Dear Tori,

My friends keep inviting me to the mall, to the movies and to get stuff to eat after school, but I can never go because I never have enough money. My parents don’t give me an allowance and they keep telling me that now is not the time to get a job because I should be focusing on school work, but I feel so left out. I really want to get a job, but I don’t know how to convince my parents.

-Left out

Dear Left out,
Feeling excluded can certainly be difficult. That being said, it’s important to try to remember where your parents are coming from. They want the best for you, and that’s why they don’t want you to have a job just yet. A job can take up a lot of your time and can really fill up your plate, but if you think you’d be able to handle the responsibility of holding a job and maintaining good grades, you need to come up with a way to show that to your parents. It may be worth your while to volunteer and/or join after school activities in your spare time in addition to keeping those grades up, to prove to your parents that you are able to manage your time effectively.
Remember that this isn’t a sure fire plan; there’s no guarantee that your parents will agree. Should that be the case, try to have an open conversation with them about it. Let them know that you’re feeling left out and that you want to be able to go places with your friends. If they understand where you’re coming from, they may choose to give you some money, so you’re able to hang out with your friends now and then.
If neither of these ideas work for you, keep in mind that money isn’t everything. You don’t need to go shopping, watch movies, or eat out to have fun with your friends. You can change it up a bit instead. Why not invite them over and everyone can have a good time without having to pay anything? If that’s not possible, community centres always have fun activities going on; you can find something that all of you are interested in doing.
Remember, there are always other alternatives. All you have to do is find the one that works well for you. I wish you the absolute best of luck!

Tori

 

 

 

Dear Tori,

I’m in Grade 11 and I have absolutely no clue as to what I want to be when I grow up! All of my friends seem to have an idea as to what they want to become after high school and I keep hearing that now is the best time to decide what I want to go into after Grade 12, but I just don’t know. Please help!

-Confused

 

Dear Confused,
Sometimes a little bit of time is all it takes. Choosing a career is not easy. There are so many possibilities out there today, so the decision can be quite overwhelming. The good thing is that you’re in Grade 11; you have some time before you must make your choice.
There are a couple things you can do to find your calling. First of all, you need to take some time to think about what you enjoy doing, what are you passionate about? That’s the most important part. If you’re going to be doing something every day for the rest of your life, it should be something that you love doing. Secondly, use the tools which are available to you. The internet is a vast resource. Research the different possibilities involving what you enjoy most. For example, if you love music, you could be a music journalist or a critic. There are bound to be a variety of things that appeal to you, some of which you may have never considered or even heard of before.
Another thing you can do is to talk to your guidance counsellor! They can provide you with resources which can help you to make your decision. If you’re still struggling, keep in mind that in Grade 11, not everyone knows what they want to do after high school. In fact, some people only make up their minds at the start of Grade 12! It’s so great that you’re thinking about this now, so when the time comes, you will have arrived at a very well thought out decision.
Choosing a career is something you shouldn’t rush. Some people take more time than others, and that’s completely okay. All you can do is have some patience and explore the different opportunities. The rest will follow.

Tori