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  Don't Pick a Major to Please Your Parents!
By Darra Clark
Article provided by iHigh.com

News Story 34278 Image I must admit, I‚m chronically opinionated. And one of the marvelous little perks of my job is, I get to force people to listen to my opinions. So forgive a moment of selfishness while I ask a question: WHAT IN THE NAME OF GOD IS WRONG WITH PICKING A MAJOR BASED ON LIKING IT? ::resumes calm::

For all of you high school juniors and seniors, this whole major issue is probably coming up more and more, as applications, parents, aunts and teachers breath down your neck to know what you‚re going to do with your life (because you‚ve obviously decided). And, of course, they have a list of majors, which are „acceptable.š You will find your great-aunt Marge loudly insist, as she did to Erin, of Connecticut, that „only people who study math are worthwhile,š whereas your chemistry teacher will tell you, as she did Ginger, of Iowa, that „the only real way to make money any more is to study computers.š Meanwhile, your inner artist wants nothing more than to study graphic arts. So what gives?

The accepted explanation of parents being controlling is that they want the best for you out of love. So when you go home, and say, like Jonathan, „I‚m going to be an English major and then be a writer,š the natural parent reaction is indeed to freak out. „You‚d think,š Jonathan, of Mauldin, South Carolina, later confided, „that I‚d said I‚m going to throw away every opportunity I‚ll ever have to be happy and successful and join Pinocchio and Brer Rabbit in helping Santa Claus. Geez!š You, the teenager, the one right on the verge of everything new and wonderful, are by nature impetuous and idealistic. Your parents, who had two years of wiping your bottom and 18 of paying your bills, are not quite so certain that you will find ways to survive as a musician, or that you‚ll get grants for your psychological research. So they have an excuse for telling you what to put on your applications as your major. But what about the rest of the world?

Erin staunchly insists that her chemistry teacher, her favorite teacher, was the person who inspired her to study chemistry in the first place. „You could tell with (my teacher) that she really loved chemistry, that she was passionate about it. In her class, I caught some of that flame; I wanted to be part of it too. And there she goes and tells me not to do it! Just for money, and things like that.š Erin‚s is certainly not alone in wondering why EVERYONE feels compelled to comment. Sara, a junior in Long Island, New York, has heard „probably every snide comment about artists there ever was,š whereas I myself have heard people from my mom to the cashier in the textbook store comment on majoring in English. The question most everyone voices is „Why do these people CARE what I major in?š After much consultation, the following ideas have been proposed:

  • They care, as in parents and favorite teachers.
  • They feel compelled to give advice, being older and wiser.
  • They know MUCH more than you and want to prove it.
  • They really think they‚re helping you.
So most people are trying to be nice and share their experience when they dis the world of psychology. Does that mean you should go to vet school instead? Not hardly. Stand up for your major! Or, change it sophomore year, that works too.

Article provided by iHigh.com

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