Dear Abby: After graduation, teen wonders — now what?

SHARE Dear Abby: After graduation, teen wonders — now what?

DEAR ABBY: I’m 18 and live with my boyfriend, “Austin,” at his parents’ house because, frankly, my mom is too much for me to handle.

I graduated from high school with no plan for anything afterward. I was going to follow Austin to the school of his choice, but then he changed his mind about college. I’m happy to stay here in Colorado, but I now feel like I don’t have much going for myself.

Austin already has a job because of a connection his dad had at work. I have applied for more than 10 jobs and haven’t heard back. I was thinking of doing online classes in a year, but I have no clue what I want to study. How will I know what I want to do for the rest of my life? — GOING NOWHERE

DEAR GOING NOWHERE: I don’t know what kind of jobs you have been applying for, but because you haven’t heard back from 10 of them, you either may not be qualified or don’t create a good enough impression.

If you haven’t already asked Austin and his parents what they think you might be doing wrong, you should, so they can offer some helpful suggestions. You should also make it your business to contact the nearest university extension department and inquire about aptitude tests and career counseling. Generally, the classes in which you have excelled are the areas you should explore because working in them would be something you might enjoy.

P.S. I don’t know why you are on the outs with your mother, but if it has anything to do with the fact that you planned to follow your boyfriend to college and not complete your education, I’m advising you to patch up the relationship and reconsider, because that plan is, indeed, leading you nowhere.

DEAR ABBY: My question is about Internet dating. How far along into a committed relationship should the profiles come down from the dating sites?

Mine came down within weeks. It’s been a year and my boyfriend’s are still up. He’s not active on them, but the emails still come to his inbox. He claims he’s too lazy to unsubscribe and it’s just a habit to look at who the site is sending to him.

We use the same computer when we’re together, and he has left his email open more than once. I clicked into a few of them and that’s how I found out that he doesn’t seem to be active. But still? — NERVOUS IN MICHIGAN

DEAR NERVOUS: Your boyfriend may maintain his dating sites and check them occasionally because it’s an ego boost; he wants to see how many women find him attractive. That he doesn’t appear to be responding to them is encouraging. However, the appropriate time to unsubscribe would be when a couple decides to be exclusive.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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