A few days ago a letter popped up in my inbox from a 20 year-old reader from Australia. She’s given me permission to share her letter with you all. Got some advice? Please share in the discussion below!
Hi there! I am currently in my 2nd year at University studying education. I still have just over another 2 years of my course to go and I am not enjoying it nor do I think this is what I want to do in my life. For the last year I have been stressed out about continuing the study when at this moment it is just not for me. My parents have already made it clear that if I quit my course they will be disappointed.
My partner of 6 years is moving to the other side of Australia for the army. I cannot make up my mind whether to just give up my course, move to the other side of Australia with him and get a job until I work out what I really want to do in my life and disappoint my parents or stay and finish my course and continue to be miserable.
I have just read one of your blogs from August last year about the fear of disappointing our parents stopping us from living our lives and believe that I should do what will make me happy and at this time in my life that involves moving and disappointing my parents but at the same time I am worried I will regret the decision in years to come. Just wondering if you have any advice for me! Thank You!
I have two major questions for you to think about:
If you were happy with your course of study, would it be as easy for you to leave and move with your bf?
And the big question: Are you afraid that your parents will more disappointed because you are leaving school and moving with your boyfriend? How would their reaction be to that versus them reacting just to you leaving school?
School seems to be something that your parents are set on, but it’s not working out for you. If you continue on in a course you hate, what will happen once you graduate? You will be expected to get a job in education, and spend more years being miserable. Why put yourself through that?
How about this: Approach your parents like the adult you are and tell them that you need to talk. Tell them that you aren’t happy with your course of study (mentioning that you’ve already given this two years) and say that you would like to try out something different.
Say that you would like to work for a year to see if there is something you are more interested in, and that you are considering doing this exploration in a place that is a lot closer to your boyfriend. Tell them that after one year, you will reevaluate and see if any changes need to be made. Ask them to respect the values that they have given you, and your decision to explore. If they still want to cry “disappointment” then you have my full permission to tell them that you are the one who is disappointed at their inability to reason with you, and think of your well being.
As for worrying about regret, ask yourself this: what will you regret more, not trying at all, or trying and failing (also known as learning)?
Anyone else have any input?
And if you have any questions that you would like to hear my take on, I can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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