Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reader's Dilemma: Where should I go to school? Should I move?

I got another email from a reader asking me about where he should go to school.

Here is a little bit of background information on him:
*He's an average student
*His family is not rich and he has very strict parents, to the point where they abuse him
*He wants to be a writer and his parents want him to get an engineering degree (talk about conflicting interests)
*He works a lot

Here is what he wrote in an email to me:
Hello Yana,
I ran into your answer to a reader on blogger and that made me think of sending you an email question.

I am just finishing grade 12 and I'm nothing special in terms of scholastic achievement. I have average marks, but I really love writing stories and poetry. I want to publish a book one day too. Additionally, I want to move to a different province and pursue a writing career by getting an English degree in university.

Here's the dilemma though: I can't just pack up and leave, since my budget does not allow for such a move. At the same time, my parents refuse to support my writing career because they want me to do something more serious, like math and science. They suggest I become an engineer because they read a newspaper article that said engineers are in demand. They joke about my writing and want me to stay as far awy as possible from it. At the same time, I want to stay as far away from them as possible, since they are extremely unrealistic in their expectations of me.

So, what do I do? Stay in my hometown and live with my parents while going to university and studying engineering or moving to a different province, starting from scratch, working for a few years, and then going for an English degree?
Thank you for your time.
Confused Guy

Here is my response to this interesting email:
Dear Confused,
It seems to me like you are in a very interesting situation. Your parents are not supportive of your career choice and you absolutely hate the choice that they've given you.

It would be cheaper for you if you endured them for the next 4 years that you have to be in university while finishing a program that you know you will absolutely hate. Sounds like fun!! NOT!

It appears like you want to get away from your parents, which is very high on your priority list. I honestly believe that you are already on your way to making a great decision and getting them to let go of you.

The main thing that you have to consider here is your personal happiness. If you are ok with starting a new life in a different province, then go for it! I can suggest a few things though: make sure that before you decide to make such a big move that you have arranged employment and housing in your new location. Then, work out a budget which allows you to pay your bills and possibly even have money left over to put in a savings account so that in a few years you could go get your English degree if you still want it. However, there is no set rule that says you "have to have an English degree in order to be a writer". I also suggest trying to do some freelance writing, which can help you improve your writing skills, gain some experience, and possibly expand your network.

Check out some local bulletin boards, newspapers, as well as look into internship opportunities for writers. There is no harm in trying and the worst thing that can happen is you get told "no". Honestly, you have nothing to lose and happiness to gain if you succeed and land an entry level writing position of some sort.
I wish you all the best in all that you do.

A wonderful person once told me that one should pursue what he/she loves. :)

I wish only the best for everyone who puts forth the effort to deserve it.

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