Independence versus Family

Some in this world care about how they are viewed. Others not so much. I for one am a person who cares heavily about how I am perceived. Which makes it difficult due to people’s perceptions not coordinating with my perceptions of myself, particularly when it’s people I keep close to me and who have a role in my life. 

At 15 I was still understanding what I wanted for my future. But now I want people to know I have goals and ambitions but not question what I am doing to get there. For example, for my major in college I want to go into marketing but people ask, “What will you use with that degree?”, “Why that specific major, why not pre-med?” or “ Why get a degree in the first place?” 

Questions like these make it hard to strive for my goal of getting my degree in marketing. Because somewhere deep down I know it is upsetting to others that I am not doing the “goal” or the “norm” of getting a degree as a doctor or getting a degree for a higher paying job. They care about how I will live my lifestyle with this degree versus why I wanted the degree in the first place. But we have different ideals for what paths lead to success.

Instead of asking why I wanted a degree in marketing they ask “How would this benefit you?” This annoys me because instead of caring about what I like and want in a major for college they ask questions about how a marketing degree can even set a path up for me in the future. 

If only they would give me the opportunity to share my ideas. Allow me to elaborate on how my interest in marketing began. I took a couple of classes on marketing and on that day I fell in love with it. It came natural to me. I loved the presentations we would do for made up companies. And my teacher recommended I enroll in this major. These experiences have had a big impact on helping me make my decision about a college major.

I notice some kids have their whole lives planned out. I am not one of those kids. It takes me a while for me to commit to something. Even though I am not the type to have everything planned and committed to within marketing, it is something I want to pursue therefore I will commit to it. 

For example, when it comes to college, I am making a decision for the next four years of my life. That is a big step therefore I want to make the right choice. But my family has impacted that choice. I have an emotional family who acts on emotion in the moment versus logic.

It is hard to express my interests, because I don’t always have the best way of getting my point across and I don’t explain things well enough. But I want to go away for college despite my family having negatives to say about where I go, what I do and how I pursue my life in the future. 

I crave to make others happy, in a sense I put others’ needs above my own ‘cause it makes them happy. But I haven’t stopped to check and make sure what I want for my future. 

With that being said, I do not want other students to make the same mistake as I have. I want others to break that cycle of letting what their families want interfere with what they want.They need to be their own selves and they can’t grow if they do not have support to grow. This is a generational cycle because usually if your family doesn’t support your decisions then you shouldn’t pursue that decision. But if we break this cycle we are doing what is best for us now versus what is best for everyone else. 

So I write this to the kids, teens and adults who are viewed as “dependent on another” versus being seen as their own self who can rely on themselves.

In my research it states the significance of not having your family overly involved in college or life in general. In Payscales’ “When your parents don’t approve of your career paths” written by Gina Belli, Belli suggests that you should understand your goal at the end of college, but separate your beliefs from your parents’. Also Belli recommends students should provide them with a reason for what you want to pursue and why it’s significant for you. 

In addition, within every family there are always situations where family members cannot connect to one another. But just because you can not relate to the topic doesn’t mean you should give up on it. 

I have learned to be independent with my emotions but not with my decisions. Previously I let my family interfere with my future. But I have slowly learned to trust myself and become more dependent on myself rather than on my family.

But instead of letting them decide because they can not connect with my interests, I will be pursuing my interests because in order to grow I need to not be dependent on them to give me that answer to my future, but help them with supporting the decisions I make for the future. 

Isabella Gonzalez- Oak Lawn Community High School- Cubs RBI Scholars Class of 2023