Student wants to decide political affiliation |


DEAR HARRIETTE: My parents never really spoke to me about politics when I was growing up. They never stressed the importance of politics to me or expressed strong opinions. Now that I am in college, I am conflicted because I’m not sure which party my beliefs align with. How does one identify which political party they belong to? — Which Party

DEAR WHICH PARTY: Great question. Interestingly, we are living in such a polarized time that it can seem volatile to even choose a party or political affiliation, but you can do it. Start by paying attention to the issues that matter to you. Look locally. Who is running for office where you live, and what do they say they value? Go to their websites, and read about their views on the issues. Rather than focusing on their political parties, evaluate what they are saying about the issues. Take your time and do that for each candidate. Decide who you like for the job in question.

Now, in order to vote, you may have to declare a political party. The two big ones are Republican and Democrat, with Independent as a close third. There are a number of smaller parties as well. Read about each so that you can figure out where you best align. If you can’t figure it out, the Independent Party may be the path for you, at least initially. 

DEAR HARRIETTE: I started taking CBD oil to help me sleep better. It is often confused with marijuana because of the way the packaging looks, but it has no THC and is completely legal. It’s so harmless that it’s allowed on my college campus. The problem is my old-fashioned dad doesn’t understand this. He is still judgmental about my CBD use and treats it as if it’s an actual drug. I have horrible anxiety, and the oil helps me sleep. He has written me off as a drug user. How can I get him to understand? — CBD User



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