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home : columns : dear harriette May 13, 2021

4/1/2021 7:59:00 AM
Recent grad's family urges getting a master's degree

DEAR HARRIETTE: I can't get over the feeling that I wasted my time and money in college. I graduated three years ago, and I haven't worked in my field or gotten even remotely close to it. My family is urging me to go and get my master's, but I don't want to waste even more of my time in school. Do you think it would be worth it to get my master's? -- Sick of School

DEAR SICK OF SCHOOL: Without knowing your field of interest, I do not know if a master's degree would be necessary for you. I can say that there are plenty of professional fields that now require a master's in order for a candidate to be taken seriously.

Research your field of interest to learn what the job requirements are. Sadly, countless recent college graduates cannot find jobs in their fields -- or at all -- because entry-level jobs are at a premium and the economy is currently fragile. I know of many young professionals who are working jobs that are unrelated to their studies or interests. I pray that this changes over time, but the reality is that our world has changed dramatically since the pandemic struck. Many people, both new graduates and seasoned professionals, are being challenged to reimagine their futures.

I recommend that you create a vision board. Envision your future and what you want to make of yourself. Then plot a course to get there. Education is one route, but you may also consider entrepreneurship, apprenticeship or shifting your field of interest.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My mom recently remarried. I've never really gotten along with her husband's kids -- my new stepsiblings. We are all grown adults. I am 25, and most of my stepsiblings are in their 20s as well -- the oldest is 30. They are very close with my stepfather, which means they are around quite a bit. My mom's feelings get hurt when I don't want to come over and see her, but I have no desire to be around any of my stepsiblings. Should I be honest with my mother and tell her that the reason I don't come around as much is because of her husband's kids? I don't want her to repeat that to her husband. -- Not My Siblings

DEAR NOT MY SIBLINGS: Out of love for your mother, you have to figure out a way to visit her more and come to a friendly place with your stepsiblings. You don't have to be friends, but you should be cordial. You should not tell your mother about your feelings regarding her husband's children. That will only create a rift that is out of anybody's control.

Think about your mother. She has found happiness with this man. Be happy for her. Decide that you will visit her, even if it is briefly, with some frequency. Also, invite her to do things with you so that you have one-on-one time. Adopt the attitude that you can build a respectful rapport with these people, too. Look for ways to get along.

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