I have chosen to undertake a degree major that doesn’t necessarily lead to a lucrative career. My family is not supportive of my choice. What should I do?

Working on a degree and beginning your life as a self-sufficient young adult can be an awkward time for your loved ones around you – it’s an adjustment period for everyone. Boundaries are beginning to be established between you and your family; they don’t have full control over you anymore but still want the best for you! Sometimes that can be hard to get used to. As with any advice or critique, it’s important to take constructive comments on board, seeing it as a chance to assess your situation and potentially improve it. But, if you feel like your current path is the right one for you and you’ve taken your loved ones’ concerns into account, it’s vital to discuss it and state your case as clearly as you can. Make your family aware that if you need help and support you will seek their advice, but emphasise a need to follow your life’s path and for them to trust you.

I’ve been smoking for several years and would now like to stop. But I find it hard to stop. What is the right way to go about it?

Start by developing a plan and focusing on your ultimate goal. Try to think about when and where you’re going to find it difficult, consider the situations in which you’d usually smoke and alter your approach to these accordingly. Make it known that you want to quit and you need help doing it. Enlist the help of friends and family from afar. There are specific smoking cessation support organisations available both online and offline, as well as a wealth of interesting holistic approaches. You could listen to relaxing smoking cessation recordings at home, or even find a specialist to work with you one-to-one or in a group setting. Whatever you choose, you must commit and be pro-active. Discard all your smoking paraphernalia, such as lighters, keepsakes and ashtrays – and obviously all of your cigarettes. You’ll need a clean start to make a clean break. On another note, occasional or social smoking doesn’t work as an effective option. Stopping means stopping and quitting means not being a quitter.