“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Apr 20, 2014
Dear Amy: I'm looking for insight. I am in my mid-20s and hold a liberal arts degree. Since graduating from college, I've held five jobs for a variety of reasons (including being laid off twice). I'm currently unemployed and questioning whether I should stay in this "creative" field, because it has been difficult to find stable employment and doesn't seem to be for me.

I am considering going back to school in a health-related field. I live with my boyfriend (a successful engineer) who believes I shouldn't borrow money to go back to school. He thinks I should just find a job that will pay the bills and won't require debt. I disagree and believe sometimes student debt can be for the best if you have better job prospects at the end.

We discuss marriage and a future, and he believes student debt will mean delaying other life goals, like having a home and a family. We don't have any undergraduate debt.

I am going to counseling, but I'm curious about what you and your readers have to say, or if any of you have been in similar situations.— Potential Grad Student

Dear Student: Having some student debt shouldn't delay your other life goals, as long as you limit it to a reasonable amount that you can take full responsibility for repaying.(I graduated college with debt, but it was manageable.)

I agree with your guy that you (currently unemployed) should not run headlong into full-time graduate school if you must take out loans to finance it.

You should start by pursuing an entry-level job or paid internship in a health-related business. You can use this work experience to see if a graduate degree is necessary, or if you can perhaps take some classes or training and receive certification in a health-care field.

Ideally you would work while you are going to school, and though it would take you longer to receive your education, you could take it in stages and reduce the financial load — and risk.

Dear Amy: I have two daughters. Each daughter has one child.

One daughter has always said she wanted only one child, but the other daughter always wanted three or four children.

She and her husband have tried for two years to get pregnant and have been seeing an infertility specialist, but with disappointing results.

This is causing so much heartache and sadness. This daughter is not even able to look at pregnant women without anger.

The other daughter just told us we are going to be blessed with another grandchild. Even though she originally didn't want more children, they are very happy about it.

How should my pregnant daughter break this news to her sister? She is about six weeks along, but her 7-year-old daughter already knows, and we are afraid she won't be able to keep it a secret.— Happy but Worried

Dear Happy: Six weeks is early to tell anyone about a pregnancy, but now that she has, your pregnant daughter must tell her sister about this as soon as possible.

She should approach this with tremendous sensitivity, knowing that her sister will feel conflicted. She should not insist, "I want you to be happy for me." Instead she should say, "I realize this might be very hard for you, and I want you to know that I continue to hold onto every ounce of hope for you."

The pregnant sister should understand if her sister needs to maintain some distance during this time, but the not-pregnant sister should not express anger or hostility toward (or about) her. This is a tough situation that everyone should do their best to handle with grace.

Dear Amy: The letter from "Audience Member" really bothered me. This was a guy who told a female performer that she should smile while playing on stage. I sympathize with the female musician. My "concentrating/in the zone" face is often mistaken for a frown, and I'm not in the public eye nearly as much as a performer would be.— Heather

Dear Heather: I wonder if this "Audience Member" would offer the same advice to Keith Richards.

Claremont, CA

#2 Apr 20, 2014
LW1 - It all depends on how much money you want to borrow and what you mean by a "health-related field." Do your research before you commit to anything. That's what a good liberal arts degree should have equipped you with - the skills to do solid research in order to make informed decisions.

LW2 - Your daughter who is unable to look at pregnant women without anger because she can't conceive needs serious counseling. If she is rational enough to understand that other people - including her sister - are not required to structure their lives around her own needs and desires, she may be open to a suggestion to seek therapy.
blunt advice

Union, NJ

#4 Apr 20, 2014
1. Look into health care programs at community colleges and local state schools. You should be able to transfer most of your credits so you will only have to take the medical courses. And don't think that you are to old. Most people your age haven't started let alone finished college. And having known engineers, they are overly analytical and NEVER satisfied. If he doesn't support your aspirations, it is time to move on.
2. Been there, having had a miscarriage while trying to have a second child. And seeing everyone else having babies. Mine are 5 years apart. This daughter should seek counseling to deal with the grief and anger.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#5 Apr 20, 2014
1 Take on all the debt you want, but dont ask your boyfriend to put a roof over your head, food in your belly, and pay your bills why you are doing it. Get your own place and pay your own way, then go to school (if you can afford it).

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#7 Apr 21, 2014
LW1: You were an idiot to get a LA degree with no longer term plan (grad school, teaching, etc). Might as well have taken basket weaving. That said, you should work while you go back to school and hopefully you can find a job that offers tuition assistance. That's how I finished my BA degree with minimal debt.

LW2 raised a self-absorbed brat if her one daughter has to be afraid to tell her own sister she's pregnant. Daughter needs to learn the world doesn't revolve around her and just because something is upsetting her, people shouldn't have to live their lives walking on egg-shells. Other commenters are correct, she needs counseling.
boundary painter

Waco, TX

#8 Apr 23, 2014
In defense of LW2, we don't know enough about how each daughter will respond to this news.

Glancing into the future, the daughter who said she was content with just one:
(a) treated her sister and mother to lunch after twelve weeks--and admitted to them she wanted to have a good chance at reaching term
before telling anyone how much she really wanted another child
(b) feels bad for her sister for other personal reasons that she and
her sister have not disclosed to their mother
(c) had a painful, difficult C-Section and wasn't sure she could have more children at that time
(d) other

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