Major Choosing: For Parents' Willingness Or For What You Love?

Major Choosing: For Parents' Willingness Or For What You Love?

How a little defiance can lead to more overall success.


I still remember, at the end of last semester, I went to talk with all of my close professors about my major selections. Raised in a family which consists of three doctors (both my grandparents and mom), I was given hope to carry on this family tradition. What’s more, although my dad is in business field now, his old career dream had always been being a doctor. In this case, I was told to go to either medical school or optometry school after Centre, regardless of the fact that I have no interests at all in medicine; an even worse thing is that chemistry and biology are my worst subjects in high school.

As a new sophomore, I have to start to take those medical school prerequisites in order to be on track. When people ask what my major is, I always tell them: biology. Even though I feel hopeless every time I think about those three hour science labs, I choose to hide my real academic passion. I don’t want to let my parents down because they have invested too much in my education. And I know they won’t give me any freedom to choose or rebel. I have no choice, but keep going on a path which is defined as “financial security” and “successful”.

If this is the end of my story, it must be a tragedy. Fortunately, it’s not. When life ever tries to save you, it always gives you a hint. I had a sociology project at the time when I struggled most about my major and my future. I was requested to interview a family member about his past experiences, and I went for Dr. Fabritius who is my most respectful economist at Centre. I’ve never thought this talk would change my life. He talked about his past career experiences that he got accepted by the Federal Reserve after graduate school, but he rejected. What he loves is the feeling of teaching and learning from younger generations. Undoubtedly, getting into the Fed can bring him more money and a higher social status. However, it was not the job that he would be happy with, and he finally chose to follow his heart.

This conversation made me reflect on my own situation. Should I accept my parents’ opinions towards my own life? Should I make compromises to the reality and give up my dreams that I even haven’t had a chance to try? Will I be happy if I become a doctor in the future that I have to face bloody scenes everyday? Is being a doctor the only way to succeed? When I found all the answers are “no.” I gradually realized that there should be something wrong with my life direction.

Growing up with thousands of books at home, I’ve been fond of reading and writing since elementary school. Books are literally my “toys” all through my life. I know it sounds nerdy that I began to love sociology from my first intro 110 class. I like the way sociologists are, and how they combine those fancy theories with everyday life examples. This is exactly what I want to be: an analyst of the society.

I’ve never brought this up with my parents even though they have asked me thousands of time about my major choosing. I always answered them nonchalantly that I didn’t have to declare until my spring term of sophomore year. And again they would “highly recommend” me to do biology ,forcing me to choose classes based on medical school prerequisites.

“We need to talk this time!” A rebelling voice haunted on mind. “It’s my life, and I should take charge of it by myself as an adult!” It took two months for me to negotiate with my parents, showing them my sociology papers and leading them to believe that a sociology degree is also worthy. Three months ago, I joined Odyssey as a weekly writer. As two witnesses of my writing processes, my parents get to know how much effort I’ve put on each article and how much I enjoy being a content creator. They finally made compromises and agreed me to do what I love.

Recently when I talked to a close college friend who had been struggling the same kind of stuation, I found that most parents have high expectations for their kids’ future career; they wanted their kids to be financially secure, without being potentially homeless or unable to feed the family. It seems that parents are making “right” choices for us, but they ignore what we really desire in the meantime. It’s impossible for me to operate a surgery for hours if I’m not passionate about this. Neither could my friend be an outstanding computer programmer, sitting straightly in front of the desk as her main thing, if she doesn’t truly love her job. Parents are contradictory; they hope to see their kids have a brighter future within the traditional definition of “success,” as well as to gain happiness.

However, we, as individual mature adults, are not byproducts of our parents. No doubt, we should be understandable to their love and concerns for us. Meanwhile, we should clarify that it’s our life, which have to be controlled by ourselves.

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

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