If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Please enter your email and we will send your username and password to you.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am going to study abroad in Spain next semester as a junior in college, and I am excited as I worked extremely hard to raise the money to be able to go. I come from a low-income background, so I had to either raise the money or abandon my dream of studying abroad. I have a friend who is also going and was able to raise enough money to cover tuition but hasn’t thought much about how she is going to be able to afford her daily expenses while in Spain. I want to be able to travel through Europe and spend a lot of money on experiences while there. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do this with my friend because she won’t have the money. I will feel like a horrible friend leaving her every weekend to go explore Europe; however, I have been looking forward to this experience since I was in high school and have dreamed of this moment. Am I a bad person for putting myself first and traveling without my friend? — Summer Abroad
DEAR SUMMER ABROAD: Talk to your friend now and urge her to take next year seriously. If you are willing, share with her some of the resources you used to raise money to study abroad. Being a good friend in this regard means being willing to share some of the gems that you learned through your hard work and perseverance. Tell her that you intend to explore Europe and that you have planned it out. She will be able to join you only if she raises more money. Your gift to her can be to share a bit of your roadmap, but you should also be prepared to travel solo. You have carved out your own life. Now it is time to live it.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My 20th birthday is coming up. I have a list of presents I want to ask for, but I do not want to ask for too much or for the presents to be too expensive. A lot of things I want are in a high price range, and I do not want to seem ungrateful or appear as if I am asking for too much, but my family has reassured me that it is an important birthday and I am not overstepping. My list is pretty long, though, and despite asking multiple family members, I really am worried that I am asking for too much. I also have a history of not being very receptive when I receive gifts and of my family getting upset with me about not seeming enthusiastic about the gift they gave me. Should I ask for all the gifts I want? How do I convey my gratitude for their gifts? — Birthday Gifts
DEAR BIRTHDAY GIFTS: There’s nothing wrong with making a wish list. What you need to be clear about is that you shouldn’t expect to get everything that is on the list. Be mindful of budgets and include a range of price points for items you like. Since your birthday is close to the holidays, you can also note that some things may be great for your birthday, others for Christmas. More important, get the list to them if they asked for it. If you wait too long, it will be on you if you don’t get what you want.