Dear Barb – Unfairness in Life

Dear Barb:

I came across your column while searching Athabasca’s site and I have a question. I am an 18-year-old who is beginning my first year of university. I have two younger siblings, a brother and a sister. We get along fairly well. My problem is that I feel my dad loves my brother and sister more than me. He has spent all kinds of money on various activities for my sister and my little brother basically gets whatever he wants. I have been working a part time job for three years to save money for university. I give almost everything I make to my dad to put away for my tuition. I don’t think that’s fair. Why do I have to pay for my education, while they get everything they want paid for by dad? My sister doesn’t even have a part time job. Sometimes me and my dad get into it and we both end up yelling, but he never explains why he does what he does. I guess he just doesn’t love me as much as them. What do you think? Thanks Daniel.

Hey Daniel:

I know this sounds crazy but sometimes we have to trust that our parents know what they are doing. Your complaints sound pretty typical of the oldest child. Parents often try different techniques on the oldest child and if they don’t work out so well the younger children reap the benefits. I don’t think you should assume your father doesn’t love you as much as your siblings just because he expects more from you. Most parents treat their sons different from their daughters, I know it doesn’t seem right, but sometimes it’s just the way it is. I would suggest you discuss your feelings with your dad at a time when you are both calm that way, hopefully, it won’t escalate into a screaming match. You have a right to share your feelings with your dad and he needs to take the time to consider your feelings. Great question Daniel and good luck in university.

Dear Barb:

Last June I completed a five-year degree in Environmental Science. When I began my degree all the information indicated that there would be lots of jobs when I graduated. Not so! Since graduation I have been working at Walmart, making minimum wage. There are jobs available, but I would have to move to another province and I’m just not ready to do that yet. I will have to begin paying my student loan in June and I’m not sure I can afford it. I really feel like I’ve been duped! Frustrated in Ontario. Sarah

Hi Sarah:

I hear your frustration, but when you were told there would be lots of jobs upon graduation, they probably weren’t limited to Ontario. It is not unusual to have to relocate to further your career, however if you choose to not go where the work is, then I don’t really think you can complain. Ultimately if you choose to move it may only be for a few years to get experience in your field, and then if something opens up in your area you can move back. I guess you are going to have to make a decision soon so you can begin paying your student loan. Thanks for your question and good luck Sarah.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.