DR. WALLACE: My brother gave up his dream of going to college to stay and help the family when both of our parents lost their jobs due to COVID-19. He did this because he had a pretty good part-time job in high school and now works at that job full time! He is actually the reason that our family is still financially afloat.
I will graduate high school at the end of this school year, and I want to go to college, but now I feel guilty because my brother didn't get to go. My parents didn't ask him not to go to college, but he just stayed here and kept working without saying anything.
Should I still plan to go to college, or should we both stay home and get jobs to help our family make ends meet? And by the way, our parents are no slackers. They are both working hard every day to try to find new jobs so that they can get paychecks flowing again. With a little luck, one or both of my parents might get a decent job by the end of the summer, and that would take some pressure off me for sure, but I still feel bad for my big brother. — Younger Brother, via email
YOUNGER BROTHER: Your brother made his decision on his own with no strings attached to you, so that doesn't mean you have to make the same one. You also shared how he had a really good-paying job already in place. You would likely only be able to land an entry-level job this fall.
You could give up your dream of going to college, but it may be better to plan a way to pay your tuition.
The best path forward might be to consider a community college for a year or two to keep your expenses down. The very good news is that there are many great community colleges all across America, and I trust there will be one near enough to you such that it would be convenient for you to attend.
I truly feel for your family and for all of the others who are in similar situations. I wish your parents the best of luck in finding suitable employment as quickly as possible.
I'M CONCERNED AND WANT TO LEARN MORE
DR.WALLACE: I hear a lot of my girlfriends talking about a pretty sensitive topic, and it's got me thinking. I have many questions regarding sexually transmitted diseases, and to be honest, I'm not sure I'm all that comfortable asking you all of my questions. And since this topic has so many subsets to it, I think it would take many columns for you to give me all the information I want to know.
So, my question is really more one of asking if there is one good place you might know of where a teenager like me could quickly go to learn about this topic? It would be much easier and more understandable for me to go to one place to read up and educate myself further on this topic. Where do you feel I could get a look at the most information in one place? — Worried Enough To Study Up, via email
WORRIED ENOUGH TO STUDY UP: I commend you for your rightful concern about this very important yet sadly often overlooked topic. You already likely know that my primary advice on this topic is to abstain from sexual activity until you are married, but I'll provide you my secondary response as well.
And you're in luck, since there is an excellent resource that you'll likely want to utilize to further your knowledge and understanding on this topic.
You can call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at 800-232-4636 or go to https://www.cdc.gov/std/general/ to find a lot of very useful, sobering information on this topic.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: Foundry at Pixabay