Dear T2T: No one in my family has ever been to college and I would really like to go. The problem is that my family does not encourage this at all and I don’t even know where to start. My grades are decent so I think I would be able to get in somewhere, but my money is super tight. We own a family business and I think my parents think I should just step right into that instead of going to college. I’m torn because I feel obligated to do that for my family, but I really want to go to college too. What would you do? Am I selfish that I want to leave town and do something for me when they need me? — Torn in two
Response No. 1:
Maybe this sounds worn out but the only thing that honestly matters is what you want to do with your life. Your family may not give you the support you want or need but in the long run you can encourage yourself by setting goals and accomplishing them. A way to get started is by going to the college and career center located at your school, where you can find out everything you need to know about colleges and applying for them. You also mentioned that your money situation is tight, well to earn more money for school you can apply for scholarships. If you need information about scholarships you can visit the college and career center for that too. You say you feel like your family has expectations for you to take over the family business, but you need to take into consideration what future you would be satisfied with. If you cannot see yourself enjoying that job for the rest of your life, you should take a different path. Even though your family may not recognize it as an accomplishment, being the first one in your family to attend college is a huge personal accomplishment. It is not selfish to want a future that would keep you happy. If you want to find a balance you may be able to work at your family’s business while your attending college that way you can save up money and satisfy your families expectations.
Response No. 2:
You’re not being selfish by wanting to attend college. You should do what you think is best for yourself. If you were to go to college you would benefit yourself as well as your family. Keep in mind it’s hard to get a job without a college degree. People with college degrees even have trouble landing a nice job. Imagine how hard it would be if you didn’t have one. The family business might work out for many years, but later down the road, having some sort of college degree would be helpful in case the family business doesn’t work out. A college degree can never be taken from you. Family is very important and you have great morals considering that you’re worried about their reaction to your decision. However, there’s times when you need to make the best decision that will benefit you. Do what you think is the best for yourself.
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