College 101

The Crusade Against Cancer

The Crusade Against Cancer

December 9, 2017 at 11:00 am 0 comments

The group of friends I have here at school is very tight-knit, and I’m so lucky to be a part of it. Recently, one of the friends in our group got some terrible news: her mother has breast cancer. We’re all devastated for our friend and her family, and everyone is trying to think of what they can do. Right now we’re focused on being there for our friend and listening, but we’d like to do something without her asking – whether it’s give a big gift, help her with something in her life (or help her mother directly), or donate to a relevant charity. My mind’s all over the place right now, though, as I’m sure my friends’ are too, so I thought I’d ask the experts for advice.

It’s so sad to hear of your friend’s terrible news. She’s lucky to have such a wonderful group of friends to support her during this tough time.

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Limiting Liability

Limiting Liability

December 8, 2017 at 8:30 am 0 comments

Ever since I was young, I’ve had an irrational fear – well, at least I hope it’s irrational – of being sued. I think I’m so fixated on this because my parents both have very strong feelings about lawyers and lawsuits. Every since I was young I’ve heard about how we live in a “litigious society” and about how people will start a lawsuit over pretty much anything. I’m almost afraid to own a car because of how often it seems that people get sued over car crashes. I’m afraid to go into any career – like medicine – where people can get sued easily. I’m certainly afraid to own a pool – we never had one growing up because, according to my mom, some neighbor’s kid would jump in and drown and we’d get sued.

I’m trying to get a grip on my worries here, and I’m hoping the experts can help. How at risk are we all, really, of being sued for no reason?

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Green Generation

Green Generation

December 6, 2017 at 6:01 pm 0 comments

I read recently that Americans use more energy than just about anyone. It really upset me, because I like to think of myself as every environmentally conscious: I recycle, I buy organic products, all that stuff. But I still heat my apartment and drive my car, and it seems that that’s enough to make me an enemy of the planet! I don’t know what to do about it, though. Any tips?

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Renting and Real Estate

Renting and Real Estate

December 6, 2017 at 8:30 am 0 comments

Back in my home state (New Jersey), my cousin manages rental properties. He knows that I’ve been saving money for a long time, and he has recently started asking me to invest in a new property with him. He has places picked out for me to look at whenever I’m home, and he’s very enthusiastic about the idea of pooling our resources. I’m not so sure about investing in real estate right now, though – especially when I see the places he’s looking at, which tend to be drafty and in disrepair (he says fixing these places up would be easy, but I don’t know enough about that sort of thing to say). What do the experts think: am I missing out on a big opportunity here?

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Love and Legacies

Love and Legacies

December 4, 2017 at 10:37 am 0 comments

I’m an only child from an old-fashioned family, and I’m about to graduate college with my long-term girlfriend. So you can guess what my family is talking about: marriage, kids, and a whole new family: mine!

I’m very happy with my relationship, but I’m dragging my feet for a whole other weird reason, and it’s one that feels a little paranoid to say. I’m worried about what will happen to my family if I die. I know that sounds morbid, but if I had kids, I’d consider myself responsible for them (who wouldn’t?), and I remember a family friend years ago telling some awful story about a father who died and left his whole family in dire financial straits. I don’t even remember the friend, really, just the story – clearly it had an affect on me! What if I get run over by a truck, or something, and my family ends up all alone?

Anyway, I’m paranoid and rambling – can your experts reassure me with some kind of stats about life expectancy, or something?

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Cranky About Clunkers

Cranky About Clunkers

December 3, 2017 at 10:30 am 0 comments

I have a car here on campus, and I didn’t pay a dime for it: my dad gave it to me. Pretty great, right? My dad has actually given me a few cars, which I know is really, really generous. But here’s the thing: the reason he’s had to give me more than one is that these things keep giving up the ghost, sometimes at really inconvenient times.

See, my dad is a shadetree mechanic, so he’s fixing up old clunkers and rebuilding engines and then passing his projects onto various members of the family. The whole family is driving really old cars, and all of us deal with frequent breakdowns and, occasionally, rides that are unexpectedly totalled by some mechanical problem while we’re on the road. I don’t want to be less than grateful, but I’m really frustrated by my dad’s obsession with working on really old cars. Is there a tactful way to push harder for him to fix up a more modern vehicle?

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Care and Comfort

Care and Comfort

December 2, 2017 at 10:30 am 0 comments

My grandparents live pretty near to campus, so while I’m at school I try to visit them pretty often. Lately, I’ve been kind of worried about the two of them. My grandmother fell down in the tub recently, and while she didn’t break any bones, she’s been spending a lot of time in bed and has been complaining that it’s really uncomfortable (she even has some sores, my grandfather says). Meanwhile, my grandfather seems kind of overwhelmed by all his responsibilities around the house – especially since my grandmother isn’t really in a position to help him. I’m starting to think that they should consider moving to an assisted living facility, but I know from past conversations that my grandfather is really against that sort of thing, and I’m not sure that I should be bringing this up as a grandchild (my parents don’t live nearby and haven’t visited too recently, so it’s really just me dealing with this). Any advice from the experts?

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Jobs and Geography

Jobs and Geography

December 1, 2017 at 8:00 am 0 comments

While I’ve been in school. I’ve made some money as a freelance writer. I write blog posts, marketing copy, and things like that. I know that freelancers don’t get some perks that full-time employees get (health insurance, etc.), but I’m thinking that I’m going to try to make it as a freelancer for a while when I graduate. And a big part of why I want to do this is that I want to work remotely and travel.

I’m very confident in my choice of career, but I’m not as sure about how I’ll manage the travel and remote work from a legal perspective. For instance, is it legal to work in a foreign country for an employer in the US?

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Online Oversight

Online Oversight

November 30, 2017 at 8:30 am 0 comments

My friends and I are pretty active on social media, so we’ve been a little weirded out by some of the stuff that’s been going on lately – you know, the issues with Twitter and harassment, and with Facebook and “fake news,” and all of that stuff. We were talking the other day about Facebook’s plans for combatting revenge porn by having their staff look at user nudes, and everyone had some really strong opinions on it. One of the things that kept coming up was the question of whether the government is ever going to step in and regulate these sites more. Regardless of whether or not that’s a good idea, how likely is that to happen? What do the experts think the future of social media regulation will look like?

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Tech Training

Tech Training

November 29, 2017 at 8:00 am 0 comments

When I’m home during the summer, I help out around my dad’s electronics shop. It’s one of those small-town sorts of shops that, unfortunately, you just don’t see around that often these days. Its old-school feel is definitely a part of its charm, but I’m not sure if my dad is keeping things quite modern enough. It’s an electronics store, after all, so it should at least have a good website (it doesn’t) and maybe an app, or something. But as much as my dad loves devices, he’s not much for programming or design. I’m having a really hard time convincing him that he needs to learn how to update his website. Any suggestions?

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