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November 30, 2009

Please go to college?

Speaking of difficult things to ask for, here's an issue I've been struggling with: When do you butt into someone's life if they're not family? (Because, I don't know about you, but in my family we're up all in one another's business, like it or not. But with strangers and even friends, it's different.)

As I've mentioned, a young houseguest has been staying with me for the past few days. I'll leave her background and history out of this, since I know I wouldn't want mine discussed online. Let's just say that for a variety of reasons, she dropped out of college and has been working. Her explanations are manifold. But her logic is wanting.

Last night, I put aside any respectful distance normally accorded to people I don't know that well and I butted in, mom style, big time. My message, more or less, was, "Go. To. College. Put everything else on hold and re-enroll. You need advice? I'll advise. Need help applying? I'll help. Need an advocate to explain your GPA? I'll advocate. Need money? I'll help you do the FAFSA. Just trust me: college is the most important thing you can do for yourself. You think your job is fine now, but what happens if you're fired or they downsize and you can't find work because you have no degree? You want to help your family? You'll be that much more valuable when you have a degree. You think math is hard? Everyond has a hard time with certain subjects. That's why there are tutors and office hours." And so on.

Not sure how much sank in, but one can hope...

I know. It's her life. She's an adult. I have no responsibility to care for her, or even about her. But that's what people around her have been saying her whole life. If someone didn't care when she was 12, maybe someone should when she's 22?

What do you think? Would you butt in? What's the best argument you can make for telling someone to go to college when they think it's better to have a job?

By the way, if you want to get advice on your own asking dilemma, please go to the previous post and leave a comment (click here).
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