Originally Posted by Jia Jem
The best advice I would give to 18-year-old Jia would be to tell my parents to STFU and that it's my life and no, they are not going to bully me into going into college right away. I wish I had taken a shit job, lived in an apartment, dicked around for a year or two, and then when that became boring and I had more time to think about it, I would be more serious about school, what I wanted and have more direction in my life.
I think parents of a certain generation are brainwashed into believing that college is 100% THE ANSWER and that by getting a 4-year or more degree degree is THE WAY (and only way) to achieve any sort of decent life. It is complete bullshit, and people here have already discussed why. It also sucks trying to convince parents of this, when they can easily threaten to cut you off or kick you out if you don't do what they
want you to do with your
It took me 6 years to get my 4 year degree precisely because I was waffly for the first 2 years, not knowing exactly what I wanted, changing degrees, and just "going with the flow".
Not to say I didn't have fun in the meantime, but looking back I think rushing myself because my parents were pressuring me was a waste of my time and ultimately their precious money.
Of course, the flip side will be watching your friends go off to college while you stay behind to carve a different path - or not, you could always go apply for a dream internship right away, you don't need to go through a school official to do that! I think I was programmed to think that college = success, and no college = failure, but I wish I could go back in time and open my eyes to other opportunities that neither my highschool nor parents considered viable options. (And therefore, I didn't think about.)
Wow, without reading any further in this therad, I agree with you so much Jia. My parents are immigrants to Canada, and I find that so many immigrant parents mistakenly put far too much faith in 4-year undergrad degrees resulting in success. My job has nothing to do with what I studied. I got into my field out of pure luck, and I chose it simply because my dad is in the same field and I had no other ideas at the time. I look at my friends who got their degrees the same time as me, and if they're not in Masters programs, they're unemployed and living with their parents, or "going back to school for teacher's college".
I felt forced into university, and pressured to finish in the allotted 4 years. It would have been inconceivable to switch majors or take longer than 4 years to graduate. It would have been like failure to my parents. I wasn't mentally ready to go on to higher education after high school, but with all my parents' pressure and stress, it also seemed like the only way out. So I refused to apply anywhere in town, and picked a school 2 and a half hours away. Not as far as some other people, but far enough that I had to live on campus in first year, and rent a place after that. I rebelled, I didn't do very well because I wasn't terribly interested in studying, but I had fun not living with my parents.
Now, I'm working because I have rent, bills, and a car loan to pay, scraping enough extra together to pay for night classes in community college, and wishing I'd been given the option of going to community college when I finished high school. I hate my job, feel insanely jealous of people who studied something they're working in the field of, and feeling hopeless about breaking into the industry I actually want to be in because I missed some of the early opportunities students have to make connections, volunteer at events to network and learn things, and make mistakes.