The pressure to succeed and secure a good future is a lot for young minds to handle. You have to think about making good grades in school, getting into a college that is well-respected enough to open doors for you, go into the right career field to make enough money to survive, and find something that you would like to do for the rest of your working life. On top of all of these things, you have to keep your parents happy. No pressure, right!
How can you possibly know which career path will be best for you? The truth is you cannot know yet, and neither can your parents or advisers. If you are a typical teen, you will probably change your mind about which direction you want to go at least a half dozen times before you take your first college course.
Your parents probably have some idea of which career fields can offer the best work/life balance, salary, and consistent demand. They want you to be happy, healthy, and preferably wealthy. They love you, so they will push their ideas of ideal career paths onto you in hopes that you will like the idea as much as they do. Love is the driving force behind their campaign to get you to go into accounting, medicine, law, etc, but that does not help you feel better about pursuing a career you do not want and are not interested in.
Remember that this is your decision to make and your future to direct. You can probably see the logic behind your parents’ desires to get you into a good career field, but the truth is, they don’t know any better than you do what your future will hold. They can only look back at their lives and compare themselves to you. They can try to prevent their child from making the same mistakes they did. However, they do not understand that making and recovering from those mistakes is what forms your personality and character and directs your future. So, do not be afraid to make mistakes. It will help you later on.
It is a good idea to be assertive about what you really want now, before spending years taking classes at the steep rate of $25,000 or more per year. Trust your instincts. If your parents are pushing you to go into a career in medicine but you cannot stand the sight or smell of blood, you will need to let them know now that going into medicine is not going to happen. Do not let other people make these decisions for you. At the same time, do not make the mistake of going into a career field that would lead you to a life of poverty.
If you want to win an argument with your parents, think like an attorney. They never run off of pure emotion because it makes you look unstable and immature. Lawyers use visual aids and prepare speeches to captivate their audience. They use the words and deeds of others against them to form rock-solid arguments. They are smart and sparing in the weapons they choose to use in court battles.
Using logic and reason can go a long way towards convincing your parents to back off. Make them understand that you have thought long and hard about what you want. You are the one that has to work towards a degree. You are the person who will spend the next 30 years paying off student loan debt. If you are responsible for that kind of debt, you should be getting what you want and not what they want.
At your age, your parents probably do not trust your feelings and desires about certain topics because feelings change and desire fizzles. However, facts do not change at the drop of a hat. They will trust tables, graphs, and statistics. Use those facts, form a strong argument, and put your foot down. After all, it’s your future.
written by Yvonne Marcelina Deibert on Sept 7th 2017
photo by William Stitt from unsplash.com