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How to handle pressure from parents when choosing a university branch

We are often faced with a lot of hard choices to make when it comes to choosing career paths. Some of that pressure to make decisions comes from our parents. While they often do know what’s best, sometimes we have to make such choices ourselves.

In your plus 2, you might have made the right choice or perhaps a lucky choice in choosing your stream. However, university is coming soon. It’s important to make good choices when picking a bachelor’s degree to study for. This academic step will shape the mold of your career and future endeavors.

Under pressure?

If you are unsure how to start, don’t worry! This monumental task can be made simpler with just a little reflection and research.

The difficult part might be to convince your parents to trust your judgement. Here are a few steps to keep in mind when delving into university level study –


Take some time out of your schedule to really think about it. Leave no stone un-turned. Think of all the fantastic things you have wanted to be when you grow up. Jot these down somewhere you are constantly reminded of them.


Do substantial research on each of these ambitions. Find out exactly what is the job description, and what sort of standard of living it offers in your economy. Understand what sort of prior knowledge, academic or practical is needed to qualify for the job. Hence this forms a framework to research universities that offer the required courses.

Sit up all night with that computer

Self evaluation:

Ask yourself, do I want to do this for a very long long time? It is important to know that some fields require a lot of commitment and time, whereas others -not as much. Consider the possibility that after investing finances and time into this goal, you will have little energy to change your mind half way through.

Are you passionate about it?

Will it tire you or bore you?

Can you deal with the lifestyle?

Do you have aptitude or skills for it?

These are some of the questions you might want to ask yourself.

Logical thinking:

Make a table to list the pros and cons of the career choice you have in mind. It often helps to see these in neat rows, in physical form. Only having thoughts in your mind might confuse you and muddle you.

Ask experienced seniors:

Try to find ex students who took the course you have in mind or people already doing your ideal/dream job. They can give you valuable first hand information on their journey which could be similar to the one you want to take.  Therefore, this can help clear your mind of doubts.


Now comes the annoying part. Think about what you want to do, from a harsh money minded perspective. What kind of finances would you need to start off ? Is it possible for you to get a student loan or scholarship? You must dedicate time to do separate research on this aspect as well.

How to approach your parents about your decision?

Approach parent with caution

  • Have your research ready, along with hard proof that shaped your knowledge of this field.
  • Be prepared to explain every aspect clearly. Don’t leave any loopholes in your presentation.
  • Be confident when speaking.
  • Remain open minded. Let them give their input and criticism.

Are you very nervous about talking to your parents? Why not speak to a relative, using the same points as above. They might be able to vouch for your level of research while being less emotional or skeptical.

The most important aspect when speaking to your parents might be

  • Money matters – explain what you know about the money scenario. This includes pros and cons. Make it very clear to them that you are aware of the risks you want to take.
  • Legacy or pride – many of us are urged to be a doctor simply because it runs in the family. Or else, it might be an engineer because your family friend’s children are successful engineers. Explain why you would or wouldn’t thrive in a field. Parents and family need to understand that a choice cannot be made without passion.

On a somber note, parents do put immense pressure on their child to fulfill some dream they deem fit for him or her. You might find yourself in a similar situation.

First of all, I ask you to think clearly about what they would prefer you do.

Do you have aptitude for it?

How do you feel about the job description?

What about it do you like? And what about it don’t you like?

Once you have answered these questions for yourself, you will be more confident and solid in your decision.

If you do decide to go with your parents’ decision, think of the years spent studying for it. Can you handle that? If you decide to go against their decision, think of how you will approach them with alternatives.

A note to parents:

Above all, parents must understand that their children will flourish through hard work and commitment. These might show initially even by force. However, over time, work ethic will slow and misery set in.

Does any parent want their child to live their life knowing they could have done better? A big car and full bank account means nothing if they only serve to drive their owner to a hospital and pay the bill.

The worst possible outcome is to have your child be sick of their existence, and end it forever.  

Some final words of advice :

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Trust in your parents to have only your best interests at heart. Let them know that you appreciate that. However, you must follow your heart (always keeping your brain as back up).

Don’t despair if things don’t seem to be going the way you wished. Some day, somehow, they will work out IF you fight your way to make it happen.









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