Dear Doolina,

When I started college, my parents told me they wanted me to graduate a year early for financial reasons. Now, in my junior year, I am able to do so, but I’d rather stay for my senior year. I want to enjoy the quintessential college experience. I’m also considering doing an honors thesis, which would require me to stay at Emory for at least part of senior year. Since my parents pay for my education, obviously they have final say, but I really do want to stay for senior year. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Sayonara Senior Year?

Dear Sayonara Senior Year,

This is a tough problem, and my advice will probably be equally tough to digest. I’ll preface what I’m going to say to you by first saying that I don’t envy your position, but I do want try to help you as much as I can.

First, your parents are paying for your education. That’s a huge privilege, for which you should be, and most likely already are, incredibly grateful. Because of that fact, unless you find a way to finance your final year at Emory, you ultimately must live with your parents’ decision. That’s not to say that it isn’t possible to find a way to stay for senior year. I’d suggest talking to the financial aid office and explaining that you want to stay for senior year to do an honors thesis. They may be receptive to your plea; they may not. Either way, you must explore every possible lead if you really want to stay one final year.

You should also look into any possible scholarship options: look online, ask your advisor, ask everyone. Next, it’s clear that a conversation with your parents is in order. You can ask them to change their opinion, but also keep in mind that you knew what the deal was before you entered college.

One option might be for your parents to finance the cost of tuition for senior year up front, and you pay them back for a predetermined percentage of it over time.

It seems to me that unless you do an honors thesis and can either pay for your tuition yourself or work out a deal with your parents, you are probably graduating early.

No matter what happens, remember how lucky you are to have parents who paid for (at least) three years’ tuition – and to have received an Emory education.

 

Delightfully,

Doolina

——————

Dear Doolina,

In my friend group, I am one of the few who has a car. Because of this, I am often relegated to the position of designated driver. I understand that every once in a while, I should pay my dues and be the designated driver. I’m okay with that. However, I feel like I’ve been putting in more than my fair share, and I want to change this. Any ideas?

Sincerely,

Designated Driver

 

Dear Designated Driver,

Let’s say you have three friends (it’s okay, quality over quantity, right?). Two of the four of you have cars.

Ideally, you’d be the designated driver one-quarter of the time, and so would every other friend. Instead of you being designated driver one-half of the time, because only two of you have cars, why don’t you and your friends work out a system where the two car-less friends are still responsible for being designated driver, even though they don’t have a car? Can they borrow your car when they’re the designated driver? Can the car-less DD find a another friend (gasp, another friend?!) who is willing to come pick you up on that person’s night? I think this is a pretty fair way of going about things. I also think that it would be generous of you to be DD a bit more frequently than the car-less friends, as long as they’re trying to make things as fair as possible.

Delightfully,

The Other DD (Dear Doolina!)

——————

Dear Doolina,

How do I eat a pomegranate?

Sincerely,

Perplexed by Pomegranates

 

Dear Perplexed by Pomegranates,

This is a mystery that I, too, have never been able to solve. It’s not a stretch to claim that even the greatest sleuth of all time, Sherlock Holmes, would likely be unable to solve your query. But now there’s Yahoo! Answers, which is perhaps a modern-day equivalent to Mr. Holmes. Every single question you can imagine has been asked there, though the answers often leave something to be desired – just like this one!

Delightfully,

Doolina