Dear Annie: I am a 20-year-old college student who works full time. My biggest problem isn’t that I have to work so hard. It’s that it seems I’m the only one who needs to. Many of my classmates receive grants and financial aid that cover tuition, books and living expenses. Some of them already have a degree. They go to school, start a career and then decide they don’t like it and go back to school and some agency pays their way. How is that fair?
I have one shot at this. If I don’t like the career I have chosen, I am stuck with it. I have applied for every type of student financial aid out there and have been denied every single time. I can’t get a loan because I have no credit and no co-signers. My parents help me a little with tuition, but they have two other kids to provide for. I don’t attend an Ivy League school, just a small community college. Frankly, I am ready to throw in the towel. Please tell me my hard work will pay off in the long run. – Feeling Slighted in Ohio
Dear Ohio: It will pay off. However, we don’t understand why you can’t qualify for financial aid. Have you tried a Federal Stafford Loan, where your lack of credit is not an issue? Most colleges have a financial aid office. Make an appointment to talk to someone who can help you navigate the applications and find out why you haven’t been able to get assistance.
Dear Annie: My elderly mother lives alone in a retirement community. My brothers and I do everything possible to help her remain independent. We call daily, see her weekly, assist with bills, doctors, groceries, etc. But what we can’t do is satisfy her craving for attention.
Mother tells other relatives she is blind, which isn’t true. She also says she doesn’t have enough money for groceries, also not true. These little lies get the family members to worry about her, but it also makes them think we are not taking care of her. If they would ask us directly instead of passing judgment behind our backs, we would tell them. These relatives cannot imagine the stress we are under, and it would be nice if they offered to help or bothered to visit Mother and see for themselves that she lives quite nicely. – Caring Child
Dear Caring: Don’t tell us. Tell them. The next time you visit Mom, call Aunt Carol and Cousin Jim and ask them to come with you. Mention how much Mom would love to see them because her children visit all the time and it would be nice for her to see a new face. That should do it.