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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

When I need to smoke, I have to go outside... 

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“Dear Ai,
I was placed in a non-smoking homestay family even though I requested a smoking family. When I need to smoke, I have to go outside. Summer time is ok, but winter is too cold to smoke outside... I know this is a family rule and I enjoy living with them. I discussed it with my school Homestay Coordinator. She suggested changing the family if I would like to, but there is no guarantee to have a nice family like them. What should I do?” Jason – South Korea

“Hi Jason, I am glad to hear you get along with your homestay family. Smoking is a very bad habit and it is not good for your health. You probably don’t like to hear this, but this is the time for you to quit smoking!

As your Homestay Coordinator advised you, there is no guarantee that you will be getting along with a new family. They might be good people, but they won’t necessarily suit your needs. You will need to build a good relationship again. The same time and energy you had invested for a current family to a new family. Do you have the time to do that? Since you already have a nice place and family to stay with, you should stay at the current homestay and just change your habit.

It is hard to eliminate bad habits. Think of it as you are replacing a bad habit with a good habit. You can start jogging or go to the gym instead of smoking.
You can do it!”


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Personal preferences are important when people are in a close living situation. Issues such as these are probably best avoided by discussing them ahead of time, before living arrangements are confirmed.
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