Recently my best friend and her boyfriend, both 16, were planning to drive to Disneyland early one Saturday morning and return home very late that same evening. I was thrilled when she invited my boyfriend and me to ride along.
Well, my thrill didn’t last too long. When I asked my dad if I could go, he said no immediately. Of course I got upset, especially since he didn’t take time to think about it. All he said was, “Since when do you think you can just jump into a car and take off with a bunch of kids? You never have before, and what makes you think you can start now?”
Dr. Wallace, that’s just it. I never get to do anything like this with my friends. I’m not permitted to go cruising, and when I’m on a date I must come directly home after we have a late snack or dinner. After all, I’m a 16-year-old young lady who feels she can’t be trusted. I get good grades and I have never done anything wrong to cause my parents not to trust me. I’d like your opinion, please.
Jenny: Your father might have been abrupt with his explanation, but I must agree with his decision. According to my map of California, Bakersfield is about 125 miles from Disneyland. That makes for a round trip of 250 miles, which translated to about five hours on the road. That’s a lot of driving for one day.
Your father’s decision doesn’t indicate a lack of trust in you; he just doesn’t want to risk your safety to the judgment of a young, inexperienced driver who will be putting in a lot of time behind the wheel on an exhausting day. I think most parents would have made the decision your dad made.
While I agree with his decision, I believe he could have given you a better reason for refusing your request. “Since when do you think ... and what makes you think you can start now?” doesn’t cut it.
Dr. Wallace: I’m in the 11th grade and I hope to enter college in the fall of 2018. The only problem my family has is if they will have the money to pay for it since college and university expenses have recently skyrocketed. I sure hope our new president will come up with ways to help families who have children in college.
How did you pay for your undergraduate degree?
Laura: Let’s hope help will be coming to aid students to attend college. No student who wants to attend college should be denied because of a lack of family funds.
Many colleges and universities have loans or grants to help students afford tuition. When you decide where you would like to go to college, contact the dean of admissions for financial information. “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
While an undergraduate at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., I covered expenses through several means. My G.I. Bill benefit covered tuition, fees and books. Waiting tables at my fraternity house covered expenses for room and board. The only crimp I felt in my wallet was when it came to my social life. The Knox student I dated had expensive tastes (only kidding, Mona.). Fortunately, the money spent wasn’t wasted. That lady is now my faithful wife and loyal companion.
Write to Dr. Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org.