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home : columns : dear harriette June 28, 2016

4/14/2014 12:09:00 PM
Family needs help deciding on college

DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter applied to 11 colleges, and she was accepted to all of them. The colleges are mostly on the East Coast, and we are trying to figure out which college will be the best suited for our child. It is such a blessing to know that my husband and I do not have to take out any additional loans, but we are concerned because we want to make the best decision regarding our daughter's education. How do we decide where she should go? -- Going to College, Atlanta

DEAR GOING TO COLLEGE: Congratulations on so many acceptances. You should be very proud that your daughter is so appealing to these schools. I will also caution you that unless each acceptance came with an official scholarship offer, you cannot assume that you will not have to pay for her education. Acceptance and admission represent the first steps in this process. Next is paying for it.  

Read the paperwork carefully, and identify which schools are offering financial support. If you need the support, weed out any schools that are not offering your daughter money. Next, review the curriculum of each school with your daughter to identify which ones have courses in her areas of interest. To the best of your ability, help your daughter select a school that will educate her based on what she thinks she wants to study. This will help ensure that she has a successful college experience.

DEAR HARRIETTE: How can you feel comfortable when most of the people around you are speaking a different language? I went to an event with a friend who is French, and most of her friends who were at this party were also French speakers. At first my friend was very attentive. She introduced me to everybody as we walked around. It was very pleasant. But then she got caught up in conversation in French, and I was left standing there looking stupid. I walked around and tried to make small talk with other people who she had introduced to me, but that didn't last long. After a while, I just found a seat and watched the party. I didn't have a horrible time, but I was really uncomfortable because I could not speak the language. It was more than an hour before my friend even noticed that I was sitting by myself. She came over for a minute, but then went off again. Should I have done something different? Should I say anything to her? -- Francophobe, Greenwich, Conn.

DEAR FRANCOPHOBE: I doubt that your friend and the others intended to exile you by speaking French all night long. More than likely, they forgot that you were not a French speaker. What you could have done would be to interject your voice from time to time in conversation and ask your friend to translate what the others were saying. You also could have pulled your friend aside to ask her if she would stay with you for the purpose of translating so that you could be included.  

Yes, you should tell her that you felt uncomfortable and ask her to be your translator next time.

(Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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