home, I like to put on my old, com­fort­able clothes, curl up with a book or watch TV with my com­pan­ion dog and be left alone. I’m not try­ing to be rude, but I think it is rude for peo­ple to drop in unan­nounced.

A few years ago, I had a life-threat­en­ing ill­ness, and I am still get­ting my stamina back to full strength. I need down­time to recharge so I can han­dle the stresses of my job. How­ever, I am ap­par­ently per­ceived in this South­ern com­mu­nity as un­friendly. How do I put out the “NOT Wel­come” mat while at the same time not alien­at­ing my com­mu­nity?

LACKS SOUTH­ERN HOS­PI­TAL­ITY DEAR LACKS:

Hon­esty is the best pol­icy. If apolo­gies are due, ex­press them. Ex­plain to th­ese nice peo­ple that you don’t mean to ap­pear un­friendly, and you would like to be so­cial, but your job is stress­ful and takes a lot out of you, and the rea­son you can’t en­ter­tain or so­cial­ize is you don’t have the stamina. If they are of­fended after that, the prob­lem is theirs.

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