Thursday, December 14 , 2017, 11:02 pm | Smoke 43º


Louise Palanker: Stymied by College Registration Snafus, Chickening Out, Bisexuality Questions

Question from Sierra

I was supposed to start college in about two weeks. A couple of days ago, they told me that I couldn’t take one of my classes if I wanted one of my scholarships because the scholarship requires you to be taking 15 credits, and I was at 14. They conveniently didn’t tell anyone this until MONTHS after registration started.

I spent about five hours yesterday trying to find a different class. There weren’t any that I could take. The only classes were ones at times I couldn’t be there or they were at the same times as my other classes, or they didn’t go with my major/program.

They conveniently decided to cancel one of my other classes today, and now I basically can’t go there at all because I need a certain amount of credits to get financial aid. There’s absolutely nothing for me to take there, and I don’t know what to do.

I talked to an adviser the other day and she was very unhelpful; the only classes she recommended were ones that were at times I couldn’t be there, or they were filled by the time I got home. At one point she even told me I should’ve gone to a different college.

I’ve had multiple anxiety attacks over this. I just don’t know what to do anymore.


I recently listened to an episode of NPR’s Hidden Brain about a phenomenon called Summer Melt. This is the term used to describe the phenomenon of kids getting into college but not showing up in the fall. The reason for this is everything that you are describing.

It should not be this difficult for a kid to go to college. I wish I knew more information that would be helpful to you but click here to listen to the podcast.

And then continue asking questions until you get the answers you need. DO NOT GIVE UP. YOU ARE GOING TO COLLEGE!

Go back to your high school and speak to the counselor. Get your parents involved. Ask to speak to the dean of your college. Speak to the scholarship program. Go to the news media with your story. Write to the people at Hidden Brain and tell them what is happening to you. There is an answer out there and you will just keep looking until you find it.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Allison

I’m a 14-year-old pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish) and have been for 418 days. I’ve always craved chicken and the cravings are starting to overwhelm me. I really want to eat chicken again, but I feel like I’ll really disappoint myself and it’ll be a sign to my parents that I can’t do anything right or stay committed to anything.

I originally became one because I couldn’t stand eating animals. I don’t know what to do?


You are 14 years old and you are in the middle of your childhood. You will be growing and changing A LOT until about the age of 26. Even then you will continue to change and evolve, but never so dramatically as what you are experiencing right now. As you move through your teens you will try all sorts of things: sports, activities, interests, ideologies, philosophies, shampoos, jeans and Snapchat filters.

Some will work for you. Some will not. Some will evolve and shift and adjust with you as you grow into the person you are on your way to becoming. You will learn more about yourself through all of this.

To adapt is not letting yourself down. It is listening to your body and your mind, and paying attention to what your hear. To me, it sounds like your body is screaming for some chicken. Yes, the thought of eating animals is unsettling to a lot of people. You can include me in that group. As an adult, I ultimately decided to eat chicken and fish and to avoid red meat. Not because I value the lives of cows over those of the chickens or the fish, but because this felt like a healthier choice for me.

Is the life of the chicken really more important than that of the fish? Do you own any belts or shoes or purses that contain leather? Haven’t humans been using animals as food and clothing for hundreds of thousands of years? Don’t animals eat each other?

Yes, these are tricky questions. I don’t post them to confuse you but to illustrate that wherever you draw YOUR line, someone else could argue against it. Make a decision that works for you. If that changes in a month or in a year, fine. That does not make you weak. It makes you someone who uses her own experiences as an education.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Katie

I am 12 years old, a female, also bisexual. I have a crush on this girl I met at my school. She is my friend already, but she stares at me like we don’t know each other. Everywhere I look, she’s staring at me. I stare back for a second, and we both break eye contact. A few times we caught each other staring, and she smiled and looked away. I do admit, since I find her attractive, I do stare at her a lot.

This one day I just texted her and asked her a simple question — woo, yay. Like any normal person, I just said “Goodbye” and logged off. The next day she saw me at school, she approached me the second she saw me alone and began smiling. I smiled back and said “hi” really awkwardly. She smiled back and said “hi” back.

She then sat down next to me, which was very unexpected. She’s so shy around me. I’m not sure if she’s bi or lesbian, but she might be ... I need advice and an answer if she possibly likes me or not!!!


Well, at the very least she wants to be better friends. So continue getting to know her. Talk to her. Ask her questions about her life and her interests. Ask her how something makes her feel. Ask her about her opinions. Those are the deeper questions that bring two people closer together.

As you develop a bond, answers to your bigger questions will begin to present themselves.

Always remember to be your age. Romance can wait, and it should wait. Of course you will have crushes as you come to understand who you are and where you fit in. Learning how to talk to a crush is a big step. Start there.

As you become more comfortable with this girl you can tell her that you are bisexual. Her response will tell you a lot. But, most important, whether or not you ever date this particular girl, you will both learn and grow from knowing each other.

                                                                 •        •        •

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 Network, 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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