The FORCE: Parental Pressure

First off, many apologies for the late blog. We were having some fun technical difficulties!

What a beautiful summer weekend! Did my shopping for some of the summer essentials; smelling all those sunscreens really brought back memories of summer camp. Oh to go back to the careless days of grade school…

This month, my boss has entrusted me to be the boss of two summer students. At first I had his daughter who is 14. Now that was nerve racking. This week I actually have a client’s daughter – also very nerve racking. Nicole is 16 and has been helping me out with some of my work while we wait for some people to come back from vacation.

I had to put Nicole through some grueling work and trivial tasks which had to be done (I’m really sorry Nicole! Can I still be a cool boss?) I thought as an interesting exercise I could test out her creativity skills. I asked her to write two articles for our next issue of Career Options Magazine High School Edition coming out in September. I read them and I absolutely loved them!

We talked about them for a bit and Nicole reminds me a lot of myself at 16 – which made me feel even worse for making her do trivial labor. I told her she has great style of writing which both our high school teachers constantly bashed us for. Nicole, fear not! Life gets way better after high school. Of course there’s the unbelievable stress of university, new responsibilities and expenses, then you have to look for a career, but I promise life does get better in there…somewhere. As corny as it sounds, university and college really are places for finding yourself!

Without further ado, I present to your our brilliant little writer, Nicole, writing about the stresses of having parents forcing you into a career path.


I’m sure everybody knows that one person, that one kid who always gets A’s and never ever gets stuck in detention. You know who I’m talking about. The person who is always done projects before you’ve even started! I’ve always been jealous of that person, I mean, how do they do it?

One day, I thought: maybe it’s not their fault. Could it be possible that the grades are the results of some other force? Parents are a big factor when it comes to academic success, it can’t be denied. They are the ones who help you develop your working habits you still use today, like making you to write cursive letters over and over again back in grade 2.

My parents, thank goodness, aren’t the type of people to push too hard about anything. They will, however, tell me their opinion, make suggestions and give advice. Once, this year actually, I had to choose whether to continue in this academic program at my school next year or to switch to a more artistic one, a big decision. Both my parents thought it would be better for me to stay where I was and finish high school in the same program, as it would give me an advantage getting in to university. At first, so did I. Then I talked to a few graduating students and did some reading. I informed my parents of my choice and they were fine with it, especially because I had thought long and hard about my decision.

I’m very lucky. My parents understood when I didn’t want to follow in their footsteps. I’m definitely not a scientific type, that’s for sure (just look at my science grade). They got that this was my life, and I had to make some of the choices.

One of my best friends, Marika, lives an opposite situation. She’s a great person, very responsible, organized, focused and always on top of every situation. I love going over to her house. Her family is funny and they love to play soccer (so of course, I love THEM as I looove soccer). But when it comes to school, Marika is ALWAYS working, and I mean just about every moment of every day.

Example: the last book report.

The due date: 5 weeks away.

Predictably, most of the class (yours truly included) waited until the last week before even starting the book (we all had a few late nights that week). Marika, on the other hand, worked long and hard everyday, had it corrected 3 or 4 times and just spent way too much time on this project.

Parents always want their children to live a better life than they had, as is normal. Although, sometimes parents take it a little too far.

The result: a lot of pressure.

Like my friend Marika, some kids are pressured into working way too hard and going in a career direction they might not necessarily want to go. I made my choice of school program knowing that it is harder to get a job in that field and that those jobs may not have the best pay, but it is something I’m passionate about. Marika, however, has no choice. She must take every science class and become a doctor. No ifs, ands or buts about it. That would be fine, if she wanted to be a doctor. I know for a fact that she wants to go into a different field of work, but because of her parent’s pressure, that probably won’t happen.

I can see where her parents could be right. She will without a doubt go to Harvard, Yale, or some other fancy school and if she stays on this track, Marika will be the best doctor and knowing her, cure the world of every disease. Sure, she’ll have a big house and money to spend, but she’ll always wonder: what if?

If you think you live a similar situation to that of Marika, talk to your parents about it. Remember that they have gone through some of the same things you are, so they want to help you make the least amount of mistakes possible, although a “mistake” for them my not be a mistake for you. Tell them how you feel and let them explain their actions. Let them know that you want to make your own decisions and need to explore your independence. Maybe you can reach some middle ground with them. If you’re like me, remember to thank your parents (thanks mom and dad!).

Don’t forget, a lot of choices are reversible. You could always graduate late, or take summer school.

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