Dealing with parental pressure? What is it? Some may ask. Others, however, may not have gotten the chance to have open-minded and supportive parents, helping them through college decisions. It is vital for all incoming students to learn how to optimize their parents’ advice, since there is nothing else they want for us than good.
The following article is designed to aid students dealing with this type of situation, so that they can get through and offer advice themselves regarding parental pressure when it comes to choosing majors, colleges, etc.
As a student from Argentina, deciding to study in the U.S. was not the conventional college choice my parents expected, so it resulted in pretty striking responses from my parents. At first, I was told, “You’re absolutely staying here, what if some of us die and you’re abroad?” It was hard at the beginning, because every time I talked about my future they tried to persuade me into staying in Argentina to complete my undergraduate studies. Then, when they saw that I was working really hard to get high SAT scores—for the record, I had SAT extracurricular classes from 5 to 8 pm on FRIDAYS—they realized that this was really what I wanted. The point is, you should be coherent with your objectives. in other words, if you want to study music, for instance, you should logically show them your interest and determination towards playing an instrument, singing or whatever. This is one approach that helped me make my parents see that they did not always know my best interests.
But once I started sitting for these exams, my problems with my parents were not over. My mother understood in a way; my father, on the other hand, did everything he could to make me stay at home. I once had to travel to sit for the TOEFL exam, and he wouldn’t allow me go a take the test! Finally, he gave me his permission to sit for these exams, but he said that whether or not I was accepted, I would not study in the U.S. It was one day, in which I decided that I needed a talk with my father. This day was a revelation, in which I learned something vital when approaching people and obtaining what you want from them: communication. I came to realize that my father didn’t know why I chose the U.S., so after I talked to him and showed him the depth of my academic desires, he accepted. Although it was pretty painful for him to let me go, he recognized that this is the path I wanted, and that it was time for me to take responsibility for my own decisions.
These are basically the two ways I obtained my parents’ approval to study abroad, but there is still one more tool, that was very useful to me during this process: other relatives and family support. While both, my mom and my dad, refused to acknowledge the fact that studying abroad was the right thing for me, my grandparents, my uncles and even friends tried to help them open their eyes. I guess it would have been much harder if my family was opposed to me going to college in the U.S., but instead I had their unconditional support. So, if I had to give you one last advice, just remember: family support.
Well, I guess that’s all I can think of, taking into account my situation of dealing with a really stubborn dad. But you all have to remember that whether or not it shows, our parents just want us to be successful and live a happy life, so there is always something good in their pressures and advice. This is why my last piece of advice is to learn how to take in the positive parts of their opinions, and well, you can always adopt the previous methods to approach a conflicting situation with your parents.