(NNPA)—Dear Gwendolyn: I read your column and noticed that most of your letters come from adults. I am 17 and scheduled to graduate in May. I am the second highest in my graduating class. I have received at least six scholarships. Four of the colleges are Ivy League and two are small colleges in small towns.

I am so disgusted. Going away is fine with my father, but mom—I just don’t know about her. I can’t understand why she wants to keep me from getting a good education away from home. Our town is small and there is no university or college here—not even a junior/community college.


My father is educated but was never able to get a high paying academic job. After marrying my mother (who was pregnant before their marriage) my father stayed here because mom didn’t want to leave her parents.  Staying here really did hinder my father. He is such a wonderful person but sometimes I can see the pain in his eyes.

Gwendolyn, I don’t want to give up my dreams only because my mother doesn’t want me to move away.  What can I do?—Shirley

Dear Shirley: Have a talk with your mother letting her know that this is your time to leave—your time to seek a higher education—your time to seek a job or start your own business after college graduation. You may even decide to get a master’s degree or a Ph.D. Becoming a lawyer, doctor, accountant, or move into the high paying field of technology could possibly become an interest.

Shirley, your mother is part of “ole school” thinking you will go astray from your upbringing. You mentioned that your mother was pregnant when she and your father married. It is amazing how she is thinking. Today’s parents hope their children do not become addicted to drugs and all the other evils of the world. Let your mother know that whatever she fears you will do if you leave home, you can do—at home.

(Got a problem? Write to Gwendolyn Baines at: P.O. Box 10066, Raleigh, NC 27605-0066 [to receive a reply send a self-addressed stamped envelope] or email her at: gwenbaines@hotmail.com or visit her website at: http://www.gwenbaines.com.)

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