NEARLY three years ago, I was faced with the daunting fact that I was about to enter college. Going to college and being in the presence of books, homework, and traumatizing teachers were the least of my worries. What haunted me most was the disturbing reality that whatever course I took would probably determine what the rest of my life would be like.
Here I am, years later, watching my little sister go through the same nightmare. Choosing a college course is not exactly easy. Some are torn between two loves and others, like my sister, are simply undecided.
Even so, sometimes your inner voice is not the only one deciding for you. Your parents’ voices are now in your head, offering subtle hints on what they want you to become. That is when the “train to my college future” starts to take a different route, from straight ahead to zigzagging all the way.
Some are lucky enough to be on the same page as their parents when it comes to college courses. I have known people nonchalantly choose a profession that has been passed down for many generations, not because they felt the need to, but because they had fallen in love with it the same way their elders did. Some say it’s the principle of genetics.
Others choose a certain course only because they feel bound to continue a family legacy. Sometimes it feels like taking on a curse when you defy what is already considered a template. They figure that eventually, they will learn to love it. Some do—and some just don’t.
I have come across parents who were considered the “silent attackers”. They drop subtle hints every once in a while, like, say, leaving references to their preferred course plastered on the refrigerator door, and repeatedly asking the already-decided child the question, “Are you sure that’s what you want?”
Or maybe it’s just the “concerned parent” syndrome acting up, with them worrying that you may end up regretting what you have decided on.
Children, at least according to what I hear, are like priceless investments. And just like any other kind of investment, it is better to keep track of it, and if possible, lead it in the direction you want it to go.
Some parents plan their kid’s college future at a very early age—hence, the child’s education has been carefully thought of from the very start. Nonetheless, since we are all bound to change our minds, a college course can become an issue.
Most of the time, making your parents realize that you are old and wise enough to plan your future is all it takes to convince them to allow you to pick your own course.
They are, often times, just worried that the ficklemindedness of youth will affect your path to college.
Pick a good time to talk with them, tell them (nicely but convincingly please) that this is what you have always wanted, and that you are aware of the perks and pitfalls. Better yet, ask permission to negotiate. Not being able to take the course you want is as painful as breaking your parents’ hearts. Find a way to compromise. There must be some way to make both sides happy.
For those who are free to beat their own drums, a little piece of advice: choose wisely. Plus, be wary of fate’s funny way of working things out.