ASK GWENDOLYN BAINES
Dear Gwendolyn: Last year, I moved off-campus and took in a roommate. After two months, my roommate moved in her boyfriend without discussing it with me. We had been friends since middle school. I had no idea she had changed. She drinks, does drugs and steals not only my clothes, but also steals from department stores.
I am up for a scholarship to graduate school in the east. One night while I was sick in bed with the flu, my roommate’s boyfriend went out in my car. He wrecked it and now I owe tons of money because he was not on my insurance.
Gwendolyn, how can I make him pay the expenses incurred? I cannot afford an attorney.
Dear Ruth: Even if you could afford an attorney, you would only be throwing away your money. Think about it. Have him prosecuted. You also need to ask your roommate to leave. This may mean you have to move back on campus. You don’t want anything to jeopardize your scholarship.
I know when you go east to graduate school, you will need your car. But, don’t worry about it. If the university has housing for graduate students, live there. Then, soon look for an apartment off-campus. Living away from school is more of a graduate student’s lifestyle. When seeking off-campus housing, get within walking distance from school or take public transportation.
Ruth, your car incident is not the top issue. Clear your house before you are involved in a drug bust. And remember, Ruth, people do change and not always for the better. That’s why when trying to become a success, friends (and sometimes family) are few. I know you have heard the statement, “It’s lonely at the top.” That is not true. There are people at the top and they all have ambition, goals, and high character. But if you don’t hurry and rid yourself from your roommate and her kind, making it to the top—won’t be your concern.
Got a problem? Don’t solve it alone. Write to Gwendolyn Baines at: P. O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066. To receive a reply, send a self-addressed stamped envelope). Or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org and visit her website at: www.gwenbaines.com.
This article originally appeared in the June 26 print edition.