Let me start out by saying how grateful I am for the life and opportunities I have and the ones in front of me. I am extremely lucky to be living in Canada, where secondary education isn’t charged up the a** as it is in the United States, where I have the opportunity to go to school and have tools that help me succeed.
However, for a majority of kids, especially kids of immigrant parents, there is this enormous pressure to attend post secondary school whether that be a College or University. There is also this pressure to have your ENTIRE life figured out by 18.
I was one of those kids who was pressured to figure my who life by 18, I rushed into University, finished and found out I hated what I majored in. I’m writing this article in hopes to save you TIME and MONEY.
Because my journey to the career I truly LOVE, was a long and hard one.
- You do not have to figure out your entire life out by 18.
If you are about to finish high school and don’t know what to major in, then I’d advise you to take your time! There is literally no rush, I know it feels like it, but trust me, at the age of 25 I am just finding out my passion and I know I still have SO much time left to figure out my life.
If you need that fifth year, or a few years to figure out your life, then take it! If your parents DON’T approve, like mine, then you have two options, either succumb to the pressure and be miserable.
Move out, get a job, pay your OWN bills, figure out your shit and be HAPPY.
It’s up to you.
- Will it be your parents happiness or your happiness?
I don’t know about you, but I have immigrant parents and if you do too, you will totally understand what I am about to say next.
My immigrant father pressured me to go to University because taking a fifth year to “find myself” was a forbidden SIN, it was essentially a waste of TIME.
I’m not here to bash on immigrant parents, or my own, immigrant parents sincerely come from a good place. They sacrificed A LOT to give us the life we have, they worked 100 hours to provide a roof over our heads, clothes on our bodies, the food on our plate and much more, they just want the best for us, so you don’t have to live the life they lived back home.
Trust me, I get it, my dad was the same. But, he is HONESTLY is the BEST father anyone can ask for. The amount of time, money and energy he poured in to my siblings and I is something I can never pay him back for, but the pressure to have my life figured out by 18 was too much.
By grade 12, I wanted to take a fifth year, oh so badly, I honestly had NO idea what I wanted to do. However, I succumbed under pressure, chose a major and went off to University majoring in MATH, yes MATH.
I continued to live off his payroll, I served on the weekends, but lived rent free, he paid for my car and insurance as well. Yeah, I know I was SPOILED, I look back at this with such shame.
But anyways, I lived off his payroll and chose his happiness over mine, I had NO right to go after my happiness when I was living off his payroll.
- So, you chose your parents happiness? *cough* living off their payroll *cough* eh?
Yeah, I did too, welcome to the club.
The first year of University, I had the time of my LIFE, holy. I met so many people I cliqued with, I went out to parties for the first time, I drank for the first time, yes, I was super late to the drinking game.
I partied it up! Did I study? NOPE.
In fact, I HATED Math, go figure.
I hardly ever studied and partied whenever I could. I even went to Toronto like every other week with my friend and partied at the club.
It was so bad, to the point where I FLUNKED out.
Yes, I flunked out of university after first year. Can you imagine the look on my dad’s face when I told him?
He didn’t talk to me for months. It was brutal.
So, what did I do after I funked out? I worked my way back into University, still not knowing what I like because the disappointment on my dad’s got me to put aside my wants and needs to make sure he was happy.
I lost 2 years and $12,000 for basically nothing, but I worked my way back to University…yay haha.
- So, you finally made your parents dreams come true, but you’re still unhappy?
4 years go by and I finish with Honours in Sociology! WOOHOO!
Plus, my friend got me an entry level job in my field as a support worker for group home kids, full time, like jackpot right?
Not really… I didn’t exactly love Sociology and this job CONFIRMED that I didn’t like the field of sociology/social work. Working as a support worker, I HATED it, I was good at my job, but it was NOT for me.
That year I worked as a support worker, I hated my life.
I was still living at my dads house, rent free, I wasn’t paying back student loans and didn’t have many expenses to pay.
What did I use my money for?
STUPID. SHIT. I. DID. NOT. NEED.
I bought bags worth thousands, I travelled to three countries within 10 months, I went to Vietnam, Portugal and NYC, I went out all the time, spent so much on gifts, spent a lot on food and drinks to fill my void of UNHAPPINESS.
I was also horrible to be around because how depressed I was, all the material possessions and experiences did not bring the happiness I was looking for.
I was MISERABLE, I spent 6 years into my career, received a full time position in my field and was good at my job, but I was NOT happy. However, my life looked AMAZING on the outside, my socials was poppin’ and it looked like I was living my BEST LIFE.
- Now, you realize that material possessions and experiences aren’t making you happy huh?
When all the material things and experiences weren’t filling the void, I resorted to my old ways, creativity and research. I researched side hustles, from drop shipping, travel blog, and selling baked goods, basically anything that would make me happier.
Little by little I got my happiness back, I was OBSESSED with researching side hustles. I even tested some idea’s out until I found the one I loved.
Eventually, I stumbled onto social media marketing and it was an addiction. I was obsessed with social media, marketing, branding, building a community and connecting through social media.
So much, that I started an instagram page, posted quotes and gave social media tips on my stories and IGTV!
This was IT!
Now, I am more broke than I’ve ever been, since now I pay back school loans, took a pay cut working as a reception, I still live rent free, but pay house bills like utilities and wifi, I pay my own insurance, groceries, gas, etc. but I’m the HAPPIEST I’ve ever been because I finally found my PASSION.
If you find yourself in similar shoes as myself, where you’re stuck in your parents’ world, but want to branch out and do your own thing, then:
STOP. TAKING. THEIR. MONEY.
I felt so guilty because I was milking my dad’s money, that’s why I felt so obligated to make his dreams come true, which I did, but once I stopped taking his money, started figuring out what I liked and didn’t like, I found myself the happiest I’ve ever been.
To save you time, money and sadness, if your parents are pressuring you into something you know isn’t for you, but don’t know what to do, then walk away.
You have got to take the leap off your parents payroll, live alone or with a friend, find a job, pay your own bills and figure your shit out, this is when you will find true happiness.
Your parents will ALWAYS love you, they may like you more on some days than other days but they will ALWAYS love you no matter what, so take that leap and go after that thing.