I'm extremely close to my parents and college never seemed to change that. In fact, I still live at home, in the same room I've had since high school. My mom still does my laundry and cooks me dinner every night while we talk over how my day went. My dad still continues to chase every guy I date down the driveway because he thinks they're not good enough for me. Call them overprotective. Call me overdependent. But they are the most caring, compassionate parents that gave in their full efforts to raise me into the person I am today.
They want me to succeed in life. I'm their only daughter, after all.
Truthfully, I changed my career path a million times.
Upon graduating high school, I attended culinary pastry arts school with hopes of becoming the next Dominique Ansel or Candace Nelson. My parents thoroughly supported my dreams of starting up my own bakery—they operate their own group of cafés/restaurants in Downtown LA. Upon completing a grueling three-month pastry school externship, however, I didn't want to see another 100-pound bag of flour in my life ever again let alone even try to manage my own baking business.
So what did I do? I went back to school, enrolled in community college to at least complete my GE Certificate and an Associates Degree, with my parent's urging.
By my second year at SMC, my mom convinced me to go into nursing, mainly because it's a popular "in-demand" career choice among girls and it's a rewarding profession that transfers well into four-year institutions. Let me tell you though, nursing isn't for everyone and no matter how hard I tried to be a STEM-major, I got C's in two of my lab courses and failed out of microbiology…I probably would’ve never earned my spot at a four year BSN program.
That led me to ace all my current major pre-requisite classes during my remaining semesters, manage to raise my GPA back up to a 3.8 and write a kick-ass application essay to be accepted into a school I never would've dreamt about in high school—UCLA.
My parents were elated.
My major isn't widely prestigious. I don't have any plans to go into pursuing grad school. However, my parents just want me to graduate, and perhaps use my otherwise-useless degree to teach English back in Korea or another foreign country.
But, I had a different plan in mind and I broke the news to them—I wanted to become a journalist.
My parents were against it, given:
- I never had experience writing for a school newspaper or an online writing publication.
- Journalists don't make a steady income—most hop from one freelance job to another since it's not a job in high demand.
- I don't have had any special acquaintances or family connections to help me land an internship position
- There's a lot of hate pointed towards the news and broadcasting industry—not to mention journalists are being murdered, banned from the White House, criticized for their political views, being censored by the government.
Despite my parent's disapproval, it doesn't prevent me from pursuing the type of job I want to wake up to every morning.
Am I crazy? (I might be). Do I not want to make a lot of money? (No, I do).
Why journalism you ask? Well, because I love writing. I love asking questions and interviewing people—even if it's a complete stranger who happens to be walking on the same side of the street as me. I love digging deep into the "drama" and spilling the tea. I'm witty and creative—I can formulate an article on the spot, within hours before its deadline. I'm slowly but surely developing my writing portfolio. I write for two different college publications here at UCLA, Odyssey being one of them. I'm seeking internship positions in broadcasting or copywriting to gain some insider experience in the world of writing for a living, even if it isn't at NBC or The Los Angeles Times. I'm even working to write my own book through a Creators program started at Georgetown, and having it published into a physical copy.
I'm figuring it out—as I always manage to.
So, a message for anyone going through what I am. Don't let your parents (or anyone, really) dictate what you become in life.
In a world where you can only be yourself, be that self—whoever that may be.