Monday, February 19 , 2018, 10:27 am | Fair 53º


Louise Palanker: Choosing College Over Boyfriend, Homecoming on a Budget, Stuck at School

Question from Jordan

Weezy, I love my boyfriend. He means the world to me. But next year I am going to college, and one of the colleges I applied to was AMDA for acting. He thinks I am gonna get in and we are both worried that this will separate us.

I don’t know what to do, go to California for a dream school that would prepare me for my hopefully future career or stay close to home and marry the young man I love. It is a hard decision and I need help.

What do I do? If there are more things you would like to know, just ask and I will tell. Thank you.


This is such a difficult question. We would probably need to conduct a study in which we interview a random sampling of women who felt forced to make this choice, and allow the results to help you determine the potential outcomes of either decision. Or, you could just watch The Turning Point and conclude that nobody is happy.

(Movie video)

A better lesson would be that sacrifice and risk will be woven into every painful life choice. Ultimately, the decision must be yours but I will always advise young people to go for their dreams NOW. If you marry the boy you love at such a young age you may live with regrets. Instead, reach for your potential and allow love to find a way to find you WITHIN your pursuit of your highest self.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Beth

OK, so... Homecoming is this Saturday. Long story short, I procrastinated asking my mom about it and now I really want to go but I’m not sure if we have the money to buy a dress, shoes and the ticket.

The ticket is $15. The dress and shoes would be somewhat expensive. I have no money, and I have no ways of earning money before Saturday. I’m afraid if I ask her and she doesn’t have the money, she’ll feel bad that I want to go but can’t.

My friends are begging me to go. My crush is going without a date. Everyone says we both like each other, so there’s a possibility we might talk/dance together at homecoming. So, what do I do? Do I ask my mom about it or not?


You may want to try bringing it up to your mom by first admitting that you should have asked her much sooner. You can then tell her that you will completely understand if she can’t help you make it happen.

You and your crush will have other opportunities to talk down the road. It does not have to happen at homecoming.

Learn from this. When something big is coming down the road, don’t ignore it. Pay attention. Aim high in steering your life. You can make slight adjustments and corrections to prepare for an event that is a long way off. You can put a little money aside, get a job, save, discuss, plan, initiate a backup plan, etc.

On the other hand, if you wait until an event is looming, you will find yourself making sharp, quick turns that will lead to either a collision or missing the event entirely.

Talk with your mom calmly and rationally. Maybe she will have a creative solution.

Lauren Banawa got creative with her homecoming dress. This may give you some good ideas:

(Lauren Banawa video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Adam

So I go to a college that I do not even like. My mom doesn’t want me dorming or going to a community college, so I go to a college that is 20 minutes away by bus. I don’t like it here. I feel like I don’t fit in. No one here is like me. All the kids who go here are not that interesting, and I just feel like I’m in high school all over again.

The reasons I’m staying are 1) My mom 2) I get a refund check 3) My tuition is covered in full 4) I get a $400 voucher each semester for food and books 5) The education here is a little easier than at better schools ... 

Because of this, I feel like I am not enjoying my life and not having fun. I don’t even have a permit or a license either. Because no one really encourages me to get one at 18. What do I do, Weezy?


How much do you WANT to improve your situation? There are many motivational sayings that may serve to encourage you, such as, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” “Every journey begins with one step.” Or this one: “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

In other words, our forward momentum is dictated by our need. This concept invites the question: Do you NEED to get yourself to a better school enough to overcome your obstacles?

Now, pull out a piece of paper, scan back up to your letter and re-write every reason you listed for attending your current school. Look at it. Read through it. Now rip it up and throw it away.

That list is holding you in place. It is binding you to a situation that does not inspire you to be your best self. It has become a list of excuses not to act.

Now take out another sheet of paper and make a list of action items that would need to be set into motion for you to initiate the change that you crave.

What needs to happen for you to attend a better school?

For example:

» You must learn how to drive or figure out a means of transportation that will suit you.

» You will need a job.

» You should search for scholarships.

» You will need to research how you will apply to a better school and transfer.

» You should find someone who is in your corner. A friend, a mentor, an adult who believes in you and can encourage you and help you research and prepare for your next move.

» You may need to move out of your home so you can mitigate the voices in your ear that are holding you back.

Whatever it takes, do it.

You are 18 years old. I wish you had more parental support to move forward but the sad fact is that you don’t.

Yet, you yearn for more.

More is not walking down the street toward you.

YOU need to get up and go after it.

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara​. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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