When Family Pressure Chooses Your College Major
Start writing a post
Student Life

When Family Pressure Chooses Your College Major

A short story on family pressures on going to college immediately after high school and the negative impact it may have on the child.

33
When Family Pressure Chooses Your College Major
@tamu instagram

"Tunji, have you had dinner?" Mum asked me. I had just eaten a plate of jollof rice and chicken, a Nigerian staple.

"Yes, mum. Thank you", I answered sluggishly.

She was reading a magazine at the corner of the living room on her favorite chair. She looked up at me over the top of her glasses and asked me to sit down which actually sounded more like an instruction. I moved over to the sofa next to the piano which was on the opposite side of the living room. She looked at me again and nodded towards the old leather couch beside her. I stood up from the sofa reluctantly and sat down at the couch.

She slowly adjusted the magazine in her hand and tucked it beside her, folded her hands, and leaned back heavily. "We need to talk Olatunji" she sighed and I immediately got worried. Whenever Mrs. Peters said "We need to talk", I knew what came next...I knew she was going to ask me about my future but I never liked to talk about it.

How did I know this? Because it happened like clockwork... every time.

"I told you to go through the list for Texas A&M," she mentioned. She gave me a list of math-related majors a few days ago but I couldn't bring myself to look at them. Let's be honest, I was good at math but I was not about to get a whole degree in it because I was not interested in pursuing it. Just because I was good at it did not mean I had to study it.

Therein lay the problem, I knew what I did not want but not what I wanted.

"Eh?" expressed mum. I snapped back to reality and said, "Ma, I...I will go through it." I paused. "I was occupied and I forgot. I'm sorry mom."

I lowered my head as a sign of remorse for a few seconds. She sighed again and gave me a stern look and then I quickly interjected, "I will go to my room right now and look at it and tell you what I choose," knowing fully well that I would hate all the options. I immediately turned around, hurried quickly up the stairs straight to my room desperately wanting to be get away from her sight. I closed the door, sat down for a few seconds on my bed to gather my thoughts.


Scared Bbc GIF by CBeebies HQ Giphy


I had a few minutes to tell my mother...something, anything. I quickly stood up and went towards my reading table facing the window overlooking the city, sat down, and frantically started looking for the paper. It was in my top drawer laying there without any rumple like it was just gotten from the printer. I placed it on the table, grabbed a pencil, and followed the list from the top to the last line.


cartman marking GIF by South Park Giphy


Studying Figure It Out GIF Giphy


After thirty minutes of deliberation, going back and forth, laying out the pros and cons, I decided to choose my major: Accounting.

Why, you ask? It just made the most sense.

I was good at calculations and keeping records and I did not want to be caught dead studying engineering or statistics. I might as well go bald; that was how much I hated those majors. It became a matter of choosing what would be the least unbearable.


Calculating Figure It Out GIF Giphy


This whole situation may not make any sense because I could have easily chosen any major I 'wanted' right?

Wrong! Not in my father's house.

My parents were practical people and believed that I should choose majors that would increase my chances of being successful in the future and one that a job was almost secured after graduation if I performed exceptionally in school. It made sense, but what about passion? I laughed at myself because my situation was critically unfortunate. I did not have an inkling of what I wanted to do in college, not to talk of passion. I was still a senior in high school dealing with a lot as a teenager and this was something that never clicked.

Here I was with a few minutes to spare to choose a major for myself.

I finalized my decision and told my parents immediately.


5 YEARS LATER

I was in my senior year and at that time and I had a lot of stories to tell from my experience at Texas A&M. I was studying Accounting at the time and I could say that I did a great job in choosing that major. I was good at it and did averagely in all my classes but I couldn't relate to other students who were so enthusiastic to do more like meeting with firms and asking them for shadowing or internship opportunities. I felt like I did not want to dip my legs in water that did not belong to me. The major did not feel like my own because frankly, I did not enjoy it.

However, I could say that I learned a lot of things about myself. I became more confident and had more conversations with my parents about my college experience. I spoke to them twice about wanting to quit the major but they encouraged me to stay on track. I obeyed but it felt like I was doing their bidding and not mine. I also learned life-changing information about myself. I enjoyed public speaking. I loved whenever we were asked in our classes to present a speech or project to the class. I was always the first to volunteer to speak especially when other teammates would shy away from it. I even started a YouTube channel documenting my college experience because I just loved to talk. I also volunteered to be the Public Relations Officer at my organization and I always went to lecture halls and other organizations to speak on events coming up or fundraising programs.


File:Black Make Public Speaker Cartoon.svg - Wikimedia Commons upload.wikimedia.org


Would I say, I made the right choice? I don't know. The knowledge I got from college would always be useful but I may never use my degree. My parents, on the other hand, would be satisfied that they offered me the best opportunity as their only child. They did their best in that regard and guided me the way they knew how and I loved them for that.

However, would it have been better to just have waited after high school to figure some things out?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tunji is just one example out of a lot of children who are pressured into continuing their education immediately after high school without really knowing what they want. No experience is lost but some experiences cost thousands of dollars and it may not be a bad idea to wait to figure out for sure what the child wants to do. Laziness is not the alternate solution here because the child will have to get involved in other activities to explore his/her interests.

Some people end up going to school and then are given freedom by their family to change their major as they go through self-discovery.

Some people end up never attending college to get a formal degree but still become useful in life, so what is the rush?

What do you think?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

To The Boy Who Changed Me

Just another open letter from a crazy ex-girlfriend.

617
http://cdn1.theodysseyonline.com/files/2015/10/09/635800144722553570-908383045_993037_10201471592537019_550485816_n.jpg

You’re probably thinking, “oh sh*t, my ex is writing a hate letter and a tell-all about our roller coaster tycoon relationship with terrible fallout.” But if you’re thinking that, oh honey you’re wrong. This isn’t some sappy pity party nonsense and it’s not a trash-my-ex tell all; it’s a journey. And it’s my side of our story to tell…

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?

The Girlfriend's Guide to College

3465
Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?
https://pixabay.com/photos/college-students-diploma-graduate-3990783/

Up until last week, I always had a major. I was an international business major, finance major, psych major on the pre-medicine track… and now (finally) I am exactly where I should have been when I started college: undecided. I think there is too much pressure as a high school student to have a designated path about what you want to study, be when you 'grow up' and essentially spend the rest of your life doing. As an 18-year-old, I really feel like I tried to pin myself down to a major so that I had a set path to follow and something to look towards. This is probably very conventional and I know tons of people at school who have their minds made up about what they want to study.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Life Is Messy

Finding who you are in your 20s

3479
Life Is Messy
https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-photography-of-yellow-sunflower-field-under-sunny-sky-1169084/

I am 25 years old and just now learning who I am. When I separated from my husband I was terrified of what would follow. I did not know who I was outside of a relationship, nor did I know how to be on my own. It was scary, and I was so lost. I spent months discovering who I was, and what I wanted to be. I am still searching as I believe we never truly know who we are even when we "grow up". I came to the realization that I had been hiding a part of myself for my entire life. Coming out was not easy, growing up in the church made it scary, and hard. I was told growing up that being anything but straight was such a sin, and that i would spent my life in hell because of it. I came out to my parents when I was 25 years old. I picked up the phone and called my mom, and uttered the words "I'm queer" through tears. I knew my parents would be supportive, but that didn't make it any easier for me to vulnerable and raw. Since then, I have slowly started being more authentic in who I am, and not hide parts of me just because of people's shitty opinions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

41816
Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

11366
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments