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Did your parents pressure you to pursue a certain career?

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Did your parents pressure you to pursue a certain career??

I'm 16 and a junior in high school and it's crazy. My parents are pressuring me to be a doctor it's not even funny, lol. I try to reason with them and I really don't understand why they think doctors are such "god-like" people, lol. I mean, I really love math and numbers and can work well with money and I like economy so I'm really interested in investment banking. I tell them all the facts of how if money is an issue for my future, ibanking yields more money, I tell them I love to do it, I'm good at it (I hate ad suck at biology. It doesn't interest me), and I'll be a lot better at something I enjoy. And now, the thing is, they are accepting the fact and they'll pay for my college but they don't support me with it.

Yeah, that's it. Anyone have any similar experiences.
 

Answers and Replies

Danger
Gold Member
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Your parents seem to be the typical snooty Yanks that you see on TV.
It's nice to see that they'll back you, but their attitude sucks.
Whatever you want to do is what you should do. It appears that you have a real affinity for and love of finance. That's what you should pursue.
And, for the record, my parents never told me to be anything other than honest and kind. That might be why I'm not any sort of success today, but it's also why I'm happy.
 
686
0
Yes. My mom nearly had a heart attack (okay, so I'm exaggerating) when I said I'm going into physics. My dad was fine, since he knew I'd always be able to find some job with it, but my mom really wanted me to go "into computers" or something instead.

I just said no and that's it. I pay for my own schooling, but luckily still live with my parents.

Here's a question, though: when's the last time your parents have been to the doctor's office? Doctors are people, and most people are idiots, no matter what their job is.

Doctors also work long hours and pay a lot for insurance to protect from malpractice lawsuits. Really, you should only do it if you like it.

You clearly have your goals in mind already, so there's not much to do. Just stick to your guns and try to explain it to them whenever possible.
 
896
3
I'm 16 and a junior in high school and it's crazy. My parents are pressuring me to be a doctor it's not even funny, lol. I try to reason with them and I really don't understand why they think doctors are such "god-like" people, lol. I mean, I really love math and numbers and can work well with money and I like economy so I'm really interested in investment banking. I tell them all the facts of how if money is an issue for my future, ibanking yields more money, I tell them I love to do it, I'm good at it (I hate ad suck at biology. It doesn't interest me), and I'll be a lot better at something I enjoy. And now, the thing is, they are accepting the fact and they'll pay for my college but they don't support me with it.

Yeah, that's it. Anyone have any similar experiences.
Heh, the first couple of sentences sounds exactly like my parents. They too believe that doctors have divine attributes, and that on this basis I ought to strive to become a doctor. Problem is that I'm more interested in physics, and don't have too much of an inclination to pursue medicine as a career. Yet to this day my parents want me to go to medical school.

Oh, did I mention that I'm almost 24 and that I'm a PhD student in physics? That's right: my parents are really hoping that I'll quit with my master's degree and go to medical school. Never mind that I'd need to take quite a few extra undergrad biology and chemistry classes, do hundreds of hours of volunteer work to fool the admissions committee into thinking that I'm a "good person" (by their textbook definition of the phrase), study for the MCAT, and waste the years I've invested being trained as a physicist. They really want me to go into a career in which I have very little interest simply because it pays well and is supposedly very prestigious. Don't get me wrong, I have a great relationship with my parents overall, and they really do have good intentions. But given my age and the fact that I'm on a completely different career path already, they're nuts in this regard.

So yes, I can most certainly identify with your situation as you've described it. But I can also say that time will abate your problem, as long as you can demonstrate that you can enter a viable career path other than medicine. If you said that you wanted to be a painter are a musician, I'd probably be a bit worried. Let's face it, majoring in art means you'll probably be flipping burgers for the rest of your life, and parents are right to caution their children against such career paths. But investment banking is perfectly viable from an economic standpoint. In my case, my parents started to see the folly of forcing me into medicine when I started grad school and actually started supporting myself completely (we get paid to go to grad school in physics). Yes, they're still a bit crazy in wanting me to quit to become a doctor, but you should have seen them back when I was in the middle of undergrad. So I would say that you should do what you like, but just make sure that you can get someone to pay you to do it.
 
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3
Your parents seem to be the typical snooty Yanks that you see on TV.
Not necessarily. My parents are first generation Indians. Personally I think that Indian parents are great for the most part; heck, mine are the best parents I could ask for. But if they have one failing, it's that they think doctors are gods (to paraphrase the original poster). So you see that doctor-worshipers come from all over the globe.
 
Danger
Gold Member
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when's the last time your parents have been to the doctor's office?
My mother went about 3 years ago, when she was still living on her own. She's in a nursing home now (age 95), and so has an in-house physician. My dad's last doctor appointment was a house-call (anybody old enough to remember those?). He went straight to the hospital from that one and died a few months later at a couple of months short of 80 (in '81).
 
Danger
Gold Member
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My parents are first generation Indians.
Do you mean 'real' Indians, as in from India, or misnamed Indians like my wife, as in 'Cree' (or whatever tribe turns your crank)?
 
tgt
520
2
I'm 16 and a junior in high school and it's crazy. My parents are pressuring me to be a doctor it's not even funny, lol. I try to reason with them and I really don't understand why they think doctors are such "god-like" people, lol. I mean, I really love math and numbers and can work well with money and I like economy so I'm really interested in investment banking. I tell them all the facts of how if money is an issue for my future, ibanking yields more money, I tell them I love to do it, I'm good at it (I hate ad suck at biology. It doesn't interest me), and I'll be a lot better at something I enjoy. And now, the thing is, they are accepting the fact and they'll pay for my college but they don't support me with it.

Yeah, that's it. Anyone have any similar experiences.
The doctor is the safter option. One thing is do you like dealing with people?
 
Defennder
Homework Helper
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Something similar happened to me as well. When I first declared my major in physics (they knew it was either going to be physics or maths and they strongly disapproved of both), my parents were disappointed. In particular my father was utterly disappointed as to why I didn't apply to study law or medicine (I don't leave in the States where medical school is postgrad, instead it's like undergrad course about 5 years total).

Later on when I switched to electrical engineering, his unhappiness persisted. I could tell because each time I got into some argument with him, he'll somehow manage to bring this point up, about my choice of major. It does make me mad at his irrational outbursts at times, because after all I would be studying and working in the line of my major for the rest of my life, not him. I mean, how could anyone expect to get into competitive majors such law and medicine, both of which require interviews, and which are themselves curriculum-wise very time-demanding? Even if I had been offered a guaranteed place, I don't know if I'll accept it. I just don't see my interest in line with these 2 fields.

And in any case, this is true: Who's going to be studying the next 3-4 years in their declared major and possibly work in a related field for the rest of their lives? You or your parents?
 
nabki
talking from personal experience, as in my father is a doctor and so are three of my uncles, dont go into medicine. in fact my father is telling me not to go into medicine. one of my uncles actually want me to go into pharmacy (!).
now medicine is viable economically, but only after you are 35-40 years old. at that time, you will be investing for your children. and you will have 12 to 14 hour work days. at least 6 days a week. not forgetting income taxes that can get up to %55. and insurance. and all the stress.
in short: become a doctor if you want to make your children rich, and not have a lot of time.
in genral, parents seem to think that medicine is a sure fire way of getting rich really quickly. everybody here want their children to be doctors -putting into mind that you need to get %98.5 in your final exams to study medicine- even though letting them work from 10th grade in trade or economics or something like it is equally viable, sometimes more viable.
 
Astronuc
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My mom dearly wanted me to be a doctor, but having spent a lot of time in hospitals and clinics, I had no desire to be a doctor. Fortunately my two brothers and sister became doctors, so that took the pressure off me, and I pursued physics and then nuclear engineering, which I had wanted to do since grade 5. Even then, my mom suggested I go into nuclear medicine. :rolleyes: My dad was supportive of what I wanted to do.

I prefer to do things my way.
 
Defennder
Homework Helper
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Even then, my mom suggested I go into nuclear medicine. :rolleyes:
I have to admit, your mother was rather brilliant. It's a little like saying I like chemistry but my parents rather have me do engineering, so I chose chemical engineering as a compromise.
 
Moonbear
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I taught freshman level biology for about 4 years, and sadly, your situation is not uncommon. I do not know why parents try to push their kids into something they don't enjoy and aren't good at. And, med school certainly isn't for people who don't REALLY want to be there (that's where I teach now, and I know what we put those students through...you have to want to be there to succeed).

There are two groups of parents where I've seen this happen most often...those who do not have a college education themselves, and simply don't understand all the options available to their kids and do have this almost god-like perception of MDs. The other group of parents I see this coming from are those who are both MDs themselves and think their kids should follow their footsteps. The former case I can understand, and with time, they can be brought around as you show them your interests and the careers available and that you can support yourself well in those careers. The latter case is inexcusable...those parents of all people should know what it takes to get through med school and the sort of desire one has to have to do it, and has the education to know about all the other options available to them, and should know better than to try to push their kids into a profession they don't enjoy and even aren't all that good at.

From the educator's perspective, it's also not much fun having to teach students in biology classes who really don't want to be there. It's even less fun having to counsel the student with a C-average or lower in the class who shows up to your office in tears because if they don't do well enough in the class to get into med school, their parents are going to cut off paying for their tuition, or pull them out of school and make them get a job despite the fact they are doing well in other classes that they enjoy and are more related to their desired major. Some of these students have been downright fearful of their parents' reactions to a bad grade and the door closing on med school.

The thing is, the parents usually really do have the best intentions for their kids, their intentions are just misguided. In the most extreme cases, it does require that a student just get out and support their own education so they can do what they want to do. In most of the cases, though, parents will come around with time once you get through to them that if you did what they asked, you'd be miserable in a career you didn't enjoy for the rest of your life, while there's something equally lucrative out there that you'd really enjoy getting up and doing every day (though, now might not be the best time to bring up investment banking with everyone watching the folks at Bear-Sterns losing their shirts this past couple weeks...you might want to phrase it as finance or business).

The important thing is that while it's nice if your parents are supportive of your choices, in the end, it has to be YOUR choice. It's better to be doing something you truly enjoy and are motivated to do even without external validation from your parents than to do something you don't enjoy and are only motivated to do because others are pushing you to keep going.

On the up-side, if your parents are grudgingly coming around to your side now, even if they aren't thrilled yet, there's a good chance they'll be more enthusiastic by the time you're actually in college. Afterall, they get just as good of bragging rights introducing you to their friends as their rich son who works on Wall St. as they do introducing you as their rich son the doctor.
 
My mother never told me to do anything, she just encouraged me to do whatever I wanted career wise. Not saying she didn't push me, but only in the directions I chose myself. Much better that way I think.

I can understand why parents might feel a little disappointed and might pressurise you, they probably have your best interests at heart, even if it is unfair to expect your children to do what you want them to do.*Insert cliché about the final period of time in the Earth's rotation oft characterised by darkness* it's your choice, hopefully as already said they'll come around.
 
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Doc Al
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Career pressure from parents is one problem I never had to deal with. I'm sure my parents never had any idea what I was up to or would even have had a clue as to what "physics" even referred to. As long as I got out of the house and stayed out of jail. o:)
 
896
3
Do you mean 'real' Indians, as in from India, or misnamed Indians like my wife, as in 'Cree' (or whatever tribe turns your crank)?
By Indians I'm referring to "real Indians" from India, i.e. the type who need to take a boat to come to the United States. Unfortunately many of the Indians here in the U.S. never actually got off the boat. :rofl:

You know, this reminds me of a movie I saw awhile back. I'm not quite sure what it's called, I think maybe "American Desi." Anyway, it's about a college student who has his parents convinced that he's in college preparing for med school, but in reality he's a music major who wants to play in a band. It's funny how as I watched the movie, I could say, "hey, that's me!" every ten minutes or so. From the med school aspirations to the attempts to set their children up with Indian women of the same caste, the movie really did a good job of portraying Indian parents who make the mistake of having American children.
 
Lisa!
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Well my parents wanted me to study medicine or psychology but they respected my choice anyway. Now sometimes I regret that because of not taking their advice!:wink:
 
tgt
520
2
It's better to be doing something you truly enjoy and are motivated to do even without external validation from your parents than to do something you don't enjoy and are only motivated to do because others are pushing you to keep going.
I use to think like that and all academics I've approached have given this advice but I'm now starting to see possible flaws in this. It seems excellent for the person but that could exactly be where the problem is. Is it good for society? In other words, it seems very selfish. Imagine everyone was to do that then we might have extreme shortages in crucial areas like health. With the aging baby boomers, it already is an issue with a shortage of doctors. There could be shortages in other areas as well.

Doing what one wants or enjoys could lead to other social problems like not respecting other people and the list goes on... I think society already is becoming very selfish compared to in the past. This trend may be worrying.

In the past the say things like 'it's our job, we have to do it'. or something like that. Now people are much less tolerated.
 
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Danger
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Tgt, it's far better for society in general to have people doing what they enjoy doing. The lower-level jobs are always going to go to people like me and W, who don't have formal educations (although she did graduate high-school, so she's one up on me), and there are people who will do anything just to have a job of any kind. I happen to love what I'm doing, so it isn't a bad thing. If I were physically fit, I'd probably enjoy riding around on the back bumper of a garbage truck and slinging the cans in. Even though that's full-time labour, I'd still be able to think about stuff while I was doing it.
 
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Hah, I was going to ask if he was indian or asian.
 
Moonbear
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I use to think like that and all academics I've approached have given this advice but I'm now starting to see possible flaws in this. It seems excellent for the person but that could exactly be where the problem is. Is it good for society? In other words, it seems very selfish. Imagine everyone was to do that then we might have extreme shortages in crucial areas like health. With the aging baby boomers, it already is an issue with a shortage of doctors. There could be shortages in other areas as well.

Doing what one wants or enjoys could lead to other social problems like not respecting other people and the list goes on... I think society already is becoming very selfish compared to in the past. This trend may be worrying.

In the past the say things like 'it's our job, we have to do it'. or something like that. Now people are much less tolerated.
What good would it do to have more doctors if they're all hating being doctors, are lousy at biology and medicine, and couldn't care less about the patients they're treating because they were forced into the career? There's a lot more to medicine and doing well in medical school than just being good in the sciences. There is NO WAY you could put up with sick people and do a good job of reassuring them to trust you with their care if you're just showing up and going through the motions.

There is always a field here or there that seems to have shortages of people entering it from time to time, but generally, it's self-correcting. People will be lured from one to another by the same market forces that control everything else. If students see that nobody is getting employed in their field after graduation because it's already saturated, they'll find something else they LIKE to do that needs people and will pay a premium.

Right now, the number of physicians graduating each year isn't determined by how many students want to go to med school, there are plenty of them...it's determined by how many slots there are available in med schools (I've not heard of any med school not being able to fill all the slots for their classes, and most wind up with waiting lists of students who are not accepted but would still be very good in medicine...we're even expanding our class sizes...there is no shortage of qualified applicants yet...there is a shortage of faculty with PhDs to teach them).
 
2,903
13
I taught freshman level biology for about 4 years, and sadly, your situation is not uncommon. I do not know why parents try to push their kids into something they don't enjoy and aren't good at. And, med school certainly isn't for people who don't REALLY want to be there (that's where I teach now, and I know what we put those students through...you have to want to be there to succeed).

There are two groups of parents where I've seen this happen most often...those who do not have a college education themselves, and simply don't understand all the options available to their kids and do have this almost god-like perception of MDs. The other group of parents I see this coming from are those who are both MDs themselves and think their kids should follow their footsteps. The former case I can understand, and with time, they can be brought around as you show them your interests and the careers available and that you can support yourself well in those careers. The latter case is inexcusable...those parents of all people should know what it takes to get through med school and the sort of desire one has to have to do it, and has the education to know about all the other options available to them, and should know better than to try to push their kids into a profession they don't enjoy and even aren't all that good at.

From the educator's perspective, it's also not much fun having to teach students in biology classes who really don't want to be there. It's even less fun having to counsel the student with a C-average or lower in the class who shows up to your office in tears because if they don't do well enough in the class to get into med school, their parents are going to cut off paying for their tuition, or pull them out of school and make them get a job despite the fact they are doing well in other classes that they enjoy and are more related to their desired major. Some of these students have been downright fearful of their parents' reactions to a bad grade and the door closing on med school.

The thing is, the parents usually really do have the best intentions for their kids, their intentions are just misguided. In the most extreme cases, it does require that a student just get out and support their own education so they can do what they want to do. In most of the cases, though, parents will come around with time once you get through to them that if you did what they asked, you'd be miserable in a career you didn't enjoy for the rest of your life, while there's something equally lucrative out there that you'd really enjoy getting up and doing every day (though, now might not be the best time to bring up investment banking with everyone watching the folks at Bear-Sterns losing their shirts this past couple weeks...you might want to phrase it as finance or business).

The important thing is that while it's nice if your parents are supportive of your choices, in the end, it has to be YOUR choice. It's better to be doing something you truly enjoy and are motivated to do even without external validation from your parents than to do something you don't enjoy and are only motivated to do because others are pushing you to keep going.

On the up-side, if your parents are grudgingly coming around to your side now, even if they aren't thrilled yet, there's a good chance they'll be more enthusiastic by the time you're actually in college. Afterall, they get just as good of bragging rights introducing you to their friends as their rich son who works on Wall St. as they do introducing you as their rich son the doctor.
Wow you're a sweatheart. I've seen students come up to teachers about their grades being bad and what they could do about it. Most of the teachers just shrugged at them and said do better on the next exam and said 'study harder'. I cant imagine what my vibrations professor would do. He probably tell the student to change majors. On the last day of class he said, "Some of you are good students and I wish the best for you. You know who you are. The rest of you, I hope you dont do engineering." And then he walked out of the room with our final exams. He was a 100% no nonsense kinda guy.
 
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Danger
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Wow you're a sweatheart. I've seen students come up to teachers about their grades being bad and what they could do about it. Most of the teachers just shrugged at them and said do better on the next exam and said 'study harder'.
That's why she's here, on her own dime, trying to help people who don't have the privilege of studying under her. Somebody has to make up for all of the crappy teachers out there, and Moonbear is one of the best that you'll ever run across. To avoid coming across as a Moonbear groupie, the same applies to all of the staff on PF, and a lot of the regular non-staff members.
 
lisab
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My parents were very "hands off," and that's putting it mildly.

I had 7 brothers and a sister. They said that could not afford to send all of us to college so to fair, they wouldn't send any of us. I didn't want to borrow money, so I had to work full-time and go to college part-time (which is why it took me 9-1/2 years to get my BS!).

When I told her I was about to graduate, she said, "Great! What did you major in?"
 
Moonbear
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Wow you're a sweatheart. I've seen students come up to teachers about their grades being bad and what they could do about it. Most of the teachers just shrugged at them and said do better on the next exam and said 'study harder'. I cant imagine what my vibrations professor would do. He probably tell the student to change majors. On the last day of class he said, "Some of you are good students and I wish the best for you. You know who you are. The rest of you, I hope you dont do engineering." And then he walked out of the room with our final exams. He was a 100% no nonsense kinda guy.
Well, in those situations, the only really constructive suggestion IS to tell them to change majors, but usually they already know this much once they're showing up all teary-eyed about it. They then need help figuring out WHAT major to focus on, and how to break it to their parents.

If they come to me soon enough, I can also often get them the help they need to salvage the grade or withdraw just so it doesn't drag down their GPA even if the subject isn't important for their major or career anymore. If they wait until a couple weeks before finals, sometimes the only advice I can give them regarding the course itself is to spend their time studying for their other classes to do the best they can in them, and don't bother studying for my class because there is no grade they can get to pull them out of a D or F. Afterall, it's sort of human nature to make that one last desperate attempt, to cram as much as they can in the class they're doing worst in, and take time away from the classes they're still doing well in, and then not only still fail the class they're struggling with, but end up dragging down their grades in the other classes along with it.

Afterall, the vast majority of students who get into college are smart kids, they just don't always make good choices at the beginning and need a little more time to mature and figure out what it is that makes them happy and that they do well. And, if their parents are pushing them to do something they don't want to do, sometimes all they need is another person who is willing to sit with them and go over what courses they're doing well in, what majors would require those courses, and what types of career options they would have if they followed one of those majors.

Really, for the students who do want to be biology majors or go to med school, or who are in med school, I want them to do the best they possibly can...this is especially true for those of us teaching med students...a lot of physicians practice relatively close to the school from which they graduated...it's in my own best interest to ensure these med students are the best possible so when I need to see a local doctor and it turns out to be a former student, I know they will do a good job taking care of me. But, for a student who really doesn't want to be in that major, I really don't want them lingering and miserable just because their parents are pushing them into it...they only drag down everyone. It is best for them to find a more suitable major as soon as possible so they don't lose time and end up graduating late, which is only going to make their parents more unhappy with them.

One of the more interesting major switches was a student who actually liked biology, but just couldn't do it...she struggled, no matter how much extra help or tutoring she got. It just wasn't her thing as much as she wanted it to be. But, she was a fantastic artist, and doing well in art classes she was taking, but had the sense to realize that art for the sake of art wasn't very promising for a career to support herself. After some lengthy discussion and some time mulling it over, the final decision she made was to become an art major with the plan to become a science illustrator...someone who understands just enough about the biology to work with scientists and provide them with illustrations for textbooks, presentations, publications, etc. Now that is something that makes an art major employable, and allowed her to incorporate biology into her career without being very good at it.
 

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