DR. WALLACE: I'm 16, and I have great parents. But there's just one problem. My allowance is dismal! In fact, it's so small that I'm embarrassed to tell you the amount. Just take your best guess and then cut that by less than half and you might be close to what I receive each week.
As a girl, I need a little more spending money! My girlfriends all get from three to five times what I receive! Luckily, they often help me out by covering for me when we go out together. But I don't want to mooch off my friends, so I asked my dad if I could get a job after school or on the weekends. He said no since I don't drive yet and don't have a car to use anyway. What can I do? I really owe my girlfriends some payback, and my self-esteem would be lifted if I could work for a little more cash! — Broke All the Time, Mesa, Arizona
BROKE ALL THE TIME: I have two suggestions for you. First, ask your parents if you can do some extra chores around the house, garage or yard to earn some extra money beyond the existing allowance you are receiving. Tell them you wish to spend some of this extra income, but you would also like to start saving some of it, too. Mention that if this can be worked out, you'd like to go with them to their local bank on a Saturday to set up a savings account.
If that does not work, see if you can find a job that you can work on at your home. Perhaps you could help write or edit a project that would be helpful to someone. You might be able to do some clerical work from home or use the internet to do some research for a local company.
Network with your girlfriends and their parents to try to accomplish this. If and when you find a paying job that you can do from home, ask for your parents' blessing to do the work. Also ask them to take you to that bank to set up a savings account, too. If you do this, I feel your odds of making extra money are good — as long as the work will not interfere with your ability to maintain good grades in school.
FREEDOM LEADS TO FOLLY FOR SOME
DR. WALLACE: I will be attending college this fall, and I'm proud of my grades in high school and similarly proud of several of my fellow students who have taken academics seriously while in high school. However, I have a question for you. Why is college considered "party time" for many students? It seems crazy to work so hard in high school and then agonize about getting accepted to the "right" college only to devolve into a party animal who seemingly only lives for spring break once college rolls around. What is up with this mentality? I personally didn't work this hard in high school to goof off in college. I aim to get a great degree that will lead me to a great job after I graduate from college. - Puzzled High School Senior, St. Paul, Minnesota
PUZZLED: I believe it has to do mainly with the freedom of living away from the watchful eye of parents for the first time! Many college students simply find the party lifestyle too tempting to pass up. This, for some students, is a circumstance that never seems to change, no matter what campus is involved.
But the availability of temptation can be reduced by a school's administration. For instance, one of the most positive and responsible steps taken to curb this problem in recent years was the banning of alcohol by some national fraternities and sororities at their campus residences.
Most college communities are split into two groups: those who never or rarely drink and those who drink often and, sadly, to excess.
Not too surprisingly, the latter group comprises mainly poor academic students. Over the years, I've read many studies indicating that there is a correlation between alcohol consumption and grade point average. Yes, you guessed it; the more drinks per week, the lower the GPA!
There are always students willing to risk ruining the college experience by drinking too much, and for those individuals, they often regret it later. I trust based upon the tone of your letter that you will not be one of them!
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: laterjay at Pixabay