Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: Common goals are the key

SOME COUPLES don't see eye-to-eye on education and the future.

SOME COUPLES don’t see eye-to-eye on education and the future.

Dear Marilyn,

I have been dating my boyfriend for about a year and a half. We are getting pretty serious.

I do have one concern with our relationship, and it keeps causing us conflict. My boyfriend does not DearMarilogowant to go to college or a trade school. I take my education very seriously, because I really think it will open doors for a better career when I graduate.

I have tried to talk to him about the importance of higher education. He lacks the motivation do do anything more than the high school diploma that he obtained three years ago.

I truly want our relationship to work out, but I feel as if we are drifting into separate paths. When I talk about college, and how important it is, I can tell that he doesn’t care. I wish that he would understand my viewpoint, and take a few classes for his own benefit.

Do you have any advice for me?

Signed, Serious Student

Dear Serious Student,

   This guy isn’t the one for you for a long-term relationship. I suspect that you are coming to that realization.

   There are many couples that do make it together that have different educational levels. However, that works when it honestly doesn’t matter to either one of them. They have other common interests and goals.

   In your case, it matters a great deal to you already. You mention that it is causing you conflict.This is because you can’t push your boyfriend into obtaining a higher education. He has to want it himself. So it really would be best for you to break up with him. Ultimately, you will be happier with someone that has the same long term goals that you do.

Dear Marilyn,

I am in my second year of college. I have absolutely no direction for my future career. I have enrolled in classes that I feel some sort of interest in, but I haven’t found anything yet that I want to do for a permanent job.

I just can’t stay interested in any single job topic or field that appeals to me to do for the rest of my life. I know that choosing a career path comes easier to some than to others. I have several friends that know exactly what they want to do.

I just can’t stand the thought of an unsuccessful or unhappy life. But I can’t think of any job that really appeals to me. I don’t want to work nights or weekends. I cringe at the thought of sitting in an office all day.

What do you suggest that I do?

Signed, Wondering

Dear Wondering,

   It is time for you to face a hard fact. While it is terrific if you find a job that you really enjoy, that is not necessarily going to happen to you. Even if you do find a career that sounds interesting to you, there can be issues or challenges that you will face. You may not like your boss, or a co-worker, or the hours, or the starting salary. The list goes on and on.

   So, you need to look at this issue much for realistically. Work is exactly that: work! It is what you do to make enough money to support yourself, and possibly your family some day. It should not define who you are, or be the determining factor of if you are going to be “unsuccessful or unhappy.”

   The way to be successful and happy has to do with your attitude and outlook of things. It will not necessarily be tied to a job that you are thrilled with. Also, your first job out of college may not end up being in the field that you have for your ultimate career. So, don’t dream of the perfect job. It would be great to find it, but it just may not be the case.

Dear Readers, I would love to hear from you. Please send me your questions or problems to Please put “Dear Marilyn” in the subject line. Thanks!


1 reply »

  1. Dear Wondering, it will help your career search if you can identify if you prefer working with people, data or things. If you don’t like numbers you can eliminate a whole bunch of careers, not just math oriented. If you are a bit shy, you might want to eliminate any type of sales or performance careers. You should talk to your college counsellors to see if you can identify your strengths and weaknesses as well. Good luck!

Leave a Reply