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Teen Talk

August 20, 2011

A Word of Advice: Make time for your family

When times get busy, it's easy to lose yourself in the chaos. However, it is important to make sure you stop and make time for your family.

With college right around the corner, I have been working my butt off to save as much money as I can. With work every day, chores to do and preparing for college, it is hard to make time for everyone. However, this summer, I had to make sure that I spent time with both sides of my family before I left for college. This means visiting family on both my mom's and dad's sides.

No matter how crazy your life seems to get, don't forget about the family that has helped make it all possible. I can say that without my mom and dad pushing me to get a job, I probably would not be working today. They made me see that with a job, life does get easier. Although it can be stressful and tiring working a lot, it is all worth it when I get my paycheck at the end of the week. Having my own money to spend on what I need is wonderful, no question about it.

With going off to college in a few weeks, I feel overwhelmed with excitement and, at the same time, nervousness. I have never been away from my mom for more than a month, and now I'll only get to visit every so often. I will make the most out of the time I have at school by studying, meeting new people and introducing myself into the field in which I want to have a career.

Without a doubt, college is crazy, hectic and complete chaos, so it's important that you take a break every once and a while to make a phone call back home. We all know your parents will be worrying about you.

Some of us may not be used to spending time with our families. However, no parent would deny the request of having a family night. Watch a movie together, go mini golfing or even sit down and have dinner together.

What my dad and stepmom used to do at dinner time when I and my sister would visit, was bring out a "question book." The book was filled with question of all sorts, from "What would you do with a million dollars?" to "Would you ever backstab a friend for a boy?"

Some of the questions were silly, however, no matter what the question was, it was interesting to see what the responses were from family members. Asking questions at dinner makes for great bonding and getting to know one another even more.

We take advantage of family time nowadays, but I know that as soon as I go off to college I will miss the days when we all watched TV together or went out to dinner.

So put your phone away and spend some time with the family that has always been there for you.

Soon enough, you will be on your own, wishing you could go back and eat some of your mom's famous (or not) mac and cheese.

Melissa Flathmann, a 2011 graduate of Oneonta High School, will be a freshman at the State University College at Plattsburgh this fall. Would you like A Word of Advice from her? Send her an e-mail at or send her a letter to "Teen Talk: A Word of Advice," C/O The Daily Star, P.O. Box 250, Oneonta, NY 13820. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at

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