Parents want what is safe and secure for their children. Growing up, my mom and dad told me to get good grades, go to a great university, and get a high-paying job after I graduate. They also encouraged me to get my MBA and work hard so that I can climb the corporate ladder.
But although my parents encouraged me to get a secure and stable job, they never required it of me.
In contrast, many of my friends have parents who required them to become doctors, lawyers, or corporate business men. There were no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it – in their parents’ mindset, art, music, theater, and even entrepreneurship are for the poor and the foolish.
Therefore, many undergraduates face a parent dilemma: do they obey their parents and pursue a safe, secure, and stable job, or do they disobey their parents, take risks, and try to find their own path in life.
Understand that you are not in debt to your parents
Many of my friends believed that because their parents had taken care of them all of their lives, that they were in debt to them and had to do what they said. It therefore led them to lead the career path that their parent’s believed was best for them.
But I believe this is an incorrect mindset. Yes, your parents have taken care of you for 18 years, but in no way does that mean you owe them anything. It is a parent’s responsibility to lovingly raise their children as best as they can; it is a parent’s responsibility to help their children achieve success in life. But that doesn’t mean parents can choose what success means for their children.
It all starts with your mindset. Always respect and love your parents, but understand that they should not live your life for you; you need to find your own path in life and hopefully your parents will support you and help you find your own path.
What if your parents pay for your college education
I have had many friends tell me that they can’t change majors because their parents pay for their college education and thus get to decide what major they should take. This is an extremely difficult situation because parents do have the option of cutting your educational funding.
If your parents won’t let you take the major that you want to pursue, then the best step moving forward is to fund your education independently from your parents, which is what I did.
There are a myriad of options for students: loans, scholarships, and work-study jobs are some of the many great options that students have to fund their education.
Don’t go behind your parents’ backs
Honesty is always the best policy.
Be up front and honest with your parents about your interests, major choices, and career paths. It’s not important for you to choose your career path now; instead, it’s important for you to explore your many options and find what you truly love to do.
My parents were of course worried for me because they felt that lawyers and corporate business men make a lot of money and will live a stable and secure life. But they appreciated that I came to them for their advice and to let them know about my plans for the future.
Your parents may be much more stubborn than mine and refuse to understand and support your choices in life; but don’t be discouraged, it’s not important that your parents support you, rather, it’s important that you honestly communicate with your parents and ask for their love and support.
It’s good to have your back up against the wall
I am a firm believer that a person grows and develops the most when their back is up against the wall. If you don’t have any challenges, if your parents support you financially and dictate your life path, then your personal growth becomes stagnant and you become a robot that just does what others tell them. You become a person who is told what to do rather than a person who acts on what needs to be done.
A person that has to work hard to pay for their education and that takes risks to find what they want to do in life will exponentially grow in mind and in spirit. Challenges bring the best out of people, and require you to figure out how to accomplish a problem by learning new skills and abilities that you previously did not have.
Lets keep it as simple as possible: life is about being happy, so do what makes you happy.
Your parents may be sad or even disappointed that you don’t choose the career path that they want of you, but it’s not their life to live.
I truly believe that as long as a parent sees that their child is successful and happy, that they in turn will be successful and happy. Pursue what makes you happy with all of your effort and might, and in turn, your parents will be happy as well.
Jun Loayza is the Founder of Lion Step Media. In his entrepreneurial experience, Jun has sold 2 internet companies and lead social media technology campaigns for Sephora, Whole Foods Market, Levi’s, LG, and Activision.