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Teenage Problems/Prepare for college

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Question
I'm going to be a senior in high school this year, and although most of my friends have chosen their subjects and universities, I am still confused. It's not that I don't know what I want (I am interested in Visual art; drawing, painting and reading are my hobbies), I just have a problem with making the right decision for myself and my family. You see, I grow up in a developing country, and my family isn't very well-off at the moment. They are still paying debts for my older sister's education, and my dad is currently jobless. Now I have 2 choices: A: Go to RMIT University which opens in my city and get a BA degree or B: Go to a less-expensive place to get a certificate for Graphic Design. I want to go to University, but Communication, the subject I chose,is very general, and will not get me a secure job in this country. So my parents told me I should take Marketing, which I think I wouldn't make it through the first year. All my life I've waited to be able to study what I love, and I don't want to waste their money and my life studying and working in the field that doesn't suit me. Marketing will get me a secure job and help improve my family's situation, but I highly doubt that I'll be good at it, and the fact that I suck at it will kill my passion and prevent me from working creatively. Should I study the subject I like and trust that things will work out at the end, or do my duty to the family?

Answer
Hi CiCi,

Thank you for writing to me.  It is okay if you have not made up your mind on what you want to take in college. It is not unusual for you to be confused.  You might consider getting a part-time job to assist with your college.

What I always advise young people to study something that you can do and be satisfied doing.  I understand that you want to please your parents. However, you are going to get older and leave home one day.  If you study Marketing and you are not happy with it, you will not give it your best.  Also, if you go into a field a study and you really don't want to study that subject, you are not going to do well.  Graph Arts with a minor in Marketing or take a double major.  That way you will be able to assist your family and do what you want. Additionally, you will probably need marketing skills with the field you are choosing.  If you wanted to open your own business, marketing skills will help you greatly.  You are in a great position because you get to study something that you want and something that you will need.   

I always tell young people that I have never worked a job in my life because I have always counseled and therefore it is what I wanted to do so it never seemed like I was working. I hope that you are offered either grants or scholarships.  You will make it.  One thing that you must understand is that if you are attending a University, the first year is just a refresher of high school courses.  So you still have a chance to declare your major. Please think about either declaring two majors or a major, visual arts, and a minor in marketing.

Respectfully,
Dr. Lee  

Teenage Problems

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Dr. Shirley M Lee

Expertise

I can answer questions relating to youth that are on probation, arrested, has anger management issues, lack of impulse control, problems in school and substance abuse issues. Additionally, I can answer questions about youth with sex issues, domestic violence, child abuse, child sex abuse, as the abuser and the one that has been abused, parent abuse, physical, mental and psychological abuse. I answer questions about marriage and divorce. I can't answer questions about medication that has been ordered by a psychiatrist and it's side affects or should you stop taking it. I can answer the question as to what reason the medication was ordered.

Experience

I have been providing care, guidance, and social services for children, adolescents, and their families for 32plus years. I work with young people who struggle with behavioral problems and issues at home and school. I assist our youth in developing healthy living habits and motivate them to become productive citizens. In addition, I work with the parents and families to motivate and encourage strengthening the family. I have worked with families that have been homeless, in poverty, peer pressure, and bullying. I currently counsel with youth that are on probation for battery, domestic violence, petit and petite theft, substance substance abuse and sex offenders. I also speak with their teachers and go into the homes and schools. I am a mentor to all these children and their parents. When help is needed beyond my expertise I will suggest where to take the child to receive the proper services.

Organizations
AACC (AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN COUNSELORS) AND THE BAACC (BLACK AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHRISTIAN COUNSELORS).

Publications
Published 6 books and were sold at the Christian Book Store for one year.

Education/Credentials
Ph.d in Sacred Religious Counseling; Ph.d in Counseling Psychology; MA in Public Administration; BA in Paralegal; Clinically Certified Domestic Violence Counselor; CFARS (CHILDREN'S FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT RATING SCALE); and for adults the FARS (FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT RATING SCALE. I am also a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor.

Awards and Honors
Biblical Studies with highest Honors. Magna Cum laude.

Past/Present Clients
In the past I worked for two different agencies as a Case Manager, a Therapist and a Counselor for the youth. I worked under the leadership of the two agencies as an independent contractor. 3 years ago I began working my own business, which has been in existence since 2002 in counseling. Presently I am working with youth that are on probation and is court ordered to take an anger management and/or impulse control class with me. I am also registered with the county to perform marriage counseling and weddings.

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