Parents vs Children- “How to choose a college”

Are you a junior or senior in high school, losing your mind over college applications? Is your deadline approaching? Are you confused about what you want to do? Do your parents not approve of you going to an “art school” because they’re worried about the things one must sketch there? Do they instead want you to a do “real degree” that will enable you to make money?

Here is how we can try to approach/solve the problem:

For Parents:
1. Have the maturity, sensibility and good sense to understand, recognize and respect your child’s capabilities, both academic and personal.
2. Support and encourage them with things they enjoy studying, or activities they are good at. Help them explore and tackle how they can overcome certain subjects that they find difficult to understand. Instead of labeling them in front of others which will further demolish their self-confidence.
3. Do not compare your children. Not every child is the same. Additionally, don’t pin all expectations, inadvertently to the smartest of your children. It’s not fair on them to live up to their parent’s expectations because without realizing they start living their lives according to how they should be seen. You don’t want them to wake up one morning and have them snap at you, for always doing the right thing.
4. You’ve just picked up your teenage son from school. You ask him “How was your day”? He replies, “Okay”. You then ask him “How was your test”t and he says, “Whatever”. You don’t stop because now you ask him “Do you have any homework for today”? and he answers “I don’t care, it doesn’t matter”. And while you’re thinking “Oh my God, he’s so rude. Where did I go wrong in raising him”?, he messages a friend saying “Oh man, My dad’s asking so many questions. #welcomehome, #justanotherday”. Try to establish open channels of communication with your children so that you can understand them better. This will allow them to trust you with their feelings and improve your relationship, allowing both of you to reach a mutually acceptable decision.

For Children:

1. Have well thought out reasons to choose a college. Kids who are focused, committed and go getter would know what part of the world they want to go to and for what program. In this situation, if your parents do not agree with or support what you want to do, tel them: that the degree you have chosen is what you enjoy and therefore will excel at. However, don’t be unreasonable in your arguing that your best friends’ are going to the same college which is why you want to be there.

2. Be willing to work hard. Your parents have worked hard and waited all their life to see you grow up. They literally want the best for your personal, academic and eventual professional development and growth. So whatever college you do decide to go for, know that you would try to the “best you can be”, so that you can look them in the eye and be like “Mom, that was the best I could do”.

3. Hear your parents out and trust them. I can understand that there’s a significant generation gap but trust them when they say you may be better at this degree over the other or that college over the other. You parents know you better than you think they know you. They have better insight about whether you would settle in and enjoy more in a small city vs a big city, live on campus or away, go to a university in the suburbs or downtown based on your personality.

If you’ve already been to college and are thinking that you should have listened to your parents and trusted their concerns, well then for you guys “you live and you learn”. For parents who want to live their dreams through their children, pause for a moment and “love your child for what they can do, and don’t compare how your other child does it better”. For those of you have not been to college yet, three pieces of advice: 1.Do what you love. 2.  Strive to be the best you can be. 3.  Love yourself for what you have done, and now what others expect you to do.


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