Q&A with Dr. Dorothy: Your tough questions answered
Dorothy Ratusny is a Certified Psychotherapist specializing in Cognitive Therapy.
My parents are super overprotective, and normally I deal with it fine (because I’m used to it). But now I have this amazing opportunity to do a summer internship at a music label and my dad says it’s too far away, so I can’t accept the job. I had it all worked out, even talked to my aunt about staying with her for the summer, and they are ruining my plans! How can I convince them that it’s okay to let go a little?
Believe it or not, parents have a hard time of letting go sometimes! Consider creating a “safety plan,” asking them to let you try the internship out and then assess how things are going after the first month. Hopefully your aunt is able to speak to your parents and reassure them that you will be just fine staying with her. See if there are any other specific fears that your parents have that you can discuss, in order to help set their minds at ease—it’s easier to convince them to let you do this if you know what their worries are!
THIS IS REALLY EMBARRASSING…I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO SAY THIS. OKAY, HERE GOES: I AM ALMOST 16 AND I DON’T HAVE MY PERIOD YET. I KNOW THAT ALL OF MY FRIENDS HAVE IT—‘CAUSE THEY TALK ABOUT THEIR CRAMPS AND EVERYTHING— SO I’M GETTING WORRIED THAT THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME, PHYSICALLY. THIS CAN’T BE NORMAL, RIGHT?
Actually, it is normal. Everyone’s body works independently based on their own biorhythm and physiology. Your body’s hormones greatly affect the onset of your first menstrual cycle and the symptoms that characteristically go along with it. That being said, it is recommended that young women check in with their doctor if they haven’t had a first period by the time they are 16. You can decide if you want to wait until you turn 16—a lot can happen between now and then— or if you want to see your doctor now, to set your mind at ease.
I’M IN GRADE 11 AND I’M JUST STARTING TO LOOK AT OPTIONS FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY. I HAVE ALL THESE PAMPHLETS FROM DIFFERENT SCHOOLS AND MY PARENTS ARE STARTING TO TALK ABOUT GOING ON TOURS OF THE CAMPUSES AND STUFF— THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THAT I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR! I HAVEN’T REALLY DECIDED WHAT KIND OF JOB I WANT TO GET INTO YET—I HAVE INTERESTS IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT AREAS, SO HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHICH SCHOOL IS BEST FOR ME?
You’ve asked a really important question and it’s one that a lot of students contemplate. Know that it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to start college or university without knowing for sure what kind of job you want. The main thing is to choose the school that you like the most. That’s why going to see the different campuses is important—you definitely get a vibe of which one you will want to attend! Also be sure that you take a varied selection of courses in your first year: all of the ones you find most interesting! By the time you get halfway through your first semester, you will have an idea of what you would like to pursue (as well as what you don’t). By the end of your first year, with some further contemplating— and being honest with yourself—you will likely have a good idea of the area of study (and even job field) you would like.
For more on Dorothy check out www.dorothyratusny.com
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